The Historical History from 1865 to Present
HIS204 American History Since 1865
Instructor Leslie Ruff
January 4, 2011
African Americans had to endure so much just to survive, slavery, discrimination, violence, owning no property, not having equal rights, not even considered a citizen of the United States. Even with Emancipation of Proclamation, the Black Code they were not respected as truly being free. African Americans were lynched burned out of their homes, and displaced from their families. The authors of Nation of Nations: A Narrative History of the American Republic takes us through the history of Reconstruction Era and how it affected African Americans. Life for African Americans was supposed to be better with President Lincoln’s Proclamation of Emancipation. President Abraham Lincoln felt that Reconstruction after the war was his responsibility so he tried to make amends. When in December 1863 he introduced a program Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction (James W. Davidson, Brain DeLay, Christine L. Heyrrman, Mark H. Lytle, & Michael B. Stoff 2008). President Abraham used the 13th Amendment to help abolish slavery. The Emancipation of Proclamation was introduced to abolish slavery. Initially inclined against any frontal assault on slavery, unsure what role emancipated African Americans would play in society. President Abraham Lincoln came to hold core faith in slavery’s demise and, in steps large and small, helped guide the country to that historical goal (Philip Dray 2010). President Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, suggested that he would assign the superior status to whites, and supported African Americans colonization because he doubted the ability of free African American people to live successfully among whites (Horace Huntley). The 14th Amendment was supposed to allow African American the equal rights like everyone else born in the United States. African Americans had their freedom, and the right to vote, but the new government did not allow African Americans any political rights or provisions for black education (James Davidson et al 2008 p. 474). Life for African Americans was still a struggle even though they were considered free. The era of Reconstruction and the new Freedmen (created in March 1865) was supposed to give stability and give African Americans a better life. Some states did pass a series of laws that only applied to African Americans called the Black Codes which granted African Americans some rights but not many. When the Black Codes came in effect these laws were unfair they granted them the right to marry legally which was illegal during slavery and to own property, but African Americans could not serve on juries, buy or rent farm land, sue, and if they were arrested they could be hire out to landowners (Davidson. et al. p. 474). One social issue African Americans faced economic dependence, discrimination, knowing that being free and, becoming citizens was a long way off. Thanks to President Andrew Johnson he vetoed Civil Rights bills designed to overturn the most severe provision of the Black Codes. In the House of Representatives United States on April 9, 1866, in pursuance of the Constitution, to consider the bill entitles, “An act to protect all persons in the United States, with his objections, and sent by the Senate to the House of Representatives, with the message of the President returning the bill: Resolved, that the bill do pass, two-thirds of the House of Representatives agreeing to pass the Same. With this law African Americans became citizens of the United States, granted them rights to own property, make contracts, and have access to courts as parties and witnesses privileges they did not have in the past (Davidson, et al. p.475). The 14th Amendment defined American citizens as being born in the United States so now African Americans were...