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Reconstruction Era: Primary Reading Analysis

The treatment of African Americans was still unfair after the emancipation of slaves. Liberation of slaves prompted numerous difficulties for black people, the primary ones being isolation and separation. African Americans got no help from Republicans during the age of Reconstruction, particularly in the South since they believed there was no need in African Americans to acquire any political force. The public’s overall situation was pleasant, however, not to the detriment of rights for African Americans. One of the examples of cruel treatment of newly freed people is from the Ku Klux Klan hearings of the mid 1870s.

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To understand the situation, it is significant to view the points of victims. Lucy McMillan is the author of the testimony where she shares her perspectives about the extent of aggression some white people showed towards emancipated former slave. As a freed woman, she talked about horrible assaults committed from white people in the neighborhood such as burning residences, undermining savagery, and killing any individual who was against the Klan. This archive portion of a court references the environment of American culture after the American Civil War and the end of American bondage.

Lucy McMillan’s testimony about violence against black is an informative source which can accurately demonstrate the attitude of some white people towards black. She was affirming as a witness of a wide government examination concerning Klan movement. The United States government was set against African Americans and their encounters with the Klan. Nonetheless, government authorities had likewise called McMillan as witness to the stand. For over two decades, neither slaves, nor free blacks had rights that white men respected. The Klan set Lucy McMillan’s home in Spartanburg ablaze because she had gone to a political gathering. Luckily, McMillan got away from both the fire and the Klan (Joint Select Committee on the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States).

Nonetheless, the Klan used governmental issues to defend its methods. The working black women played an important role in South Carolina’s economy. The Klan was particularly furious with the witness for referencing that she planned to attempt to purchase land as they could not let former slaves to own land (Joint Select Committee on the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States). These types of groups were vicious and vindictive and did everything possible to make the lives of African Americans intolerable. African American women were violently punished for declining to work for certain white families or in positions they did not need. The consequence of any conflict is traumatic for the victims. Many people of color were assaulted not only for their roundabout job in the Reconstruction adventure, but additionally for their proactive investment in the battle for equity and uniformity.

The testimony was recorded in 1871, the period after the Civil War. It tells about the social liberties enactment and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. It shows that the Republican Congress was endeavoring, without precedent for history, to make an interracial democratic government. Confronted with savage resistance in the South and a retreat from the ideal of racial fairness in the North, Reconstruction demonstrated fleeting as it is described in the lecture (Kim 35:28). The primary reading is a valid testimony by the victim of the unsuccessful attempts of Reconstruction to create peace and equality of everyone. It addresses the difficulties faced by newly emancipated people and the severity of the issue which were discussed in the secondary sources on the topic of Reconstruction and its consequences covered during the course.

Works Cited

Joint Select Committee on the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States. A Former Slave In South Carolina, Testifies About White Violence. (1871) (testimony of Lucy McMillan).

Kim, Jessica, director. HIST 371 Reconstruction. YouTube, YouTube. 2021.

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