How did the civil war effect african americans

8 August 2016

Lincoln was reluctant to issue an Emancipation Proclamation but you would have thought from what one is taught in class these days this was his primary concern. He issued the proclamation to save the Union making impossible for foreign Governments to intervene on behalf of the Confederacy. Even though the English supported (indirectly) slavery, they like other countries were officially against the practice. By his actions, Lincoln was showing the US was against slavery but not the Confederacy.

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If like the leaders of these countries at the time, you took the time to read and study the act you would see it does nothing and in fact, Lincoln thought that the Afro American was not the equal of whites and his plan was to resettle the slaves in either the Amazon or Western Texas. Most people are not aware that there was a series of action and even proclamations for instance Lincolns correspondence of October 14, 1862 to the military and civilian authorities of occupied Louisiana. “Major General Butler, Governor Shepley, & and [sic] all having military and naval authority under the United States within the S[t]ate of Louisiana.

The bearer of this, Hon. John E. Bouligny, a citizen of Louisiana, goes to the State seeking to have such of the people thereof as desire to avoid the unsatisfactory prospect before them, and to have peace again upon the old terms under the constitution of the United States, to manifest such desire by elections of members to the Congress of the United States particularly, and perhaps a legislature, State officers, and United States Senators friendly to their object. I shall be glad for you and each of you, to aid him and all others acting for this object, as much as possible.

In all available ways, give the people a chance to express their wishes at these elections. Follow forms of law as far as convenient, but at all events get the expression of the largest number of the people possible. All see how such action will connect with, and affect the proclamation of September 22nd. Of course, the men elected should be gentlemen of character willing to swear support to the Constitution, as of old, and known to be above reasonable suspicion of duplicity. (CW 5:462-3, italics added).

The italic show that Lincoln rather then issue an Emancipation Proclamation or free the slaves was still willing to allow the Southern States back into the Union. One will find this all the way up to the 1865 visit to Camp Lookout. At the same time Lincoln was issuing the Emancipation Proclamation he was petitioning his cabinet to negotiate and appropriate funds to force the Blacks else where. In 1864, Jeff Davis and other Southerner leaders would contemplate outlawing slavery and probably would have if the opportunity had arisen.

In the 1770s, the South had every reason to continue the relationship with England, one of its best customers. It was the manufacturing North that was getting the short end of that stick. Southerners joined the Revolutionary War out of patriotism, idealism, and enlightened political philosophy such as motivated Jefferson, not patriotism, philosophy and economic betterment which inspired the North. In 1860, the shoe was on the other foot. Southern agrarians were at heel to the nation’s bankers and industrialists.

That just got worse with the election of the Republican Lincoln, bringing back into power the party favoring the wealthy supply side, as it still does. Then as now central to that, party’s interest was keeping down the cost of manufacture. Today labor is the big cost, so today they move the plants offshore and leave US workers to their fate. Back before the US labor movement existed the big cost was raw materials, and the GOP was just as unprincipled toward its Southern suppliers as it is today toward labor.

Thanks to modern graveyard science and surviving records, researchers know that in 1760, 100 years before the War Between the States, Charleston, South Carolina, had the largest population of slaves and we say proudly the second largest slave population was in New York City. One of the main quarrels was about taxes paid on goods brought into this country from foreign countries. This tax was called a tariff. Southerners felt these tariffs were unfair and aimed toward them because they imported a wider variety of goods than most Northern people.

Taxes were also placed on many Southern goods that were shipped to foreign countries, an expense that was not always applied to Northern goods of equal value. An awkward economic structure allowed states and private transportation companies to do this, which also affected Southern banks that found themselves paying higher interest rates on loans made with banks in the North. As industry in the North expanded, it looked towards southern markets, rich with cash from the lucrative agricultural business, to buy the North’s manufactured goods.

The situation grew worse after several “panics”, including one in 1857 that affected more Northern banks than Southern. Southern financiers found themselves burdened with high payments just to save Northern banks that had suffered financial losses through poor investment. However, it was often cheaper for the South to purchase the goods abroad. In order to “protect” the northern industries Jackson slapped a tariff on many of the imported goods that could be manufactured in the North.

When South Carolina passed the Ordinance of Nullification in November 1832, refusing to collect the tariff and threatening to withdraw from the Union, Jackson ordered federal troops to Charleston. A secession crisis was averted when Congress revised the Tariff of Abominations in February 1833. The Panic of 1837 and the ensuing depression began to gnaw like a hungry animal on the flesh of the American system. The disparity between northern and southern economies was exacerbated. Before and after the depression the economy of the South prospered.

