The focus of this investigation will be “ How the Civil War impacted the lives of the Slaves?” This question is showing how meaningful was the Civil War and did it impact the lives of the slaves ( African-Americans) the way we all think it did. This will also evaluate did the Civil War really hold a meaning of changing slaves ( African-American) lives. In order to evaluate both sides of this question, I have two main sources to evaluate.
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“Life after slavery for African-Americans” and “What happened after slavery ended by David Kenneth” This source is for the educational purpose, would really be significant in explaining the impact of African American lives after slavery was ended with the Civil War. It talks about the Thirteenth Amendment which abolished slavery.
It explains in good details about the Reconstruction period and how long it took and how maybe that reconstruction was still going after the Reconstruction period ended. How education was really a strong fundamental for many African Americans and black churches. Also how many African Americans still stayed in the south in rural poor areas for decades after the Civil War ended. The purpose of the source was to educate people and give them a better understanding of the topic. This source is the main limitations is its content. Although it holds very good content it is for educational use for everyone to understand so it does not go into as much detail as you would like it to about life after slavery.
When talking about education which was something that slaves wanted the most ( besides freedom) this source briefly talked about freedom Bureau from 1865 to 1870. this only gives me an idea of what acts they had in order after the Civil War but it doesn’t really explain what the freedom Bureau is. This other source which is an article that was made by a professor in African American history really helps answer the question based off of the content. It goes in depth with black codes, how previous slave owners were to finesse the system even after slavery was banned. The limitations of the source are pretty impeccable it gives you all the details that you need and more. This source value is useful and many different ways because it talks about topics that we normally don’t talk about and gives you a better perspective of how it really was. It also helps because in the article it lists all the sources of where the author of the article got their sources too. This secondary source Main limitations would be its purpose.
From what I understand the author would only write this for an educational purpose. Based off of the author’s background of being a history professor and what the author does. A war had broken out when the Confederates bombarded Union soldiers at Fort Sumter, South Carolina on April 12, 1861. A war that had lasted until 1865. This war was fought between state rights, north versus the south, whether the institution of slavery should be allowed. One side is the south believed that it should have the right to keep slavery while the north thought otherwise. These states fought a long four-year war that left an impact on everybody but to be more specific, the impact that it left on the slaves. Although slavery was over there was still rules they had to follow, they still weren’t human in the eyes of many whites. Even though the Thirteenth Amendment (1865), ended slavery and gave them hope for a normal life. They had things like Black codes, Jim Crow laws, and the KKK; they also had some good things like the fourteenth and fifteenth amendment and the freedom bureau. These are the main reason how the civil war impacted slaves, some for the better and some of their lives stayed the same.
Slavery had big economical advantages before the war and black codes had made sure it stayed like that. Black codes were created in 1865 to keep the whites in power in the southern states and to keep the African- American as slaves. These codes were designed to maintain the social and economic structure of racial slavery in the absence of the “peculiar institution.” Even though blacks were free they weren’t allowed to vote, denied the right to serve on juries, and denied the right to carry weapons and or to own or rent land. In this fact, many southern legislators were trying to reinvent the enslavement of blacks. These black codes were put into place to keep slavery. Many of the white owners would “hire“ African- Americans and give them little or no money and still treat them the same.. Many freeman African-Americans were forced to sign a contract to work for the white man, which some still received the same treatment or very low wages. If these contracts were broken many were beaten, fined or was arrested.
