Assess Whether or Not Slavery Was Abolished During the American Civil War?

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Year 11 Modern History Historical Investigation Assessment Task

Assess whether or not slavery was abolished during the American civil war?

* Political/Social Context
Pg. 2-3
* Key Events or Development
Pg. 4
* Supporters and opponents of the person, group, issue or event (Supporters and Opponents of Abolition of Slavery and the American Civil War) Pg. 5
* Influence of this person, group, issues or event in their time (Influence of the abolition of slavery and the American Civil War)
Pg. 6
* An evaluation of the historical significance or legacy of the person, group, issue or event Pg. 7
* Bibliography
Pg. 8

Political and Social Context
Abraham Lincoln
In 1860 Abraham Lincoln won the presidential elections for the Republican Party. It was a time of crisis in America. Slavery was a big problem. The Southern states needed slaves to work on their big farms and the people in the North were against slavery. In 1861 the American Civil War started. The Southern states broke away from the North and formed their own army. It became the bloodiest war in American history. On January 1st 1863, Lincoln declared that all slaves in America were free. But nothing really changed for them. They kept on working for white landowners in the Southern states for the next decades. As the war went on, the Northerners won many battles—the most famous one was at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. On April 9th 1865 the South gave up and the war was over. Abraham Lincoln early life began with the tragedy of seeing his grandfather killed by a local Indian tribe then his father a highly regarded member of society and land owner lose everything due to a court dispute. His moral and religious upbringing opposed alcohol, dancing and slavery. The latter would influence his political view and future. Escaped slaves, ca. 1862

Source 1
Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University Mathew B. Brady

On the 18th December 1865 the 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution declared that “the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime” Slave Children circa 1870

Source 2
Courtesy of Keya Morgan, LincolnImages.com
Unknown. Some believe it was created by the photography studio of Mathew Brady

Although slavery was outlawed in 1865 (throughout the USA), in parts of the Southern states slavery $continued with slave owner knowingly breaking the law.

Jefferson Davis
Davis Jefferson led the Confederate Republic during the American Civil War. He was a man of his time driven by economics and politics. He was elected in 1861 as leader of the Confederate Republic but was not known as a great leader due to his overbearing personality; he argued with his staff, wouldn’t listen to his peers and was generally believed to be out of touch with Southern thinking.

Jefferson Davis, ca. 1860 - ca. 1865
Source 3
Matthew Brady
Brady National Photographic Art Gallery

Eventually Davis was captured in 1865, but was never tried for treason. In later years he was seen as a hero of the South not because of his belief in slavery but because of his defiance and stance on individual thinking. Davis was born into a family whose life and morals were based on their environment which was cotton plantation ownership (and ownership of slaves). It would appear that his beliefs on slavery were based on economic need due to his birth right.

Key Events and Developments
* 1861 Abraham Lincoln elected as 16th President of the United States * 1861 Jefferson Davis elected President of the Confederate States * 1861 – 1865 The American Civil war
The Civil war was essentially eleven southern states fighting for the right to retain slavery. The rest of the United States (union) were fighting to abolish slavery. The south believed that the cotton market with Europe would disappear if the labour force (slaves) was removed. In reality the market was already in...
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