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Racism After The Civil War

606 words - 2 pages


The conclusion of the Civil War in favor of the north was supposed to mean an end to slavery and equal rights for the former slaves. Although laws and amendments were passed to uphold this assumption, the United States Government fell short. The thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments were proposed and passed within five years of the Civil War’s conclusion. These amendments were to create equality throughout the United States, especially in the south where slavery had been most abundant. Making equality a realization would not be an easy task. This is because many problems were not perceived before and during the war. The reunification of the country would prove to be harder than expected, and entry into a new lifestyle would be difficult for both the freedmen and their former oppressors. The thirteenth amendment clearly prohibits slavery in the United States. All slaves were to be freed immediately when this amendment was declared ratified in December of 1865, but what were they to do? Generations of African-Americans had been enslaved in America, and those who had lived their whole lives in slavery had little knowledge of the outside world. This lack of knowledge would not be helpful in trying to find work once they were released. Plantation owners with a lack of workforce were eager to offer extremely low pay to their former slaves. In addition, the work force of the plantation would often live in the same quarters they did while enslaved. These living conditions showed little change from the living conditions African-Americans had faced while enslaved. While the former slaves lived on the ideal that they were now free, the fifteenth amendment was under heavy fire. Those who felt threatened by the massive amount of African-Americans who would now be participating in the government criticized this Amendment, which allowed all male citizens...

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