Reconstruction failed to effectively support african americans after being freed

Reconstruction failed to effectively support african americans after being freed. Although reconstruction was designed to help freed slaves in their transition to freedom, it ended up hurting them. Reconstruction was built shortly after the civil war ended, and the south was in ruins. The south ran mainly on slaves before the 13th amendment, so when the unpaid workforce was taken out of the south’s already struggling economy there was backlash. Reconstruction was doomed to fail because it was largely unpopular and because there were many legal loopholes in it.
Reconstruction’s failure is due particularly to it’s legal loopholes. When President Lincoln was killed his reconstruction plan was replaced with Andrew Johnson’s, who kept the same basic frame but added a few major changes. Johnson allowed the former confederacy to rebuild themselves in any way they pleased, and because of this the black codes were formed. The black codes were a completely legal way holding back African Americans by creating laws limiting their day to day lives, including housing and job opportunities. The black codes even went against the amendments, “No negro who is not in the military service shall be allowed to carry firearms, or any kind of weapons, within the parish, without the special written permission of his employers, approved and endorsed by the nearest and most convenient chief of patrol.” (Black Codes, Louisiana.) Johnson was supposed to help freedmen, however he sided against them. The President of the United States did not believe that the black codes were wrong and because of this Reconstruction was doomed to fail. Because Johnson started Reconstruction off with the belief that african americans did not deserve the same rights as white citizens, he killed almost all hope of a successful Reconstruction before it even began. Once Johnson was removed from office, things got slightly better for freedmen. As freedmen began voting however, the law went against them again in the form of literacy tests, poll taxes, and grandfather clauses.