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One of the purposes of Reconstruction (at least in the minds of some people) was to give the freed slaves a chance at a new and better life. The fact that sharecropping became so prevalent shows that Reconstruction failed to achieve that goal. Sharecropping kept blacks in poverty and in a position in which they pretty much had to do what they were told by the owner of the land they were working. This was not very good for the freed slaves in that it did not give them a chance to truly escape the way things had been during slavery.
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