In the North, African Americans were free but in the South, the slaves were a big percentage of the population. Despite the south having a population of 9 million total, 4 million consisted of just slaves (Civil War Facts, pg 2). Even though the war was being fought for slavery, President Lincoln didn’t allow African Americans to fight. Two years in the war Lincoln changed his mind about black soldiers. One example of black soldiers is the 54th Massachusetts.
At the end of the Civil War between the North and South arose the Reconstruction era. This was a time period of the late 1800s where the united states, specifically the North started to attempt the rebuilding of the South. Abolitionists were eager to see the end of slavery and Lincoln attempted to end slavery. President Lincoln attempted to put in place the Emancipation Proclamation which stated all slaves in confederate states would be free. This was to weaken the southern states; except, the confederate states did not obey.
For a while the South had enacted black codes which replaced the slave codes. The black codes restricted the freedom of African Americans, but eventually the federal government ruled black codes unconstitutional. However, once the former Union had moved out of the South and Reconstruction was done, the former confederacy had gone back to having its own governments and leaders. This led to all the former social changes being destroyed because now the former Union wasn’t using the military to protect the rights of freedmen. This led to a new era called the Jim Crow era which started in 1877 and lasted until the 1960s when the Civil Rights movement had taken
Racism’s Impact on Reconstruction While the issue of slavery evidently contributed to the divide that resulted in the American Civil War, it is debated whether prevailing ideals of racism caused the failure of the era following the war known as Reconstruction. With the abolishment of slavery, many of the southern states had to reassemble the social, economic, and political systems instilled in their societies. The Reconstruction Era was originally led by a radical republican government that pushed to raise taxes, establish coalition governments, and deprive former confederates of superiority they might have once held. However, during this time common views were obtained that the South could recover independently and that African Americans
The American Civil War that was started due to the controversy over slavery in 1861, was won by The Union supported by President Lincoln against the Confederate states. President Lincoln’s original goal during the civil war was to reunify the nation as quickly as possible and help both sides come to an understanding. After the Civil War ended in 1865, the newly formed United States’ reconstruction era began. The Reconstruction era was put into effect by the Congress in 1866 and lasted until 1877. The Union’s victory in the Civil War had given African Americans a new sense of hope, devastated the southern economy, and eased the history of disunity in American political life.
With the passage of a harsher fugitive slave law as a part of the Compromise of 1850, the abolitionist movement became even more fervent in its efforts to halt slavery as abolitionists assisted runaways, abused slave catchers, and outright did not follow the federal law, even in the face of federal marshalls. As a result of this outright defiance of federal law, southerners’ connotations of the abolitionist movement being associated with the entire northern population were further solidified. In conjunction with the lack of enforcement of the fugitive slave law, southerners increasingly viewed the violent confrontations in Kansas as an outright effort to uproot slavery and its expansion. In an act of defiance against Stephen Douglas’s popular sovereignty established in the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, abolitionists flooded into Kansas and Nebraska in an effort to incorporate both states as free states and directly halt the expansion of slavery into the territories. Violence and bloodshed broke out as pseudo-militia groups attacked one another in a low scale civil war.
After the Union won the Civil War, slaves were given freedom, but African Americans were not completely free. President Andrew Johnson had very lenient policies for Reconstruction after the Civil War, which allowed southerners from the Confederate states to enact restrictive laws against blacks. These laws were called “Black Codes”, and were primarily designed to restrict African Americans’ labor and activity even though slavery had already been abolished. The Black Codes took away rights from African Americans that were guaranteed to them by the Fourteenth Amendment. For example, some states had laws that required African Americans to sign labor contracts each year and if they refused, they could be arrested, fined, or forced to work without pay.
They used slaves for plantation and labor work, however as Abraham Lincoln disagreed with the expansion of slavery – this impacted on the economy greatly as majority of the society did not agree with his decision. This initiated the civil war, as Southerners and the seven states that seceded from the union did not agree to this, as they would lose more money and their
This brought in era called the “Radical Reconstruction” also called the African American “Golden Age”. This started by Republicans officially won the Congress in 1866 elections. This allowed for Radical Republicans Thaddeus Stevens and Charles Summer were ones that the lead the charge. This movement caused the Radicals and Moderates were able to pass the First Reconstruction Act of 1867 it annulled all of 10 confederate states from the Union except the state of Tennessee and Congress had approve not the president. There were new conditions for readmission which required them to grant African-American men right the vote and ratify 14th Amendment in order to reenter them Union.
The term Reconstruction is used because this was the period in time when the federal government was trying to get restore the seceded states to the Union. The Reconstruction Era was made of unique political conflict and of in-depth changes in the American government. At the national level, new laws and constitutional amendments permanently altered the federal system and the definition of citizenship. Reconstruction Era for African Americans resulted in a lack of sustenance and medical care which in effect caused a high death rate for African Americans, especially for the children. The parts of cities that African Americans where in or an entire cities would be run down and in ruins.