How did the South lose the Civil War but manage to win the peace? Use examples.Use examples!

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larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although the South lost the Civil War militarily,attempts by the North to reconstruct the South into a model of the North and completely rehabilitate former slaves was a failure. At the end of Reconstruction, blacks in the South were little better off than they had been during slavery days with the exception that they were now free.

The federal government attempted to rehabilitate former slaves by means of the freedman's bureau which provided teachers, medical care, etc. However, the government did not consider the intense resentment and determination of southern whites, and as a result the accomplishments of the Bureau were quite limited.

The Fourteenth Amendment guaranteed slaves the rights of citizens of the U.S., which they were; however their rights were severely limited not only by intimidation from the Ku Klux Klan but also from so-called "Jim Crow Laws" which limited Black access to public facilities, education, etc. In 1896, these limitations were sanctioned by the U.S. Supreme Court in the decision of Plessy vs. Ferguson which stated that "separate but equal" facilities were constitutional

Similarly, the Fifteenth Amendment guaranteed Blacks the right to vote, but Southern states managed to evade it by means of poll taxes, literacy requirements, residency requirements, etc. These limitations remained in effect until well into the twentieth century.

Ultimately, the federal government abandoned attempts to reconstruct the South in the Compromise of 1877 when federal troops were withdrawn from the South in exchange for the election of Rutherford B. Hayes to the Presidency. At the end of reconstruction, although they were free, southern Blacks had gained little or nothing.

mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The South lost the Civil War. The southern states faced significant destruction and devastation. Slavery was abolished after the Civil War ended, and the Confederacy ceased to exist. The South clearly lost the Civil War.

However, some of the things that the North tried to establish in the South after the Civil War ended did not occur in the long run. The North had hoped to bring equality and freedom to African Americans. Once the process of Reconstruction ended with the Compromise of 1877, African Americans saw a significant decrease in their freedoms, and equality in many aspects of life disappeared.

After Reconstruction ended, white southerners regained control over southern politics. New laws were passed, called the Jim Crow laws, which legalized segregation. African Americans had to use separate bathrooms, drink from separate drinking fountains, and sit in different railroad cars. The poll tax and the literacy test were designed to keep African Americans from voting. Economic opportunities were limited. Groups such as the Ku Klux Klan formed to terrorize, intimidate, and threaten African Americans. Some members of these groups killed some African Americans.

After the Reconstruction ended, life for African Americans living in the South was very similar to the conditions that existed in the South before the Civil War began—except that slavery was illegal. White attitudes had not changed, and racist attitudes dominated southern life after Reconstruction ended. Thus, it can be stated that while the South lost the Civil War, the South won the peace after Reconstruction ended.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The previous post gives excellent examples concerning the black man's plight following the end of the Civil War. However, I have never heard it put that the South "won the peace" following the Civil War. The South was devastated economically and socially. Many of its towns and cities had been destroyed, particularly during General William T. Sherman's march through the South in his systematic operation of total war. Afterward, Southerners were denied the same equal rights enjoyed by other citizens of the Union until after the seceded states were officially reunited. Scalawags and carpetbaggers took advantage of Southerners economically and politically. Although the invading Northern armies no longer presented a threat to the citizens of the South, it was hardly a time of peace for the defeated Confederate veterans and for the grieving families who were left penniless and bereft of the quarter of a million soldiers who never came home.