Post Civil War: Reconstructive Era and African Americans Essay

Post Civil War: Reconstructive Era and African Americans Essay

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The African American during the Reconstruction Era probably felt victorious as well as discomfited. Prior to the Civil war, slaves vehemently hoped freedom would give them the right of equal status in American society, but to their surprise, their dream of an egalitarian America was impeded after the assassination of President Lincoln. Their lives became drastically different and difficult in an era that was increasingly contumacious to their well wishes. The end of the Civil War brought social, moral, economic and political changes within the historical context of Florida’s history. History books have, in general, portrayed Florida as the most progressive southern state in American history, especially when considering Florida’s legislation toward former slaves. But it is not so cut and dry. After close research, it is irrevocably obvious that textbooks understate the roles African Americans played. Thought, whether this is true or not is up for debate.
It is undeniable that since Florida was colonized, it was an asylum of freedom and liberation for the black man. Slaves would run from their plantations across Florida’s border. Many integrated into the indigenous Native tribes that called the territory their home. After Florida parted with Spain for America after the Seminole Wars of the 19th century, slaves could no longer seek safety with the Natives. Nonetheless, since this ideological paradigm, Florida has been seen as a comparatively progressive state throughout history even during Antebellum America. After the Civil War, however, this could not be further from the truth. During the Reconstruction Era, America, and Florida with it, went through changes that were tough for African Americans; changes in education, federal as ...

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...relieving problems within the ex-slave community. Promising education, economic relief, and other civic benefits which included transporting ex-slaves to and from work, and negotiating contracts with plantation owners on the former slaves behalf. The African Americans took up education as if it were their god-given duty. According to Joe M. Richardson, by November of 1866 as many as 5,226 former slaves in 35 day schools, 30 night schools, and over 60 Sunday schools learned under the Freedmen’s Bureau’s jurisdiction. It is interesting to find that their were more Sunday schools than others. This can tell us multiple things, one of which is that Sunday may have been the only day available for many ex-slaves to attend class due to plantation farming. Second, it tells us that religious institutions were important not only for practical purposes, but also for education.

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