Civil War Dbq Analysis

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Union victory in the Civil War had brought about the abolishment of slavery and the emancipation of four million blacks. These former slaves were largely unskilled, illiterate, and without property or money. Various welfare agencies, such as the Freedmen’s Bureau, were formed to help former slaves adapt to life outside of slavery and to divide up confiscated Confederate land amongst former slaves. This was crucial because in the South, landownership was the key to freedom, and this land was promised to the former slaves by the Union Army. President Andrew Johnson, a pro-white politician from Tennessee, ordered all land to be returned to its former owners, stripping the former slaves from their bid to fiscal independence. He was also an vehement …show more content…

Newly emancipated blacks found themselves right back to where they started, forced to work long hours on land that was not their own. In an attempt to restore the pre-emancipation system of race relations, the many Southern states passed the Black Codes. These legal codes stripped blacks of their newly gained rights forcing them to sign labor contracts in order to guarantee a stable labor supply. Thus, many African Americans were forced to become sharecroppers, “binding [themselves] to the orders” of their former masters (Document 2). They were allowed to use land and “manage said crops for said year” in exchange for giving a percent of the crop to the owner of the land (Document 2). Despite the bloody battles that had occurred, Southerns continued to exploit blacks, constraining them to their former roles with little opportunity to save money to purchase …show more content…

These individuals sought to punish the South for their insolence, and tried to prevent the former ruling class from returning to power. They passed the Military Reconstruction Bill of 1867, splitting the former Confederate states into five military districts, and outlined how the new government would be designed (Document 7). Under the careful eye of federal reinforcements, blacks men receive the right to vote and hold political offices, positions formally belonging to Southern Democrats. (To the disappointment of many women suffrage groups, women were still excluded from the political world. This would be remedied in 1920, following the ratification of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote.) In response, the outraged Southerns formed the Ku Klux clan, a secret organization used to terrorize local Republican leaders and blacks through beatings, lynching, and massacres (Document 5). The defenseless blacks turned to the federal government for protection, leading to the passage of the Enforcement Act of 1870, empowering the President to enforce the first sections of the 15th Amendment (Document 4). In addition to the rise of black leaders, many “carpetbaggers” from the North were pushed into political offices through support from black voters. The Southern Democrats condemned these Northerns, calling them “manipulat[ors] of the colored vote”, and fought against the “carpetbaggers”

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