African Americans from 1865

Topics: African American, American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln Pages: 7 (2309 words) Published: February 12, 2013
African Americans from 1865
Sandelle Studway
Joseph Scahill

African Americans from 1865
African Americans have fought a great battle to become a part of society in America. Since being taken from African as slaves in the 1600’s there has been a continuous battle for equality since. Since the end of slavery Black Americans have had many accomplishments along with hardships. In this paper I will discuss some of the Major events in African American history beginning with the end of slavery which has lead to the America we know today. In 1865 Congress passed the thirteenth Amendment stating” Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction” this was the outlawing of slavery and resulted in the established the Freedmen’s Bureau to assist former slaves. President Lincoln and other Republicans were concerned that the Emancipation Proclamation, which in 1863 declared the freedom of slaves in ten Confederate states then in rebellion, would be seen as a temporary war measure, since it was based solely on Lincoln's war powers. The Proclamation did not free any slaves in the border states nor did it abolish slavery.[1] Because of this, Lincoln and other supporters believed that an amendment to the Constitution was needed. In many parts of the South, the newly freed slaves labored under conditions similar to those existing before the war. The Union army could offer only limited protection to the ex-slaves, and Lincoln’s successor, Andrew Johnson of Tennessee, clearly had no interest in ensuring the freedom of southern blacks. The new president’s appointments as governors of southern states formed conservative, proslavery governments. The new state legislatures passed laws designed to keep blacks in poverty and in positions of servitude. Under these so-called black codes, ex-slaves who had no steady employment could be arrested and ordered to pay stiff fines. Prisoners who could not pay the sum were hired out as virtual slaves. In some areas, black children could be forced to serve as apprentices in local industries. Blacks were also prevented from buying land and were denied fair wages for their work. This became the beginning of the Reconstruction. The Freedmen’s Bureau was designed to help former slaves make the transition from slavery to freedom after the civil war. It was a federal agency mostly involving blacks of the old confederacy ( Lowe, 1993). The Freedmen's Bureau Bill, which created the Freedmen's Bureau in March 1865, was initiated by President Abraham Lincoln and was intended to last for one year after the end of the Civil War.[2] The Freedmen's Bureau was an important agency of the early Reconstruction, assisting freedmen (freed ex-slaves) in the South. The Bureau was part of the United States Department of War. Headed by Union Army General Oliver O. Howard, a Civil War hero sympathetic to blacks.the Bureau was operational from 1865 to 1872. It was disbanded under President Ulysses S. Grant. Their responsibilities included introducing a system of free labor, overseeing some 3,000 schools for freedpersons, settling disputes and enforcing contracts between the usually white landowners and their black labor force, and securing justice for blacks in state courts. The Bureau was renewed by a Congressional bill in 1866 but was vetoed by President Andrew Johnson, who thought it was unconstitutional. Johnson was opposed to having the federal government secure black rights. Congress passed the bill over his veto. Southern whites were basically opposed to blacks having any rights at all, and the Bureau lacked military force to back up its authority as the army had been quickly disbanded and most of the soldiers assigned to the Western Their responsibilities included introducing a system of free labor, overseeing some 3,000 schools for...

References: American Literature , Vol. 45, No. 1 (Mar., 1973), pp. 138-140
Published by: Duke University Press
Horne, G. (2006). TOWARD A TRANSNATIONAL RESEARCH AGENDA FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY IN THE 21st CENTURY. The Journal of African American History, 91(3), 288-303. Retrieved from
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