Question: Why according to Congressman Boyer, should African Americans be denied the right to vote?



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DBQ 10: Reconstruction’s Failure
Document 1:
Question: Why according to Congressman Boyer, should African Americans be denied the right to vote?
Not equals of white Americans and not entitled to participate in the gov’t of this country
Question: Do you suppose that the racist viewpoint was widely held at this time? Explain.
Only 5 Northern states allowed African American men to vote even in North
Document 2:
Question: What, according to General Thomas, was the purpose of the Ku Klux Klan?
A secret group of men to rally around their views on African Americans
Question: Look back to the document-based question. How did the Ku Klux Klan help to undermine Congress’ effort to ensure equal rights to freedmen?
Organized by white Southerners to undermine radical reconstruction efforts
Document 3:
Question: How did the restoration of voting rights to white Southerners undermine efforts to preserve and protect the voting rights of the freedmen?


  • White democrats would rally behind old confederate beliefs

  • Freedmen had no protection with out support of Republicans

  • Freedmen rights would be undermined by the white voters

Document 4:
Question: What is the editorial advocating?
Editor of this large southern newspaper openly called for the formation of “white leagues” to restist by “brute force” Reconstruction efforts (KKK)
Called for Northern Democrats to help overturn Republican “radicals” and “negroes” who had subjected southern whites to “indignities’
Document 5:
Question: How did this Democratic victory help to undermine Congress’ effort to help the freedmen?
In the 1874 congressional elections the democrats won the control of the House.
What factors discredited the Republican Party during the early 1870s? Explain.
Congressional Republicans severely weakened began to loose grip on Reconstruction of the south
Did not get re-elected
Document 6:
Question: According to DuBois, how were freedmen “convinced” to stop voting or taking part in political events?


  • Working contracts – work for former slave owners

  • Black codes-followed laws that restricted freedoms

  • Limited economic resources

    • Sharecropped or was a tenant farmer to make ends meet.

Document 7:


Question: What does this recollection by John McCoy suggest as a reason for the failure of efforts to guarantee freedmen full citizenship rights?
This old man remembers the years after the Civil War, describing how it was in different about Voting & equal rights.

In slavery, they had kept uneducated and dependent in freedom, unprepared for and disinterested in political involvement.


Document 8:
Question: How was it possible that Hayes “won” the election of 1876?
Deals were made to allow Hayes the presidency in return for his removing Union troops from the last 3 reconstructed states: Florida, South Carolina and Louisiana.
Question: How did this disputed election lead to end of Reconstruction? Explain.
Reconstruction ended – efforts by the Northern Republicans in Congress to protect freedmen’s and their rights were abandoned.

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