Why did Reconstruction fail? 

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Reconstruction is a term that is loosely applied to a period of US history, a group of policies and related practices applied in the former Confederate states, and changes in political, economic, and racial attitudes, especially in the South.

Because there were diverse, wide-ranging goals of Reconstruction, and these were applied in so many different ways, one can observe successes and failures.

The constitutional changes that ended slavery throughout the United States in the 1860s were the impetus for related changes at the state level through the 1870s. As all states had to modify their constitutions and laws, Reconstruction did succeed in abolishing slavery as a political and economic reality. Employment opportunities for newly freed African Americans were scarce, however, and many ended up working as sharecroppers or debt peons on the same lands where they had labored while enslaved.

Radically altering the national political and economic structure to improve Southern participation in...

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