Southern cotton sold abroad totaled 57% of all American exports before the war. The Panic of 1857 devastated the North and left the South virtually untouched. The clash of a wealthy, agricultural South and a poorer, industrial North was intensified by abolitionists who were not above using class struggle to further their cause. In the years before the Civil War the political power in the Federal government, centered in Washington, D. C. , was changing. Northern and mid-western states were becoming more and more powerful as the populations increased.

Southern states lost political power because the population did not increase as rapidly. As one portion of the nation grew larger than another, people began to talk of the nation as sections. This was called sectionalism. Just as the original thirteen colonies fought for their independence almost 100 years earlier, the Southern states felt a growing need for freedom from the central Federal authority in Washington. Southerners believed that state laws carried more weight than Federal laws, and they should abide by the state regulations first.

This issue was called State’s Rights and became a very warm topic in congress. That should answer your question as to the Emancipation Proclamation; now the hard parts. Blacks as much of the country have been led to believe the war was over slavery and thus with “FREEDOM” they were free. Recent studies have show the manufacturing North might have led Lincoln to war to free up the slaves so they could replace a workforce that was chambering for more pay and rights.

Consider the famous story forty acres and a mule. On March 3, 1865, just weeks before the end of the Civil War and almost a year prior to the ratification of the 13th Amendment the Freedmen’s Bureau was created by Congress. Originally the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, the Freedmen’s Bureau was responsible for, among other things, “the supervision and management of all abandoned lands . . . .. the control of all subjects relating to refugees and freedmen from rebel States. “

Also according to Section 4 of the First Freedmen’s Bureau Act, this agency “shall have authority to set apart for use of loyal refugees and freedmen such tracts of land within the insurrectionary states as shall have been abandoned or to which the United States shall have acquired title by confiscation or sale, or otherwise; and to every male citizen, whether refugee or freedman, as aforesaid there shall be assigned not more than 40 acres of such land. ” Introduced into Congress by Thaddeus Stevens this portion of the Freedmen’s Bureau Act was defeated by Congress on February 5, 1866 “by a vote of 126 to 36.

Lands which had been distributed to freedmen were reclaimed and returned to the previous owners. It should be noted that there is no mention of providing the freedmen with a mule (or any other type of animal) in any portion of this legislature. So the question remains in part unanswered. What is the origin of the promised 40 acres and a mule? The second possibility for the basis of the ‘promise’ has to do with the efforts of the War Department to furnish accoutrements for the thousands of freedmen who assisted General Sherman in his triumphant march across Georgia. According to Claude F.

Oubre in his book Forty Acres and a Mule, General Tecumseh Sherman, acting under an edict from the War Department, issued Special Field Order No. 15. Promulgated on January 16, 1865, after Sherman had conferred with 20 black ministers and obtained the approval of the War Department, Special Order No. 15 provided that: “The islands of Charleston south, the abandoned rice fields along the rivers for thirty miles back from the sea, and the country bordering St. Johns River, Florida, are reserved and set apart for the settlement of [N]egroes now made free by the acts of war and the proclamation of the President of the United States.

The land was then divided into 40-acre tracts. Sherman then issued orders to General Saxton to distribute the plots and processory titles to the head of each family of the freedmen. There were no mules included in the order, so where did the “and a mule” come from? Shortly after Stanton left, Sherman’s commissary man came to him complaining that he had a large number of broken down mules for which he had no means of disposal. Sherman sent the useless animals to Saxton for distribution along with the land. “By June, 1865 approximately 40,000 freedmen had been allocated 400,000 acres of land.

However, by September, 1865 former owners of the land reserved by Sherman “demanded the same rights afforded returning rebels in other states. ” After Lincoln’s assassination, Andrew Johnson became President. One of his first acts was to rescind Special Military Order No. 15 because of the constitutional violations that it created. Former slave owners were then exempted from the initial general amnesty given to them, and instead secured special pardons from President Johnson, who broke the promise made to the freedmen when he ordered the processory titles rescinded and the land returned to the white plantation owners.

Johnson gave little or no regard to the fate of the former slaves From the viewpoint of the former slaves, who believed that they were owed this property, their eviction from land was seen as another example of ill treatment. The illegality of the promise was not their concern, but from that late war incident grew an urban legend that survives into the present day. Dismayed, like many, Saxton wrote Oliver O. Howard (Commissioner of the Freedmen’s Bureau) stating: “The lands which have been taken possession of by this bureau have been solemnly pledged to the freedmen.

The law of Congress has been published to them, and all agents of the bureau acting under your order have provided lands to these freedmen . . . . I sincerely trust that the government will never break its faith with a single one of these colonists by driving him from the home which he was provided. It is of vital importance that our promises made to freedmen should be faithfully kept . . . . The freedmen were promised the protection of the government in their possession. This order was issued under great military necessity with the approval of the War Department . . .

