AP U.S. History
25 January 2012
After the 13th Amendment was passed, African American slaves were freed from their lifetime involuntary servitude, and life for them seemed to be on the way to happiness (Document A). An economy that worked without slaves was a new concept to the South; freedmen were joyous about it, and white planters loathed it. The United States underwent a sort of revolution in its economy and its social hierarchy (Document D). After the Civil War ended, numerous changes had to be made to the South including rebuilding the infrastructure, maintaining hostility towards blacks, punishing or relieving Confederate leader, and determining the rights of newly freed slaves. Many of the South’s political, social, and economic difficulties link with the issues of freed slaves. Of the political difficulties, voting became a new right to Black men. Black males felt a surge of pride, and Grant’s election in 1868 was due to the increased amounts of black voters. Union Leagues originally run by the Republican Party helped to gain a political voice for new freedmen. Many white southerners did not want Blacks to participate in politics, so black suffrage was brought up in court cases like United States vs. Cruikshank and States vs. Reese. After these cases, the 15th Amendment was rendered almost void because they allowed states to prohibit the voting of blacks based on requirements other than race. Congress also had to pass law to protect the newly gained rights of freedmen like the KKK Act to stop acts of cruelty towards blacks ( Document E). The Freedman’s Bureau and Field Order 15 were also created to help blacks gain land and other necessities in order to live on their own. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 became a major issue when President vetoed it even though it would grant citizenship to all people born in the United States. After he veto, Congress passed the 14th Amendment to ensure that African Americans would gain the rights...
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