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And although there was some industrialization, the region remained committed to an agricultural economy and used sharecropping as a legal means to ensure that blacks would still work the land that whites still owned.
Clearly, there were some lasting, positive changes.
The nation was restored and slavery was abolished forever. Yet, in spite of these achievements and some early social advances, Southern whites managed to regain control of society and politics, and black Americans would not regain the support of the federal government until the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Between 18, Republicans in the federal government worked to reconstruct the politics, society and economy of the South.
Despite constituting a majority of the population in some states, most blacks still lacked the resources, education, social standing and experience needed to defend their rights against white supremacists. Just like a lot of political actions today, it really depends on how you look at it.
The Redeemers had unchecked control over the politics, society and economy of the South. Some may say it was successful, while others may say it was just a waste of time and money.
There were tremendous advances at every level, including the Reconstruction Amendments and other federal legislation.
As states were readmitted to the Union, new governments worked to improve services for all of their citizens, and private individuals contributed to the economic and educational development of the South.
In fact, the Civil War went a step further in terms of public thought.
American historian Shelby Foote noted, 'Before the war it was said 'the United States are.' Grammatically, it was spoken that way and thought of as a collection of independent states.
But many whites resisted the changes and the new governments.
The Ku Klux Klan fought to maintain white supremacy. And legislation was undone by Redeemer governments with the support of the Supreme Court.