Reconstruction Dbq

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When the south seceded from the Union, the Confederacy was formed and the Civil War began. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1863 by Lincoln as the Civil War was coming to its third year. The proclamation states that “all persons held as slaves within any State”... “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free;” This document was revolutionary because it freed all former slaves. However, Abraham Lincoln did this only because he was convinced it was a reliable military strategy. He believed the war was being fought to preserve the Union and that was his non-negotiable. He said, “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it” (Abraham); Following the proclamation, the 13th amendment states, “Neither slavery nor …show more content…

It simply set conditions on how slavery, coupled with peonage, could remain constitutional. The question of freed blacks in the south was very much unresolved. After these acts, the period of reconstruction began. At the end of the Civil War in 1865, the south was left with 620,000 dead and a lot of destruction to repair. Now there would be questions about who would direct the process of reconstruction. Reconstruction was a period of history focused on restoring relations with the Confederate states and readmitting southern states into the Union. Before he died, Abraham Lincoln took the first steps toward reconstruction when he announced a post-war plan. This included the states having to abolish slavery and agree to comply with the constitution. White southerns …show more content…

Black southerners were no longer considered slaves, but they were not yet free. Peonage was also known as debt slavery or debt servitude. The employer, or master, would compel the worker to pay off their debt by strict labor. In countless cases, employers would say African Americans had debt just to get them to work even though they may not have had any. They were so desperate for work, they lied and found any route to get more black labourers. African Americans were once again forced to work against their will. Convict leasing was another tactic used to create the continuation of slavery. When blacks were convicted of the smallest crimes such as doing business with a white person, spitting, leaving a spouse, or being unemployed, they were jailed, which led to more forced labor. Convict Leasing was considered far worse than pre 13th amendment slavery. Conditions were extremely dangerous for working African Americans. For weeks and weeks, men might never have seen daylight. Mines were filled with standing water with which they drank from, disease spread like a wildfire, and they were exposed to violent explosions and poisonousness gasses. The men working this convict leasing would push blacks to the limits of human capacity and to the edge of death (Slavery by Another Name). Men in peonage and convict leasing found themselves in inescapable situations that they only dreamed to get out

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