AP U.S. History Diagnostic 13. Why did the Reconstruction Acts fail to change Southern attitudes toward race?
|AP||AP U.S. History|
|AP U.S. History||Exam|
|Reconstruction||Stripping African Americans of Rights|
|Social Studies||AP U.S. History|
|Test Prep||AP U.S. History|
|U.S. History||AP U.S. History|
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All right, and the question:
Why did the Reconstruction Acts fail to change Southern attitudes toward race?
And here are your potential answers.
[ mumbles ]
All right, well, the United States might have made it
through the long, bloody Civil War, but it struggled
to bring itself back together when the fighting ended.
Let's see how those good intentions
fell short on the road to reconciliation.
Did the Reconstruction Acts fail to change Southern attitudes
toward race because B -
the Republicans were more focused on building a political base
in the South? Hmm?
Well, actually, the Republicans wouldn't have a solid
political base in the South until Reagan was elected
in 1980. So B is still about a century away.
Did the Reconstruction Acts come up short because C -
the Southern states banned together and refused
to meet the Act's demands?
Well, if they could have, they probably would have.
Very few Southern leaders wanted to sign the Acts to begin with,
but they didn't have very much bargaining power being losers
in the War and all. So that knocks out C, as well.
Could the Acts have failed to make a difference in
racial attitudes because D - the Democrats in the South
made negotiations with Northern Democrats?
Well, Democrats in the North also opposed
granting Blacks the right to vote,
but Republicans were firmly in control during this period.
So Northern Democrats may have won the war, but they lost
this particular battle.
Which means that the Reconstruction Acts failed to change
Southern attitudes toward race because A -
the Southerners held on to determined attitudes
and were resistant to change.
Despite the best intentions of the requirements
to re-enter the Union following the Civil War,
the laws fell short of transforming Southern feelings about race.
That makes A the right answer.
In fact, Southern states were so resistant to racial equality,
that in the years following Reconstruction,
they passed laws restricting the very freedoms that
the Reconstruction Acts attempted to grant former slaves.
When changing the law doesn't work,
time is usually the best plastic surgery of the soul.
Ooh. That's kind of a Shmoop-y quote.
You can quote us on that. Pretty good.
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