Thursday, January 16, 2014
Matt TA mondays 10-11 wheeler 102 graduate seminar room
Chapter Study Outline
[Introduction: Sherman Land]
The Meaning of Freedom
Blacks and the Meaning of Freedom
African-Americans’ understanding of freedom was shaped by their experience as slaves and observation of the free society around them. Blacks relished the opportunity to demonstrate their liberation from the regulations (significant and trivial) associated with slavery. Families in Freedom
The family was central to the postemancipation black community. Freedom subtly altered relationships within the family.
Emancipation increased the power of black men within the family. Black women withdrew from work as field laborers and house servants to the domestic sphere. Church and School
Blacks abandoned white-controlled religious institutions to create churches of their own. Blacks of all ages flocked to the schools established by northern missionary societies, the Freedmen’s Bureau, and groups of ex-slaves. Political Freedom
The right to vote inevitably became central to the former slaves’ desire for empowerment and equality. To demonstrate their patriotism, blacks throughout the South organized Fourth of July celebrations. Land, Labor, and Freedom
Former slaves’ ideas of freedom were directly related to land ownership. Many former slaves insisted that through their unpaid labor, they had acquired a right to the land. Masters without Slaves
The South’s defeat was complete and demoralizing.
Planter families faced profound changes.
Most planters defined black freedom in the narrowest manner. The Free Labor Vision
The victorious Republican North tried to implement its own vision of freedom. Free labor
The Freedmen’s Bureau was to establish a working free labor system. The Freedmen’s Bureau
The task of the Bureau—establishing schools, providing aid to the poor and aged, settling disputes, etc.—was daunting, especially since it had fewer than 1,000 agents. The Bureau’s achievements in some areas, notably education and health care, were striking. The Failure of Land Reform
President Andrew Johnson ordered nearly all land in federal hands returned to its former owners. Because no land distribution took place, the vast majority of rural freedpeople remained poor and without property during Reconstruction. Sharecropping came to dominate the cotton South and much of the tobacco belt. Sharecropping initially arose as a compromise between blacks’ desire for land and planters’ desire for labor discipline. The White Farmer
The aftermath of the war hurt small white farmers.
Crop-lien system (use of crop as collateral for loans from merchants for supplies) White farmers increased cotton cultivation, cotton prices plummeted, and they found themselves unable to pay back loans. Both black and white farmers found themselves caught in the sharecropping and crop-lien systems. Southern cities experienced remarkable growth after the Civil War. Rise of a new middle class
Aftermaths of Slavery
The Reconstruction-era debates over transitioning from slavery to freedom had parallels in other Western Hemisphere countries where emancipation occurred in the nineteenth century. Only in the United States did former slaves gain political rights quickly. The Making of Radical Reconstruction
Johnson identified himself as the champion of the “honest yeomen” and a foe of large planters. Johnson lacked Lincoln’s political skills and keen sense of public opinion. Johnson believed that African-Americans had no role to play in Reconstruction. The Failure of Presidential Reconstruction
Johnson’s plan for Reconstruction offered pardons to the white southern elite. Johnson’s plan allowed the new state governments a free hand in managing local affairs. The Black Codes
Southern governments began passing new laws that restricted the freedom of blacks. These new laws violated free labor principles and called forth a vigorous response from the...
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