AP U.S. History Diagnostic 13

AP U.S. History Diagnostic 13. Why did the Reconstruction Acts fail to change Southern attitudes toward race?

APAP U.S. History
AP U.S. HistoryExam
LanguageEnglish Language
ReconstructionStripping African Americans of Rights
Test PrepAP U.S. History
U.S. HistoryAP U.S. History

Transcript

00:13

[ mumbles ]

00:17

[ mumbling continues ]

00:22

All right, and the question:

00:23

Why did the Reconstruction Acts fail to change Southern attitudes toward race?

00:28

And here are your potential answers.

00:30

[ mumbles ]

00:35

All right, well, the United States might have made it

00:37

through the long, bloody Civil War, but it struggled

00:39

to bring itself back together when the fighting ended.

00:42

Let's see how those good intentions

00:44

fell short on the road to reconciliation.

00:46

Did the Reconstruction Acts fail to change Southern attitudes

00:49

toward race because B -

00:52

the Republicans were more focused on building a political base

00:55

in the South? Hmm?

00:57

Well, actually, the Republicans wouldn't have a solid

00:59

political base in the South until Reagan was elected

01:02

in 1980. So B is still about a century away.

01:06

Did the Reconstruction Acts come up short because C -

01:09

the Southern states banned together and refused

01:12

to meet the Act's demands?

01:14

Well, if they could have, they probably would have.

01:17

Very few Southern leaders wanted to sign the Acts to begin with,

01:20

but they didn't have very much bargaining power being losers

01:23

in the War and all. So that knocks out C, as well.

01:26

Could the Acts have failed to make a difference in

01:28

racial attitudes because D - the Democrats in the South

01:32

made negotiations with Northern Democrats?

01:35

Well, Democrats in the North also opposed

01:37

granting Blacks the right to vote,

01:39

but Republicans were firmly in control during this period.

01:42

So Northern Democrats may have won the war, but they lost

01:46

this particular battle.

01:47

Which means that the Reconstruction Acts failed to change

01:50

Southern attitudes toward race because A -

01:53

the Southerners held on to determined attitudes

01:55

and were resistant to change.

01:58

Despite the best intentions of the requirements

02:00

to re-enter the Union following the Civil War,

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the laws fell short of transforming Southern feelings about race.

02:06

That makes A the right answer.

02:08

In fact, Southern states were so resistant to racial equality,

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that in the years following Reconstruction,

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they passed laws restricting the very freedoms that

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the Reconstruction Acts attempted to grant former slaves.

02:20

When changing the law doesn't work,

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time is usually the best plastic surgery of the soul.

02:25

Ooh. That's kind of a Shmoop-y quote.

02:26

You can quote us on that. Pretty good.

02:29

[ crash ]