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Reconstruction solved few if any of the nations problems. The purpose of Reconstruction was to not only rehabilitate the South; but also to ensure civil rights for newly freed African Americans. The Fourteenth Amendment gave them citizenship and promised them equal protection of the law; the Fifteenth Amendment guaranteed them the right to vote. Even so, the South managed to evade these protections with abandon. The Ku Klux Klan and other supremacist organizations ran roughshod over Black citizens in order to intimidate them from voting. Jim Crow laws were frequently enforced which prohibited Black Americans from voting, often for spurious reasons. Attempts to enforce the Equal Protection Clause were thwarted soon after the end of Reconstruction in Plessy vs. Ferguson which sanctioned separate facilities on the basis of race again for spurious reasons. Although the work of rehabilitation had not been completed, Federal troops were withdrawn from the South in 1877 for no other reason than to legitimize the election of Rutherford B. Hayes, the Republican, to the White House. The South remained racially segregated and Blacks remained bereft of Civil Rights until well into the twentieth century.
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