African American Post Civil War Growing Pains

1028 words - 5 pages

The American Civil War simply known as the Civil War was fought from 1861- 1865 in the United States. It resulted from sectional differences between the Northern and Southern territories. The main cause of the Civil War was slavery. The North and the South could not agree over the future of slaves, and this dispute led to secession which later resulted to war among the territories. After years of deadly battles, the Southerners were overpowered, and slavery abolished bringing in the reconstruction period.
The reconstruction period which is the period of rebuilding the United States after the civil war is said to be a time of great pain, and endless questions to the United States (Gienapp, 2012). The Civil War led to the end of slavery, and three constitutional amendments which altered the nature of the African-American rights. The Thirteenth Amendment facilitated the abolishment of slavery in all territories, and states. What is more, the Fourteenth Amendment proscribed the US from depriving male citizens’ equal rights, and protection under the law, in spite of their race or color. Likewise, the Fifteenth Amendment granted all African-American males, the right to vote. All these changes and their ratification was a vital requirement for the Southerners to be re-admitted to the Union. As much as these changes were positive steps towards racial segregation, their enforcement proved difficult as the Southerners were against them, terming them as revenge, from the Northerners. The Southerners could not hold onto the idea that, black men could enjoy the same status as white men by being allowed to vote, and hold office (Reconstruction: American’s Unfinished Revolution, 2010).
The reconstructions period lasted from 1865-1900, and was a pain to most Americans especially those from the south. During this time, various social and economic changes took place which improved the lives of African-Americans. The formation of anti-discriminatory laws against the blacks was a pain to the whites, especially those from the South. Initially, the Jim Crow laws were discriminatory against the black population, as they were prohibited from certain public spaces, schools, restaurants, public transportation and they could not be allowed to hold office or even vote. After the end of the Civil War which brought an end to slavery, these laws were changed and African-Americans given their rights (Schultz, 2011). The African-American rights were changed by the Thirteenth Amendment by abolishing slavery completely, and granting African-Americans equal rights, and protection, just like the white Americans. This caused pain to the Americans who only valued Africans as slaves, and inferior people. In addition, after the end of slavery, African Americans wanted full freedom, and above all, their own land so that they can practice farming. They wanted their land back so as to make a living. Inevitably, this brought clashes and riots meaning even after being freed from...

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