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GatesEnglish 1003November 3, 2000The Reconstruction, a time most people would call a rebirth, succeeded in few of the goals that it had set out to achieve within the 12 years it was in progress. It was the reconstruction’s failure in its objectives that brought forth the inevitable success in changing the South, as well as the countless African Americans living in it as well as the countless African Americans living in it at the time. There were three goals the reconstruction set, and failed to achieve, as well as emphasizing the profound effect it had on the south, and an entire race. In the South the Reconstruction period was a time of readjustment accompanied by disorder. Southern whites wished to keep blacks in a condition of quasi-servitude, extending few civil rights and firmly rejecting social equality. Blacks, on the other hand, wanted full freedom and, above all, land of their own. Inevitably, there were frequent clashes. Some erupted into race riots, but acts of terrorism against individual black leaders were more common. During this turmoil, Southern whites and blacks began to work out ways of getting their farms back into operation and of making a living. Indeed, the most important developments of the Reconstruction era were not the highly publicized political contests but the slow, almost imperceptible changes that occurred in southern society. Blacks could now legally marry, and they set up conventional and usually stable family units; they quietly seceded from the white churches and formed their own religious organizations, which became a central point for the black community. Without land or money, most freedmen had to continue working for white masters; but they were now unwilling to labor in gangs or to live in the old slave quarters under the eye of the plantation owner. The governments set up in the Southern states under the congressional program of Reconstruction were, contrary to traditional clichs, fairly ...

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