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An Introduction to the Reconstruction and Sharecropping

Following the American Civil War came the Reconstruction Act. This is when the North helped rebuild the South from the total destruction which happened during the Civil War. Discussed below are three effects the Reconstruction Act had on the North and the South.

First, the U.S. government enacted the 13th Amendment. This amendment freed all slaves. This, in a way , was good and bad for the slaves, in that it let them be free to do what they wanted. However it left them with no place to stay, no food, and no clothing. Therefore many former slaves moved to places in the North for jobs and shelter.

Secondly, the southern landowners developed the system of sharecropping. Sharecropping was when a land owner gave a freedmen or poor white land and all the supplies for growing a crop. The land owner borrowed money from a carpetbagger, a greedy money lender, hoping he would earn enough money to pay back the carpetbagger(this is how he got all the supplies needed). Then the sharecropper plowed the land and performed all nessessary operations to make the land crop-worthy. He planted the seeds, harvested the crop, and gave land-owner part of the harvest. Therefore sharecropping replaced slavery, and most freedmen and poor whites went to this act, and remained under control of landowners.

Last but not least, carpetbaggers, from the North, setup public schools in the South. This effected the Southern lifestyle in that all people would have an opportunity to learn. Being educated meant everyone would be smarter for the future. This definitely was a big part of the Reconstruction Act in the South.

All of the events mentioned above were direct results of the act . Without them the Reconstruction Act would have been a total failure. They are just a few of many ways reconstruction impacted the rebuilding of the South.

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