Former slaves did many things in order to shed their slave status. This included taking on new names to denote their status, such as “Freeman” or “Freedman,” or just simply dropping their slave names. Others settled on the names of their masters or the names they had when they were separated from their family. Not only was their name important, land ownership was also very important. The former slaves needed to own land to achieve true independence because the promise of self-sufficiency, independence, and opportunity rested in ownership of land. They believed that by being self-sufficient, something that wouldn’t be possible without land, they would achieve true independence. If they weren’t self-sufficient, they would still be dependent on others.
William Tecumseh Sherman met with black community leaders to discuss the issue of confiscated Confederate land in Georgia, South Carolina, and northern Florida while Andrew Johnson returned land to the original prewar owners and expelled former slaves living on and cultivating the land.
Sharecroppers are people that own land and offered shares of the crop instead of wages in return for labor. Sharecropping prevented the freedmen from becoming independent landowners because the former slaves were unable to own land and became dependent on the white landowners for food.
The compromise that settled the disputed presidential election of 1876 was the Compromise of 1877. The election was disputed because Rutherford B. Hayes had 165 votes while Tilden had 184, with 20 votes uncounted. These 20 votes were in contention in the states of Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina. Hayes eventually won the vote after a long legal and political battle.
Authors contend that it “had been struck at African American expense” because the dispute occurred because of the votes of African Americans and the end result ended up actually taking away the voice of African Americans.
Poll taxes, literacy tests, and...
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