The Goals and Failures of the First and Second Rec

This essay The Goals and Failures of the First and Second Rec has a total of 5562 words and 27 pages.

The Goals and Failures of the First and Second Reconstructions


Some people say we\'ve got a lot of malice some say its a lot of nerve. But, I
say we won\'t quit moving until we get what we deserve. We have been bucked and
we have been conned. We have been treated bad, talked about as just bones. But
just as it takes two eyes to eyes make a pair. Brother we won\'t quit until we
get our share. Say it loud- I\'m Black and I\'m Proud.

James Brown

The First and Second Reconstructions held out the great promise of rectifying
racial injustices in America. The First Reconstruction, emerging out of the
chaos of the Civil War had as its goals equality for Blacks in voting, politics,
and use of public facilities. The Second Reconstruction emerging out of the
booming economy of the 1950\'s, had as its goals, integration, the end of Jim
Crow and the more amorphous goal of making America a biracial democracy where,
"the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave holders will be able to
sit down together at the table of brotherhood." Even though both movements, were
borne of high hopes they failed in bringing about their goals. Born in hope,
they died in despair, as both movements saw many of their gains washed away. I
propose to examine why they failed in realizing their goals. My thesis is that
failure to incorporate economic justice for Blacks in both movements led to the
failure of the First and Second Reconstruction.

The First Reconstruction came after the Civil War and lasted till 1877. The
political, social, and economic conditions after the Civil War defined the goals
of the First Reconstruction. At this time the Congress was divided politically
on issues that grew out of the Civil War: Black equality, rebuilding the South,
readmitting Southern states to Union, and deciding who would control
government.1 Socially, the South was in chaos. Newly emancipated slaves wandered
the South after having left their former masters, and the White population was
spiritually devastated, uneasy about what lay ahead. Economically, the South was
also devastated: plantations lay ruined, railroads torn up, the system of slave
labor in shambles, and cities burnt down. The economic condition of ex-slaves
after the Civil War was just as uncertain; many had left former masters and
roamed the highways.2

Amid the post Civil War chaos, various political groups were scrambling to
further their agendas. First, Southern Democrats, a

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