Although slavery had been outlawed by the Thirteenth Amendment, it effectively continued in many southern states. The northern states eventually stepped in around 1866 when the reconstruction had shifted to the radical wing to the Republican party in Congress. Once Black Codes were gone many people were furious about this, the same year 1866 when the black codes were outlawed the Klu Klux Klan was created. The Ku Klux Klan was a white supremacist terrorist group that emerged during Reconstruction. It took egregious, violent steps to undermine the Republican party, hoping to maintain black economic instability and ensure white racial and economic superiority in the antebellum South. The Klan was known for its very violent acts trying to keep its white supremacy. They were dressed mostly in disguise of a long white, flowing robe and hood, capped by horns. The Klan primarily performed heinous crimes against African Americans, especially those running for office in the South. In addition, many white
Republicans and sympathizers were also targets of Klan violence. It is estimated that the KKK performed over 3500 racially-motivated lynchings in the South between 1865 and 1900. The Klan went after everybody who wasn’t in agreement with them, Democrats were relying on the klan to secure elections. They would threaten or kill republicans candidates and if the Democrats didn’t get the desired results, the Klan would often time would do literacy test and or conduct voter fraud on a black voter. The Klan disassembled African American and Republican community-organizing initiatives by terrorizing black churches, as well as many schools established by the Freedmen’s Bureau. The klan maintains control for a very long time due to its violent acts and everyone feared them. Congress eventually made the force acts of 1870 making southern states Guarantee equal protection due to the 14th Amendment and one year after 1871 made the Klu Klux Klan act to forbid there violate acts and for their undesirable hate crimes on abasias race. But around the 1920s the Klan had reemerged with the navisit movement, and another uprising in 1950’s following the brown v.s. Board of education. The KKK had four million members nationwide dedicated to intimidating, torturing, and killing African Americans and allied activists. The KKK still exists today. This Klan made it very hard for African- American to be free or anyone who associated with blacks.
Freedmen’s Bureau was established in March of 1865 to help freed people achieve economic stability and secure political freedoms. Many wanted to improve them their condition by seeking what was denied to them land, financial security, education, and the ability to participate in the political process. The Bureau also took up the fight for African American education, establishing scores of public schools were freed people and poor whites could receive both elementary and higher education. By 1870, it is estimated that over 3,500 educational institutions were created for freed persons. But also many things did go wrong, Land reform and the establishment of a minimum wage were significant failures of the Freedmen’s Bureau. African Americans believed that freedom was manifested in land ownership and, therefore, expected the federal government to supply them with plots of land. But President Andrew Johnson did not believe that freedmen were entitled to the land. Instead, Johnson decided to return all acquired land to white, ex-confederate soldiers through presidential pardons and his Amnesty Proclamation. The fourteenth and fiftfifteenth which was passed on 1865 and the other 1870 made based of the anger that the Republican Congress had on the black codes. They felt as if it was another form of slavery, therefore they passed the then this two amendments.
The Fourteenth Amendment, ratified on July 9, 1868, granted African Americans citizenship in both the nation and their respective states. Now citizens, African American males received the right to vote through the Fifteenth Amendment, ratified on February 3, 1870. These amendments were the last of the Reconstruction, which helped establish many rights for blacks. Overall this affected African-Americans in many different ways. It didn’t give them all the rights that they originally thought they had. Like when the black codes were made to keep the white people in power even after the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments were passed to stop things like this from happening. It took away many of their powers and that they had was still treated as slaves many not getting any better conditions.Or even when hate groups were made to keep them from getting anything, for example, the Klu Klux Klan. How they destroyed many things that were blacked own like churches and stores or would even hang you if they were to see you all alone.But they had many good things in stored like Freedmen’s Bureau which help the established goal for them as a whole ( African- American).
Like getting schools for education and working on some of their rights like voting. Based on the completion of this investigation on African- American lives after the civil war and how it affected them I know have an insight into how historians do many of there methods. Like using my primary source which was a document, for example, the thirteenth amendment which helped change slaves ( African-American) lives forever. This showed me how useful these documents and articles are very important to writing paper and presentations to a historian. But not only that I also had a Secondary source which was a book named the “Encyclopedia of black studies” which gave me a lot of insourcing that had a lot of new information of the what happened during this time period. It had a lot of information packed into this one book which was very useful and gave a different perspective. Some limitations I had was knowing whether or not it was a historical moment. Some moments within the time period of 1865- 1900 when slavery was a heavy issue sometimes it was difficult to determine whether this was a historical topic to talk about.
Like when I talked about the freedom bureau it was hard to determine was this a historical event or just something I could put in my paper as an example. Also to describe the events in a non biased way was very difficult, but one thing that helped solve this issue was that I had to remember that I had to write it like a Historian. But also to only right the facts about the events form the resources that I had. I had to remember to play the role of a historian to tell a story that is based on evidence and the events that happened in the past and to get many different perspectives over it. To make sure that it was easy enough for people to understand the concept of the topic and that it was also interesting to many people.
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