American History Essays

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1) How did freed slaves respond to Reconstruction? How did freedom affect the economic, social, and political life of former slaves? In what ways was their freedom still incomplete? With the abolition of slavery came different reactions.  The Blacks who were freed were undoubtedly, grateful and extremely happy.  With their freedom they began to search for other ways to feel more like a free person; for example they found their own names that were different from the ones given to them by their masters.  The Southerners reacted with the Black Codes, a set of laws designed to keep the freed slaves from rising in higher in states than they already were.  The northern whites reacted with pleasure, since they won the war and freed the slaves.  However, they at first did not give the freedmen the right to vote.             Slaves reacted in different ways when they were given their freedom.  Some of the slaves who still felt that they should be loyal to their masters resisted the Union Armies who came to free them.  Other slaves reacted violently, joining the Union troops who plundered the possessions of their masters.  Slaves reacted with suspicion and uncertainty when first told that they were free, however, when they realized it was true, the majority celebrated.  Many freed slaves acquired new names to replace those given to them by their masters; they required whites to address them with “Mr.” and “Mrs.” Altogether, the freed slaves reacted with the desire to feel free.  They searched for their loved ones who were taken from them and legalized their marriages.  Freed blacks went searching for better opportunities.  They formed their own churches, which became the center of the black community.  These churches led to the creation of aid societies, designed to protect the freedom of the blacks.  The freedmen also became educated, with the help of whit societies and the Freedmen’ Bureau.              When the slaves of the southerners were emancipated, the white...
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