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The Birth of Freedom

By celestialdaisy May 04, 2013 496 Words
 
The Birth of Freedom

Just recently we celebrated the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War, a milestone in civil rights. We decided to base our National History Day Exhibit on this milestone, more specifically the Emancipation Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation is important to us because we ourselves would be considered a minority in a new nation.  During the creation of the new nation our ancestors probably faced a difficult society unlike their own. The battle for civil rights lasted more than 200 years and we feel that this topic’s importance needs to be displayed. Vince thought about this year’s theme during the regional competition last year at Mount Vernon. He walked around contemplating a time period in history that would have made a milestone in civil rights.  We ultimately agreed that the Emancipation Proclamation was the best topic because it set the stage for freedom for future generations to come. To conduct our research, we first started with a flow map of our major events that started with the founding fathers and continued to the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Wolfe was our first interview, and directed us to many resources, both primary and secondary. We then found books on the Emancipation Proclamation as well as more primary resources at a library. We visited the Fords Theater, where we gained a better sense of what made an exhibit. Another highlight of our research was when we visited Frederick Douglas’s home in Washington D.C and interviewed descendants of both Frederick Douglas and his wife, Helen Pitts.            We chose to present our project as an exhibit because we felt that we could display many of our primary resources as well as showcase our ideas visually.  We felt we could use many elements of an exhibit, such as imagery and color, to effectively bring out the mood of this harsh era in history. At first we opted for a rotating board with six panels. We soon realized that we had too much information and resources for just the rotating board and opted to put a board behind it. To make our exhibit, we painted our rotating board black and applied primary and secondary resources to our background board. We applied all of our write-ups and applied final which ranged from subtle accents to completely rearranging certain sections.            Our project focuses on the Emancipation Proclamation, a turning point in American History.  Ultimately, it did not free a single slave, but transformed the crusade to preserve the Union into a crusade for human rights. The proclamation served as a stepping stone to modern civil rights and the abolition of slavery. The proclamation addressed many political, economic, and social questions about the Civil War such as European intervention, the need for Union manpower, and pressure from abolitionists to act upon slavery. Its aftermath, which includes three amendments to the constitution, well defines the struggles that made it happen and how, to many, it seemed like the birth of freedom itself.

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