The documents establishing a country where all men are created equal neglect to address, or even mention by name, those people whose lives were "merely the extension of the master's will" (Huggins xiv). Indeed, this suggests that the Founding Fathers had an "out of sight, out of mind" mentality towards the issue of slavery. While Huggins understands why the Founding Fathers may have elected to ignore the issue, he hardly thinks that it was a good idea. "It encouraged the belief that American history-its institutions, its values, its people- was one thing and racial slavery and oppression were a different story" (Huggins xii). He reinforces this idea by looking at the historical perspective that was prevalent in America until only recently.
The 13th amendment was the first step taken to end slavery. The 13th amendment states, "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation." After the amendment was passed and ratified, African Americans were under the impression that they had own freedom and equality. However, they were met with hate and discrimination as they tried to work their way up the social ladder.
Declaration Ind. ), began as a document causing nothing but civil strife from the voices of ill represented minorities. Beginning with a largely unequal society and moving forward with only slight progress, the American government definitely has strong intentions. However, though these intentions may be positive, the U.S. government only ensures our “previously declared” freedoms to a certain extent. The birth of America began racially pure, later diversifying through the process of the slave trade.
“Slave” does not appear in either text. By stark contrast, the permanent Constitution of the Confederacy is rife with protection of the ownership of human beings and explicitly applies the word “slave” to them. It required its member states to mutually recognize ownership rights of slave owners and explicitly required admitted states to sanction slavery. This was a pro-slavery document. It was clearly not just about “states’ rights.” ... ... middle of paper ... ...al treatment of freed blacks (and Federalist 54).
“And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons” (Proclamation). The Emancipation Proclamation did not entirely free slaves due to its military measure. Even though its power was limited, it was still a crucial turning point in the Civil War, and of Lincoln’s views on slavery. It would later turn into an even more radical movement of the 13th
McFreely, William S. Frederick Douglass. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1991. Mercer, Trudy. Harriet Ann Jacobs Author of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. "Representative Woman: Harriet Jacobs and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl."
The biggest impact that was made off of this document was how for the first time, it placed U.S government against “peculiar institution”, which placed a barrier between the South, and the recognition by the European nations which outlawed slavery (Weider History Group, n.p). The south relied on aid from France and England. In many articles within the Confederate States’ Constitution, slavery had only been protected in the Confederacy, but in other articles of the U.S Constitution, it also stated that it protected slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation made a vivid distinction of the two (Weider History Group, n.p).
Abraham Lincoln once said, “I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me” (“Letter to Albert G. Hodges” 281 as qtd. in R.J. Norton 1). In accordance with his quote, when President Lincoln issued the unprecedented Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, Lincoln freed slaves in the Southern states, but he and his actions were being controlled by Civil War. The Civil War was fought between 1861 and 1865 between the Northern states, or the Union, and the Southern states, or the Confederacy. On September 22, 1862, in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln put forth a Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation (Tackach 45).
Catton, Bruce, The Civil War: The Epic Struggle of the Blue and the Gray. American Heritage Publishing Company, Inc., 1960. Zwick, Jim, “Mark Twain’s Reparations for Slavery.” www.boondocksnet.com, 1995.