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The Civil War was not officially fought over the issue Of slavery, but one Of the most important outcomes of the war was the emancipation of all slaves in the United States. The reasons for southern states’ secession ranged from unfair duties imposed on the states to the recurring issue of slavery (Document A). This secession unofficially started the war and created great tension between the North and the South. President Lincoln main purpose of commencing war was to unite the divided nation, and with tactics such as is Emancipation Proclamation and gaining the Border States’ support he was able to achieve his goal of reunification.
Other results yielded by the war were the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution. These provisions formally ended slavery and guaranteed the black freedmen future citizenship and suffrage. The blacks argued that if they fought in the war to preserve the Union that they were entitled to voting and having the same rights as other American citizens (Document C). The Civil Rights Act of 1866 declared that every person born in the United States, without regard to race, lour, or previous conditions of slavery or involuntary service, is entitled to citizenship.This legislation was truly revolutionary as it gave citizenship to every American-born person, and would foreshadow the future suffrage to all American citizens no matter their race or ethnicity (Document F). The 15th Amendment was also quite radical as it promised future suffrage to African- Americans, something that was probably inconceivable at the beginning of the Civil War. This would eliminate literacy tests, “grandfather clauses”, and OLL taxes put in place by whites to deter blacks from voting.
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Radical Republicans scattered in Congress also pushed for the end of slavery and a harsher welcoming of the Southern states back into the Union. The new freedoms of blacks opened up many new opportunities for the African American society to pursue such as higher education and new, better career choices that they had not been able to get while they were restricted within the oppressive chains Of slavery. With these new developments painting a bright future for the blacks of the United States, many whites had begun to develop strong discontent and oppressive feelings towards the African Americans.White Southerners had lost their labor force with the abolition of slavery, so they proposed the Black Codes which would have bonded the free blacks with their old slave masters. Almost all blacks saw this as the same thing as slavery though, and strongly protested against it. Racist groups against the blacks also began to emerge across America, headed by the vicious, violent, supremacist UK Klux Klan. These groups where made up of whites strongly against the freedom of lacks, and scared the freedmen with their constant killings and beatings of African Americans (Document l).
The Jim Crow Laws were implemented in the South, which were a set of laws that “honored” the equality of whites and blacks enforced by the 14th Amendment by saying blacks were “separate but equal”. These laws prohibited free African American citizens from using the same restrooms, restaurants, schools, and other facilities as whites. The anti- black groups and laws that emerged across America contributed to the fast growing sectional, class, and political divide forming in the United States.The African Americans had been freed of the horrors of slavery, but now were faced with the cruel challenges of being accepted into society. The Civil War and Reconstruction period was home to many constitutional and social developments, and spirit of revolution was felt by all Americans. Newly freed blacks were the most beneficial group of these developments, as they were emancipated and promised suffrage and citizenship. Anti-black groups saw and sensed the African American culture becoming more prominent in society and took matters into their own hands with acts of lenience and oppression.