More than 40,000 freedmen have been provided with homes under its promises. I cannot break faith with them now by recommending the restoration of any of these lands. In my opinion this order of General Sherman is as binding as a statute. ” Saxton’s pleas were to no avail. The freedmen were ultimately summarily removed from the land. There were however, numerous individuals and organizations which believed the freedmen were entitled to land. Their conviction in this belief was not easily thwarted. Between 1865-9 countless alternatives for solving this matter were proposed and presented to Congress as well as President Johnson.

The motivations for these proposals were as varied as the propositions themselves. They ranged from a sincere belief that the freedmen were entitled to land, to fear of violence, resistance to social, economic and political equality, concern about miscegeny, attempts to purge the country of the burden of freedmen on the doles, economic gain and to eliminate any competition they might present for employment. For instance, quartermaster M. C. Megis devised a plan which would enable the freedmen to secure land in the South. Simply put he suggested that:

As a condition of receiving pardons, southerners, whose net worth exceeded $20,000 and were not recipients of an automatic pardon as a result of Johnson’s amnesty proclamation, give to each head of family of their former slaves from 5 to 10 acres of land. 2) The freedmen would receive full title to the land with the stipulation that the land could not be alienated during the life time of the grantee. ” President Johnson chose not to adopt this recommendation. However, according to Oubre, Megis’ proposal may have been the inspiration for Thaddeus Stevens’ confiscation plan (one of the many he proposed for black reparations).

Just and well thought out I feel had it been approved Stevens’ proposal may have provided a more equal distribution of wealth. The primary points of Stevens’ ‘confiscation plan’ according to Oubre are as follows: 1) The government would confiscate the property of all former slaveholders who owned more than 200 acres of land. 2) The property seized would have been allocated to the freedmen in lots of 40 acres. 3) The remaining land would be sold and the monies would be used to remunerate loyalists whose property had been seized destroyed or damaged as a result of the war.

Any remaining funds would be utilized to augment the pensions of Union soldiers and to pay the national debt. Yet another proposal suggested that the government transport the freedmen west and colonize them along the route of the Union Pacific Railroad. It was argued that to do so would prove beneficial for the railroad as well as the freedmen. The freedmen would have their land. The railroad would have both an accessible labor force and someone to protect the trains from Indian attack Additionally, adopting this particular proposal would also bode well for the government. permitting it to keep its promise to provide land for the freedmen. Simultaneously, according to Carl Schurz sand John Sprage, “this plan would serve to remove some of the “surplus” black [people] from the South. ” The American Missionary Association requested, to no avail, that President Johnson reserve the land promised to the freedmen. If that was not a suitable option they further petitioned that the freedmen be provided with transportation to homestead lands in the west and provided with rations enough to sustain them until crops could be yielded.

Concerned with the burgeoning African American population in Virginia, Orlando Brown proposed, that some 10,000 African American soldiers stationed in Texas, might be provided with a land bounty in Texas if they remained there and sent for their families. A similar proposal was made by “Sergeant S. H. Smothers, an African American soldier from Indiana serving with the 25th Army Corps in Texas. ” But President Johnson seemed to be determined to make sure that freedmen received no land. He mercilessly vetoed any proposal having to do with providing land to the freedmen that reached his desk.

Finally, Congress overrode his veto and passed a bill to extend the life of the Freedmen’s Bureau. However, it contained no provision for granting land to the freedmen, other than to provide them access to the Southern Homestead Act at the standard rates of purchase. May-be I can best sum it up by a quote from Grant: “The sole object of this was is to restore the Union. Should I be convinced it had any other object, or that the Government designs using its soldiers to execute the wishes of the abolitionists, I pledge to you my honor as a man and as a soldier I would resign my commiission and carry my sword to the other side”.

That and this statement about the Klan shows you the plight of the Afro Americans (still I guess it was better then Lincolns plan to ship them to the Amazons) There were three Klans the first fought reconstruction and yankee brutality. The Second Communist, Jews, Gays and scattered foreigners. The third well you know about them. Now the women. Women suffrage was the same for both North and South women could not vote, hold most office and many occupations were denied them. The women in the South suffered much more and it continues today.

The Bible belt was and is more traditional in it’s believe as to the role of women and men. The Southern woman is credited with keeping the war going on as long as it had and it is felt in many circles ending it. When they could no longer manage the farms, factories and the shortages and lack of food they called their men home. One big issue in many cases there were no men to come home. So in the beginning Southern women either continued normal men occupations or began them This handles the question on women. Anything else? God Bless You and Our Southern People.

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