How did southerners impact reconstruction?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Southerners impacted Reconstruction in various ways. One way they impacted it was by resisting it. Southerners tried to find ways to undo the improvements Reconstruction brought to the former slaves. The southerners developed a system of sharecropping that kept former slaves in poverty and in slavery-like conditions. Jim Crow laws were passed that separated the races. The Ku Klux Klan formed to threaten and intimidate black people. The southerners developed ways to deny blacks the right to vote by passing laws establishing poll taxes and literacy tests. The grandfather clauses allowed white southerners to get around these laws and still be able to vote even if they couldn’t pay the tax or pass the literacy test.

During Reconstruction, some white southerners supported it. These people were called scalawags because they supported the Radical Republican plan to rebuild the South. Other white southerners helped to write the new state constitutions that were required to be written in order for the former Confederate states to be readmitted into the Union. Southerners impacted Reconstruction in both positive and negative ways.

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