Blacks had a set of ideas about freedom: it meant access to education, protection against violence, the right to work under conditions not just dictated to them . It meant the same civil rights as white people had, and it meant access to land ownership . Most of these ideas were heavily opposed by Southern whites. So how was freedom going to be instituted?
Across the South everything seemed in collapse. There was no government, no courts, no post offices, no sheriffs, no police. Guerrilla bands looted at will. Racist whites committed violence against blacks . Outside help was badly needed.
The time in the South after the Civil War, when people attempted to reorganize and remake the regionwithout slaveryis called Reconstruction. How did it go? With a whole lot of confusion. It was the most promising, despairing, noble, awful, idealistic, reactionary, hopeful, hopeless time in all of American history.