After the emancipation of slaves, many things changed throughout the south. The slaves had the title of freed people, but these freed people didn't have the same rights and privileges as their white counterparts. Even though the freed slaves were suppose to be able to live an equal life with the whites, the whites still found ways to keep the African-Americans from being equal with them on all levels. The whites imposed all kinds of hidden rules towards the blacks and the consequence of breaking those laws was death. The whites did not want the ex slaves to be equal and even after the white men's mistress failed at assuming the jobs of their ex slaves, the slave masters still didn't give blacks credit for being able to do the work that they did.
African Americans have a history of struggles because of racism and prejudices. Ever since the end of the Civil War, they struggled to benefit from their full rights that the Constitution promised. The fourteenth Amendment, which defined national citizenship, was passed in 1866. Even though African Americans were promised citizenship, they were still treated as if they were unequal. The South had an extremely difficult time accepting African Americans as equals, and did anything they could to prevent the desegregation of all races.
Tracing all the way back to 1865, African Americans have struggled trying to establish equal rights and having the same privileges as white men. Several years went by before African Americans decided to take action and take a stand for their people. It wasn't until 1954 when the Civil Rights Movement took place and African Americans made an effort to move towards equality for all people, and to get rid of racism. The process was long, and required persistence and dedication, but the blacks were determined to achieve racial equality. The events that took place during the Civil Rights Movement were unjust and left a large impact on the African Americans.
Many attempts of reconstruction were done and the energy to give African-Americans freedom was being pushed away by the south. Since the republican governments collapsed in the south the democratic white ruling was in power once again. Racial equality wasn’t able to be accepted by the masses and the southerners were finding every way they could to find a loophole to go against racial equality. After trying to reconstruct the south and the results and reactions being so poor the north lost interest in assisting. The Ku Klux Klan also contributed to the North’s lost interest.
Living in the South Growing up in the south during the civil right movement between the late fifties and early sixties as an African American was tough. As a black person you went through a lot of racial profiling, discrimination and of course racism throughout the south just because they wanted a change and was tired of being miss treated by the whites. Superiority meant a lot to the whites so; they were not going to allow the blacks to take over in any kind of way. So, blacks and people known as the minorities took their chances to try to make a change because their rights were not be protected as in the first Amendment said it would. Many people were threatened, beaten and harassed by a group known as Ku Klux Klan trying to fight for what was right like voting privilege.
Nevertheless, many eligible black citizens were prevented from voting; especially in the Southern states of America. Long-standing Southern congressmen exploited their authority to halt legislation that would help blacks. The power of the state governments allowed the continuation of white supremacy and discrimination; the state governments controlled education, transportation and law enforcement. As a result, enfranchisement did not bring greater equality to the black community in America. However, external events such as the two World Wars and the Great Depression encouraged greater equality between blacks and whites.
The Reconstruction-era was crucial to the development of freedmen and of the social structure in the south; however the Republicans were not successful in all aspects. There were various factors that impeded the success of guaranteed rights to freedmen and to a functional social structure that people in the south would comply with. There were amendments, black codes, reconstruction acts, racial organizations, and many more difficulties that denied freedmen their rights and a working social structure for the southerners. After the Civil War was over and the Reconstruction-era began, changes were made such as the 13th amendment in 1865, which forbid slavery in the United States. Even though slavery was now prohibited, freed blacks were now left alone to struggle finding simple things like a roof to live in and a job to work for.
However, the Civil War then changed the lifestyle of many southerners in a negative way. After the Civil War, slavery was abolished and any man owning a slave was required to let them free and view them as an equal. This was a difficult thing to do and eventually led to a downfall and destroyed economy in the southern United States. Abolishing slavery hurt the country economically and socially at the time and slavery was socially acceptable. For example, abolishing slavery in the United States was unfair towards the South.
This left many free slaves stuck in the southern states. “Republican politicians who defended emancipation did so with racist arguments. Far from encouraging southern blacks to move north, they claimed, the ending of slavery would lead to a mass migration of northern blacks to the south”. This highlights the continuing issues of racism and discrimination not just in the south but in the north as well. These are some key issues that started at America 's birth as a country, and grew into a bloody conflict, and continued throughout the reconstruction period.
Due to this worry of losing their “way of life” due to Lincoln’s victory in the election, the South decided to secede from the Union, which eventually lead to the Civil War. There was a complex set of factors that led up to the Civil War, the abolitionist movement was one of these, but was definitely not of most importance. Slavery was the main focus of this war, but the center was not the freedom of slavery. Many Americans had little interest in slavery, but cared about their way of life.