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The Marrow of Tradition

            Following the vicious and bloody battles of the Civil War, the South entered a period of uncertainty and chaos. No longer possessing the strength to continue with the practices of physical slavery, slave owners as well as the government were left scrambling. Unable to suppress a group they once had so much control over, the slave owners began to resent their slaves" freedom.
             With this resentment rapidly growing, we begin to see an emergence of the white supremacist movement that devoured the post-reconstruction South. The formation of the Freedman's Bureau, which established protective settlements and privileges for former slaves, further aggravating white resentment. Fearing a complete loss of power over the ex-slaves, the Southern states began to issue regulations that they felt would re-establish their control over the newly freed slave communities. And shortly after the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, which expanded the grounds of the Emancipation Proclamation to include the abolishment of slavery in the United States, the Southern states began their silent revolt, with two significant barriers eminently before them.
             The passage of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments proved to be two significant barriers to the white supremacist movement. The Fourteenth Amendment prohibited the states from limiting citizens" privileges and immunities or depriving citizens of due process or equal protection under the law. The Fifteenth Amendment prohibited states from denying the right to vote on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude. Therefore, this left the states little room to push the freed slaves back into submission. Yet these barriers were seemingly lifted with the passage of the Amnesty Act in 1872; which pardoned most of the remaining Confederates, and removed the previous barriers to a degree that allowed the states to regain their political strength.

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