African Americans were no better off in late nineteenth-century

“Reconstruction was a complete bust,” declared an enraged and overworked historian. “African Americans were no better off in late nineteenth-century America than they had been as slaves before the Civil War, and white southerners simply ignored federal laws and retained full control of the region.” Analyze this claim by examining the effects of Emancipation and Reconstruction on former African American slaves and the South as a whole from 1860-1877. Were any southern residents better off in 1877 than in 1860?

Guidelines for Essay-writing The essay should be at least 4 paragraphs long. Spelling, grammar, sentence structure, organization, creativity, and the essay’s overall persuasiveness are all important. I recommend outlining answers to each question ahead of time.

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make a clear argument, or thesis statement, in the first paragraph that will serve as the central point of your entire essay. What is a thesis? A thesis is an interpretive statement, not merely a factual one. It offers an explanation for why events occurred, not merely a description of what happened. Consider the difference between the following two statements.

(a) “Comanches raided for horses and cattle on the Texas frontier.” (an indisputable fact)

(b) “Although Comanches had a variety of motives for raiding for horses and cattle on the Texas frontier, their principal purpose was to exchange them for other trade goods.” (an interpretation that requires evidence to support it)

2. Back up your thesis with persuasive evidence from the textbook, the primary sources, and your class notes. Remember, the point is not to spew forth a list of every fact that you remember about a given topic, but to clearly state your thesis and support it with historical evidence.

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