Freedom After The Civil War Essay

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How southern whites and freed people (black former slaves) define and contest different understandings of black freedom in the years immediately following the Civil War?
Before the civil war, there were a number of grievances that had prompted the victims to take to the streets and wage a serious war that led to liberation. This war was facilitated by the fact that, the former slaves felt that the law was discriminative. They felt that it was inhuman for them to be enslaved yet they also had the intellectual ability to work in the farms, and lead comfortable lives. However, after the war, they develop different meanings of what freedom meant. This paper explores some of these views.
Whereas some freed people viewed it as total freedom from slavery, other people viewed it as an opportunity to enjoy rights and privileges that were initially not granted to
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To them, freedom meant that the former slaves could enjoy some rights that include right to own property, to marry or to make contracts. It is because of this that many southern governments enacted legislation that reestablished antebellum power relationships. These laws denied the freed people fundamental rights. For instance, the vagrant law required all freedmen to carry papers proving they had means of employment. If they had no proof, they could be arrested, fined, or even re-enslaved and leased out to their former master. The law also required the freed people to pay taxes according to the constitutional provision. Furthermore, freedom, according to the southern governments prohibited the freed people from assembling together either in the day or nighttime. Moreover, all white persons so assembling with freedmen, free Negroes, or mulattoes, or usually associating with freedmen, free Negroes, or mulattoes on terms of equality, or living in adultery or fornication with a freedwoman, free Negro, or mulatto were to be deemed
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