Before the war, Living standards for African Americans were poor. They had been promised equality when slavery was abolished, but the new segregation laws only made them second class citizens beneath the white people. White supremacy activist such as the KKK made it their main priority to make sure that African Americans knew their place, and followed the unspoken rules of society. During war times 1.2 blacks had subscribed to fight in the war. For the northern men, the military training that they had gotten in the south was their first experience of formal racial segregations.
‘Federal government was the main obstacle to the achievements of African American civil rights between 1865 and 1945.’ How far do you agree? African Americans fight to gain civil rights was a long one; politically they aimed to get the right to vote and to exercise this right. Federal government allowed anti-civil rights groups to deter African Americans from utilising their vote and in 1866 ‘black codes’ were enforced which further prohibited Africa Americans from voting. Federal government allowed states to have control over passing their own laws which states manipulated to prevent African Americans from exercising their political rights won through the fifteenth amendment in 1869. After 1869 federal government remained an obstacle throughout this time period.
The 40 acres that the newly freed African Americans were promised were to be used for farmland, and the mule were to be used for the plowing of the soil. This was awarded to the freed African Americans so that they would be able to sustain themselves after they were freed from their masters. The North did not agree with the slavery of the African American belief of the South and did not want to pursue this belief into the West. They were motivated to pass on their beliefs as they wanted the West to be more educated, industrial, urban and commercial which in end would lead to a better government. The West after the civil war were hungry for change and did not
However the positive effects of slavery ending did not come without consequences. During that time period of Reconstruction, African Americans faced many hardships in the movement towards their own cultural rebuilding. Although it was good that slavery came to an end, it was also a bittersweet time. After the Civil War southern states entered into what it now known as the Reconstruction Era, in which they worked to return the Confederacy to the Union and rebuild the southern economy. With the ending of the Civil War the Thirteenth Amendment was passed, abolishing slavery and giving African Americans a chance to also rebuild their lives now as freedmen.
Race Relations after the Civil War 3 The way white Southerners made it difficult on former slaves in the South was to create what was called “Black Codes”. These codes were laws made by southern states to try to ensure their way of life could not be infringed on in the wake of the passing of the 13th amendment which outlawed slavery. Examples of such codes varied from state to state. However, the message was clear to the former slaves that they were still unequal. Examples of these laws are as follows: 1.
They were the first ethnic groups to feel the cuts being made to save money and ensure that the whites had the best standard of living. Segregation became legal with the slogan ‘Separate but Equal’ which allowed segregation as long as both groups had access to the same facilities. The blacks fought for equality and saw the beginning of WW2 as a way of gaining the same respect and standard of living as the whites. This however, was not the case as there was segregation within soldiers and not recognition for the blacks after the war. One of the ways in which African Americans were treated as second class citizens before 1940, was in politics.
These laws denied black Americans the equal rights of white citizens which re-imposed white supremacy and meant they remained as second-class citizens. It wasn’t only the Jim Crow laws but under the Fifteenth Amendment, black people had the legal right to vote throughout America. Nonetheless, the southern states found devious ways to disenfranchise the local black population. For example, some states introduced a grandfather clause, which meant that people could only vote if their grandfathers had been able to vote. Other states introduced literacy tests as criteria for voting.
They were suffering from social inequalities. The Jim Crow laws down South that was similar to slavery setting. There were many events that led to the civil rights movement beginning in 1954 with Brown v Board of Education, defended by Thurgood Marshall, who later became a judge on the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled that separate educational facilities for blacks were unequal, but the desegregation didn't initially, completely stop in the nation because of this ruling. The Brown decision intended for black and white kids not to be forced to attend separate schools.
Another unfortunate reality of reconstruction was the system of sharecropping. “As the years went on sharecropping became more and more oppressive” (Foner, 564) The reality was that African Americans wanted land of their own, not jobs on plantations. Some of the most significant changes during the period known as Reconstruction were the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments and The Civil Rights act. “The Reconstruction amendments transformed the Constitution from a document primarily concerned with federal-state relations and the rights of property into a vehicle through which members of vulnerable minorities could stake a claim to freedom and protection absent misconduct by all levels of government.” (Foner, 576) This quote from the text is specifically referring to the 14th amendment to the constitution which “placed in the Constitution
Government’s efforts to prevent racist dissent proved futile: the government, itself, promoted segregation in public areas. Even with abolitionists’ efforts, this prejudice mindset lasted for decades to come. The first piece of evidence was the literacy tests citizens were required to take in order to vote in some southern states. During Reconstruction, all men, besides Native Americans, were granted the right to vote. Although, states determined suffrage.