Reasons Why South Killed Reconstruction

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About this sample


Words: 600 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Mar 13, 2024

Words: 600|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Mar 13, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Resistance from Southern political leaders
  2. Economic challenges faced by the South
  3. Social attitudes and cultural norms in the South
  4. Conclusion
  5. Works Cited:

marked a significant turning point in the nation’s history. With the defeat of the Confederate states, the United States faced the daunting task of rebuilding and unifying a divided nation. This period, known as Reconstruction, aimed to address the social, economic, and political challenges left in the wake of the war. However, the efforts to reconstruct the South were met with significant resistance, ultimately leading to its downfall. In this essay, we will explore the reasons why the South killed Reconstruction, examining the political, social, and economic factors that contributed to its demise.

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Resistance from Southern political leaders

One of the primary reasons behind the failure of Reconstruction was the resistance from Southern political leaders. Despite the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, which abolished slavery, granted citizenship, and guaranteed voting rights to African Americans, Southern states enacted a series of discriminatory laws known as Jim Crow laws. These laws aimed to disenfranchise and segregate African Americans, effectively undermining the progress made during Reconstruction. Additionally, Southern politicians sought to regain control of state governments and institute policies that maintained white supremacy. For example, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, a terrorist organization that targeted African Americans and their allies, further perpetuated the climate of fear and violence in the South. The actions of Southern political leaders demonstrated a clear opposition to the principles of Reconstruction, ultimately contributing to its failure.

Economic challenges faced by the South

Furthermore, the economic challenges faced by the South also played a significant role in the demise of Reconstruction. The devastation caused by the Civil War left the Southern economy in shambles, with infrastructure, agriculture, and industry in disarray. The efforts to rebuild the economy and provide opportunities for freed African Americans were met with resistance from white landowners and businessmen. The reluctance to invest in the education, employment, and economic empowerment of African Americans perpetuated a cycle of poverty and inequality. Additionally, the withdrawal of federal troops from the South in 1877, as a result of the Compromise of 1877, effectively signaled the end of Reconstruction and allowed Southern states to further entrench discriminatory practices. The economic challenges faced by the South, coupled with the lack of support for reconstruction efforts, ultimately led to its failure.

Social attitudes and cultural norms in the South

In addition to political and economic factors, social attitudes and cultural norms in the South also contributed to the downfall of Reconstruction. The deep-rooted racism and prejudice ingrained in Southern society perpetuated a system of inequality and oppression. The resistance to social integration and the perpetuation of stereotypes and discriminatory practices perpetuated a climate of hostility towards African Americans. This social divide hindered the progress of Reconstruction and further exacerbated the challenges faced by the South in reconciling with its past. The unwillingness to embrace social change and the perpetuation of discriminatory attitudes ultimately undermined the efforts of Reconstruction.


In conclusion, the demise of Reconstruction can be attributed to a combination of political, economic, and social factors. The resistance from Southern political leaders, the economic challenges faced by the South, and the deep-seated social attitudes and cultural norms all contributed to the failure of Reconstruction. The legacy of Reconstruction continues to shape the nation’s history and serves as a reminder of the challenges faced in reconciling a divided nation. Moving forward, it is essential to acknowledge the lessons learned from Reconstruction and work towards creating a more inclusive and equitable society.

Works Cited:

Foner, Eric. Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877. Harper & Row, 1988.

Perman, Michael. The Southern Political Tradition. Louisiana State University Press, 2015.

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Woodward, C. Vann. The Strange Career of Jim Crow. Oxford University Press, 2002.

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Cite this Essay

Reasons Why South Killed Reconstruction. (2024, March 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 28, 2024, from
“Reasons Why South Killed Reconstruction.” GradesFixer, 13 Mar. 2024,
Reasons Why South Killed Reconstruction. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 May 2024].
Reasons Why South Killed Reconstruction [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 13 [cited 2024 May 28]. Available from:
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