1685 Was Only the End of the Civil War on Paper

390 WordsJun 19, 20132 Pages
1865 was the end of the Civil War on paper but the beginning of Reconstruction and America's second Civil War in reality. The south lost nearly 260,000 men during the war and historians think 1 out of 4 white southern males of fighting age were dead or seriously wounded during this time. When they returned home they found complete destruction of not only their homes but their livelihood as well with the North confiscating 800,000 parcels of land to give to freed slaves. The social and economic cost of losing the institution of slavery hit home hard. In addition, Reconstruction was being pushed down their throats and they felt backed against a wall with the pride that so defined them completely gone. The only alternative in their minds was to fight what they considered to be their two enemies: freed slaves and anyone who organized and participated in political parties promoting black suffrage and rights. This political party was known as the Radical Republicans and were considered just as worthy of death by southern whites as blacks. The era of Reconstruction can more accurately be termed as a time of violence with thousands of freed slaves being murdered. It was during this time that the black codes were passed which were laws designed to regulate the lives of freed slaves by controlling their every move with the hope of forcing them back on plantations where they worked for free and were subjected to violence and murder. It was also during this era that America saw the rise of the infamous KKK started by a group of disgruntled, angry Confederate soldiers labeled as the Pulaski 6. The battle for white supremacy in the south intensified with the passing of the 14th and 15th amendments and the Radical Republicans increased power. Tennessee recorded a person a day being killed leading up to elections and 300 lives taken from 1866-1869. These

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