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Context Reconstruction aroused violent controversy over the constitutional powers and over the status of the black ex-slaves Northern Democrats believed the Constitution strictly limited federal power anticipated that most Southern whites would vote Democratic and had little sympathy for black sufferings On the other hand most Republicans felt that blacks were entitled to fundamental human rights and many hoped Southern Republicanism could be built with the help of black support Reconstruction did open the door for political involvement on the part of former slaves More than 20 blacks were elected to the US House of Representatives and US Senate in the South during Reconstruction Even before the war ended the government had begun discussing how to deal with the aftermath of the war For example Freedman Bureau was formed by congress to help former slaves with clothing medical care housing and education Some emancipated slaves quickly fled from the neighborhood of their owners while others became wage laborers for former owners Most importantly African Americans could make choices for themselves about where they labored and the type of work they performed Hundreds of blacks were killed for attempting to vote for challenging segregation for organizing workers or even for attending school In 1879 the federal troops withdrew and states began to govern themselves For southern states the absence of the Army closed the doors for opportunities for blacks as the Klan terrorized all that dared to exercise citizens rights Understandably the Ex-slaves had many economic problems after their emancipation They had to look for jobs and a place to live Even though freedmen bureau was formed to help former slaves but with corrupt government agents and abuse of southern Democrats former slaves became economically and politically dependent on their former masters Perhaps this is the reason that former slave Jourdan Anderson wants to have some kind of a proof from his former master that his family will be safe if he comes back
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