AP World History
01 January 2001
Civil Rights and Slavery: African Americans After the Civil War
“This is a white man’s country; let white men rule!”(Bolden 19), declared our fourteenth President, Andrew Johnson, after the Civil War. Slavery had existed legally, as a form of brutal labor on America's land since 1619, when slaves were first brought to the colony of Jamestown (“Slavery in America”). During the process of research, one may find that the controversies about slavery in the United States led to one of the most cataclysmic battles ever in American History, the American Civil War. The most important, intentional reason for this gruesome war was to end slavery by granting slaves freedom, to become equal American citizens; however, most believe that the Civil War did the opposite of achieving this objective, and did not truly provide freedom and equal citizenship for slaves until many years later, as exhibited by the consistent racist policies in American society (Kelly). The issue of slavery many years ago still impacts citizens, as racism still exists in America today.
Many feel that President Abraham Lincoln ended racism, but this is not entirely true. After Lincoln freed the slaves in the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, including the ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865 that abolished slavery, making it illegal in America, many Americans were enraged with these actions and distrusted change (Miller). Since America had become an independent nation, we had slavery on our soil, therefore causing it to be a commonly known aspect of American society. As one Southerner said, “The Emancipation, as well as the 13th Amendment, brought freedom... but a world without slavery is a world turned upside down” (Ferrell 66-67). Although our government made it seem as if it supported a nation without cruel slavery, it did not genuinely care for African Americans. These prejudicial...