A level civil rights in USA homework help!!!

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anonymous3264
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to what extent did the reconstruction era produce radical changes in the development of African American civil rights?
I have no idea where to begin as I am fairly new to the course so any help will be apprciated
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scrubbucino
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Not much, really. The first few years after the Civil War saw the ratification of the 15th Amendment, which in theory gave African-Americans the right to vote. This led to many Republican-controlled state legislatures in the South due to African-Americans and abolitionist whites having a good majority. Then the KKK and various other white supremacist groups came along, and used extensive levels of violence to intimidate African-American voters and Republicans from voting. Black voters stopped coming to the polls, and most of the white northerners that had settled in the South fled back to the Union. This led to most Southern states gaining a Democrat majority in their legislatures. The Democrat-controlled legislatures then enacted poll taxes and selective literacy tests to effectively disenfranchise the African-American community and keep Republicans from ever gaining a footing in the South again. They also enacted segregationist laws that kept African-Americans from gaining a footing anywhere in society.

The economic situation of the African-American community didn't change too much. The 13th Amendment had "officially" abolished slavery, but it basically continued. Slaves did not have any wealth whatsoever, and thus did not possess the capital or resources to move away, buy land, or start businesses. Most ended up staying as sharecroppers on the planter's land, where they quickly became trapped by debt and could not leave. If they tried to leave, newly-enacted vagrancy laws specifically made to target African-Americans would throw them in jail or have them forcibly returned to sharecropping. Many African-Americans were stuck in sharecropping until the 1940s. It was essentially slavery under a new name.

Basically Reconstruction was a massive failure that led to African-Americans being subjected to many of the same conditions they were exposed to pre-Civil War, and this didn't really change until the first half of the 20th century.
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anonymous3264
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Thank you so much
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scrubbucino
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(Original post by anonymous3264)
Thank you so much
No problem!
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