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Reconstruction and Race Relations - Research Paper Example

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Slavery, the Reconstruction and beyond Name Professor University Date Slavery of the Afro-Americans ended with the Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln in January 1, 1863 and when the 13th amendment was ratified by the states. It did not however meant that injustice against the Negro stopped but instead another form of legalized oppression came with the passage of the Segregation Law which was also popularly known as Jim Crow…
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Download file to see previous pages Another law was also passed which is the Disenfranchisement Law that deprived Afro Americans of their right to vote. The passage of the segregation law and disenfranchisement law meant the white and the black cannot be together on public places and public transportation. These oppressive laws were then implemented in various states and municipality mandating the segregation of the blacks and the whites not only on public transportation but also in other aspects of public life that include, schools, hospitals, parks, movie houses, hotels and even restrooms. The Disfranchisement Law as the name implies, remove the right of the Negro to exercise his civil liberty to vote by despite the guarantee of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. This was evident with the exclusion of the blacks from the list of those who can vote in 1870 and made it more difficult for blacks to vote (if they can) by passing the poll tax law. Ridiculous as it may sound but a literacy requirement was also enacted in 1890 that if a black person is allowed to vote, he or she must satisfy the “understanding clause” that they understood the constitution before the state registrar. Naturally, the determination of the black person’s fitness to vote became arbitrary that deprived many of them of their right to vote. Voting restrictions were also imposed to make it difficult for black people by stating deadlines of poll tax payment and voter registration unannounced. All of these were designed to make it difficult, if not impossible for a black person to vote. The Reconstruction and beyond The end of the civil war marked the reconstruction period in the South. There are many accounts and interpretation why the Reconstruction became a splendid failure but it converged on the idea that it did not achieve what it intended to achieve. One its failure was failure was the attempt to provide some civil rights such as the right to vote for African Americans (Fitzgerald, 2008). This was evident in the Dred Scott decision which the Supreme Court ruled that blacks “had no rights which a white man was bound to respect; and that the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit” (Freerepublic.com). In 1876 however, a change in political tide was seen when the Republicans gained control in Congress. From the repressive regime of the Democrats, the Republicans passed the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution where several civil rights bills were introduced which will give every Americans equal protection before the law (Cornell University Law School, nd). One of the laws that were also passed was the granting of the right to vote among African Americans. In effect, this would have also given the African Americans some civil rights and the benefit of equal protection before the law except that it was blocked in every way of its application. One particular right, of the four civil rights that was passed in Congress that was circumvented in its application was the protection of right to vote as expressed in the Fourteenth Amendment. The Democrats device several political implements to block the application of the African American right to vote which included imposition of poll taxes, literacy tests, grandfather clauses and Gerrymandering. The imposition of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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