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The First and Second Reconstructions held out the great promise of rectifying racial injustices in America The FirstReconstruction 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 1950s 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 government1 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 Theeconomic condition of ex-slaves after the Civil War was just as uncertain many had left former masters and roamed the Amid the post Civil War chaos various political groups were scrambling to further their agendas
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