How did Reconstruction fail to bring equality to freedmen?

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The initial few years of Reconstruction were ones of black power and freedom. Recently freed black people, specifically on the coast of Georgia and the Carolinas, were able to claim land from former plantation owners who fled the south after the Civil War ended. For the first time, formerly enslaved black people were able to freely live on the land that they had been forced to toil on for their whole lives. In government, an interracial alliance of blacks and white was beginning to form. However, racist violence from vigilante groups, such as the KKK and racist political parties and individuals, resulted in the overturning of the initial victories of Reconstruction.

In the south, incredibly violent and often murderous racist mobs attacked newly freed black people and their white allies. The South became overrun with these mobs, and there were not enough Union troops still stationed to address the violence. Meanwhile, racist Southern political groups began creating and enforcing "Black...

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