The following passage was written by an 8th grader
North or South: Who Killed Reconstruction?
After the Civil War, there was a tremendous effort to transform the Southern states and their society. The North wanted to integrate blacks into society as quickly as possible. The South, however, was not as eager. In fact, the South wanted an end to all Reconstruction effort. The South killed Reconstruction because of their lack of interest in equal rights, their violence towards the North and blacks, and the North’s growing absence of sympathy towards blacks.
The South did not agree with allowing blacks to take place in the government, such as the Legislature (Doc B). In some instances, blacks were bribed to leave their governmental positions. The South strongly despised the party that blacks supported (Doc B). This was the Radical Republican Party; people loathed slavery and wanted to punish the ex-Confederates. Naturally, many blacks joined that party and Southerners felt threatened by them. Finally, many people in the South did not consider blacks fit to be in political positions (Doc D). They felt that blacks needed more time to understand politics and were not educated enough to have those jobs. Some Southerners did try to persuade blacks to leave their jobs. Other times, however, they resorted to violence.
The Ku Klux Klan did not help Reconstruction in any way. For instance, if the Ku Klux Klan failed to bribe a free black to leave their political position, they would whip that man and leave him for dead (Doc B). Blacks, however, were not the only ones getting killed. Document A states that the KKK murdered Senator John W. Stephens in North Carolina, who was a white man that originally was from the North (Doc A). Lastly, political violence continued in the South while the North became weary of fighting for equal rights (Doc C).
The North had started to lose sympathy towards blacks. Document C states that, as Northerners became “weary of the ‘Negro Question’ and ‘sick of carpet-bag’ government, many Northern voters shifted their attention to such national concerns as the Panic of 1873 and corruption in Grant’s administration.” Also, the North agreed with the fact that blacks were not fit for political duties (Doc D). And the Northerners who were still trying to fight for rights for blacks were killed. This loss of interest from the North allowed to the South to easily keep opposing Reconstruction, and finally, killing it.
Their disagreement about equal rights, violence, and loss of interest all helped the South kill Reconstruction. This made it more difficult for blacks to find freedom within the nation. However, this did also create the 13, 14, and 15 Amendments, which gave more rights to blacks. The end of Reconstruction created not only more racism, but more segregation and discrimination.