How Did Life Change for the Blacks After the Civil War?

Topics: American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, Reconstruction era of the United States Pages: 2 (595 words) Published: June 16, 2014
For: Mr. I. Buccini March 13, 2014

HOW DID LIFE CHANGE FOR SOUTHERN BLACKS AS A RESULT OF THE CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION?

Life for Southern blacks did improve somewhat as a result of the Civil War and Reconstruction, but it was not perfect. There were still many inequalities between the two races, white and black. This essay will discuss life of blacks prior to the Civil War (1861-1865), how the blacks were involved in the war and Reconstruction (1865-1877), and how the war and Reconstruction changed the blacks' way of life.

Before the Civil War, most slaves lived on small cotton plantations. Here, the owner worked alongside them. The bigger the plantation, the more the slaves, and thus the weaker human relationship would be between master and slaves. They received, in general, harsh treatment because they were considered property. There were many social inequalities. Black Codes were passed to limit blacks' freedom even more than it was already. They were not allowed to marry legally or learn to be literate. Slaves could be "sold down the river", and had no privacy from their masters. They were not allowed to go outdoors after dark, get together in groups of three or more, exit their owner's property without a written pass, or own weapons. This changed somewhat after the Civil War.

The blacks played a major role in the victory of the North in the Civil War. There were many black soldiers in the war who worked behind the scenes for armies of the North. During Reconstruction, blacks exercised political power for the first time in the South. They were included as authors of new state constitutions, along with military governments, scalawags, and carpetbaggers. On January 1st 1863, the Emancipation came into effect. It was a proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln that declared freedom for all slaves in states still in rebellion against the federal government. This meant that more slaves could live a free life again, but only until the Black...
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