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The Memphis, Tennessee Race Riots of 1866

            "We don't want no negro thinkin' that he has the same rights as us! Slaves should always be slaves!" Shouts a Southern citizen at the Memphis Tennessee Race Riot of May 1866. Violent riots like these were not always common in Tennessee and Louisiana, but due to the Radical Republicans, the Democrats only way to cope was to rebel. Before this happened in 1865, the nation was faced with three different issues after the civil war. These were the social, political, and constitutional issues, such as, What is going happen to the newly freed slaves? How should we treat the Southerners? and Who should lead the nation? From those three questions the US began its journey to reconstruct the nation, facing all sorts of history changing conflicts. Reconstruction was a time period in America which consisted of many accomplishments, such as Amendments that gave people rights, and acts that gave education. Though, from a US History student's perspective, the resulting outcome of the Reconstruction has been labeled as a limited success, because there are still racial conflicts today.
             During the process of Reconstruction, the nation faced social issues on how to handle the now freed African Americans. One of the main issues with the African Americans were that "80 percent of freed African Americans over the age were illiterate" (388, Americans Textbook). This encouraged Congress to establish the Freedmen's Bureau in 1865 (Reconstruction Success or Failure?). The Freedmen's Bureau cared for former black slaves and poor whites in the South after the U.S. Civil War (1861-65). While "some 4 million slaves gained their freedom as a result of the Union victory in the war, which left many communities in ruins and destroyed the South's plantation-based economy" (Freedmen's Bureau). The Freedmen's Bureau provided housing, food, medical aid, established schools and offered legal assistance.

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