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Posted: September 6th, 2023

Were the Black Codes another form of slavery?

After you have completed your readings, post your response to ONE of the following questions:

Were the Black Codes another form of slavery?
Based on Okten’s statements, discuss how the sharecropping/crop lien system created a vicious cycle. Was this system simply another version of slavery? Why or why not.
Consider the following statement: “The persistence of racism in both the North and the South lay at the heart of Reconstruction’s failure.” Agree or disagree, and explain your position.


It is generally agreed upon by historians that Reconstruction was a period of significant political, social, and economic change in the United States following the Civil War. However, Reconstruction ultimately failed in its goal of creating a just and equal society for African Americans. The reasons for this failure are complex and multifaceted, and the persistence of racism in both the North and the South was undoubtedly a significant factor.

In the South, the persistence of racism was evident in the resistance of white Southerners to the social and political changes brought about by Reconstruction. White Southerners continued to view African Americans as inferior and unworthy of the same rights and privileges as white people. This racism was reflected in the passage of the Black Codes, which sought to limit the freedom and mobility of African Americans and maintain white supremacy.

In the North, racism was evident in the fact that many white Northerners were more concerned with economic issues than with civil rights for African Americans. They saw Reconstruction as a costly and disruptive process and were more interested in rebuilding the economy than in securing the rights of African Americans. This was reflected in the Compromise of 1877, which effectively ended Reconstruction and allowed white Southerners to regain control of their governments.

Therefore, it can be argued that the persistence of racism in both the North and the South contributed significantly to the failure of Reconstruction. Without widespread support for civil rights for African Americans, the social and political changes of Reconstruction were unable to take root and make lasting progress. While there were certainly other factors at play, racism was a significant obstacle to creating a just and equal society in the aftermath of the Civil War.

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