The reconstruction is a very renowned part of the America’s history. This marked a new life for all the black Americans who had spent the whole of their lives in plantations as slaves. The freeing of the slaves was not welcome by all whites and they had to live with sever discrimination for decades as landless and poor. The government took control of the southern states which was a new dawn for the blacks. They were all seen as laborers but with the 1877 compromise, they could choose what they wanted for their lives.
Black Americans started a completely new way of life which included reunited families. They sought casual jobs from the white to earn a living. Although their employers mistreated them, it was a big celebration to be free from forced labor. They lacked skills and education and this led to the construction of freedmen’s schools. People devoted a lot of attention to schools and they also got significant help from the Freedmen’s Bureau and missionary societies from the north. By the end of the 1869, more than one hundred sixty African Americans attended three thousand schools. This was extremely opposed by the whites living in the south and they even attacked teachers and burnt the schools.
The government implemented a lot of policies to ensure the survival of the African Americans. There was a proposition from the Radical Republicans that land should be taken from the plantation owners and be given to the freed people in order to make them economically independent through farming. This led to the rumor that the government was going to give them forty acres and a mule but the Congress did not pass the policy.
The fact that African Americans could now vote was enough happiness for them. Although the plantation owners gave all the remaining African Americans labor contracts, they still oppressed them by paying them low wages for growing cotton. These contracts could not work and therefore most plantation owners subdivided their plantations and rented them to the blacks. However, they forced them to grow cotton instead of food crops which made them even poor since cotton lost value due to excess supply.
During the reconstruction, more than five hundred African Americans served in the state legislature and there were sixteen new United States Congressmen who were black Americans. Racism was so violent and this slowed the process of giving the African Americans an equal Chance in leadership. The Ku Klux Klan was secretly formed to overthrow the Republicans and instead reinstate the white leadership in the south. This organization threatened the black American out of voting but it was later outlawed in 1871.
The African American Commitment to education saw that by late 1880s colleges get established for them. It was the northern missionaries who really contributed to their education of the African Americans during this reconstruction but by early 1890s, black state colleges started receiving funds from the government. The government also undertook to open the south by constructing railway lines linking the towns as well the roads. Policies were also implemented to lessen the tax burden of the People living in the south.
The experience for the black Americans during the reconstruction was marked by the racism and the great desire for the blacks to attend schools and acquire knowledge and skills. It would be true to say that there was a commonality of experience for the black Americans during the reconstruction.