Emancipation Proclamation/The Thirteenth Amendment
The Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 issued by President Lincoln was set up to free blacks from slavery. Soon after Congress enacted and the states ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery throughout the nation (Library of Congress). After the Civil War, I feel the biggest problem in the South was labor. To the new African American's freedom meant freedom from white control, autonomy as individuals and as a community. For the most part black people wanted to work for themselves and not for their former masters. But, most black chose to leave the South altogether.
On March 4, 1865, the U.S. government created a temporary federal agency - the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands- to assist 4 million freed slaves in making the transition from slavery to freedom. The agency distributed trainloads of food and clothing provided by the federal government to freed slaves and Southern white refugees (Freedmen's Bureau). The Freedmen's bureau helped to establish a system of wage labor. An advantage of this system was that it gave blacks the power to break contracts and move if they wanted to. The Bureau built hosp...
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...oned in this paper this new life was unfortunately not a life of equality but it was a change from being a slave. This of course was the most important success of the Reconstruction. This unfortunately was overlooked and southern whites began for example using segregation, lynching, and codes in place of the former slave days to keep blacks "under control".
Hine, Darlene C., Hine, William C., Harrold, Stanley: The African-American Odyssey Volume Two: Since 1865. Second Edition. Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. 2003.
Mississipi Black Code
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.: http://www.loc.gov
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