History: Black People and Black Americans Slavery Essay

Submitted By NathanAllan45
Words: 1480
Pages: 6

To what extent did the Emancipation Proclamation + 14th Amendment make Black Americans more free in the period 1863-1877? When determining to what extent black Americans became freer in the period of reconstruction, you must consider the political, social, legal and economic changes that took place as well there place in society before the acts were passed. Prior to the Emancipation proclamation “At least four thousand Negro’s owned slaves” and that “slavery was declining rapidly” in the “last forty years of existence” . This is evidence that slavery was declining prior to the changes that the Emancipation Proclamation and 14th Amendment caused. However although the emancipation proclamation and 14th amendment helped boost the progression of black freedom, in 1861 Lincoln publically announced that if he could “save the Union without feeing any slave” he would do it, counter-acting the slavery progression argument. This shows that slavery was declining however it was not out of choice, meaning that slavery turned to resentment and discrimination even before the acts were passed. Although the civil war broke out and the North-South divide was due to racial disagreements, however taking into account Lincoln’s speech was public and formal implies that it was not for the good of the black community. The Emancipation proclamation declared that all persons held as slaves within the rebellious states would henceforward be free. The morals for the change were not exactly race related, Lincoln found himself caught 3 years into a bloody civil war before this decision was made. Meaning that the logic behind his decision was to make sure that the North won, backed by the fact he has previously state that he had “no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere” with slavery. Both the Emancipation Proclamation and the 14th Amendments had their limitations. The Emancipation Proclamation “applied only to states that had seceded from the union” and most importantly freedom was “dependent upon Union military victory” . The fact the 14th amendment demanded that states have to abide by the laws that blacks were citizens, therefore they should be legally treat equally. However, although both acts helped abolish slavery, the lives of black American did not improve, in fact inequality broadened, both laws were dependant on effective leadership in a nation of national disagreement, therefore applying the laws were unsuccessful.
The acts did change the social position of the black community between 1863-1877. Between 1865 and 1870 “the black population of the South’s 10 largest cities doubled” . This shows black’s had a lot more freedom of movement due to the Emancipation Proclamation and 14th Amendment, however the statistics limit us on further information. There is no evidence to say how many of the black Americans were employed in the main cities and we are unaware of the poverty. Although throughout the period the black community did have acts passed such as the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments, Lincoln as well as future president Theodore Roosevelt did not support nor believe in black progression, Roosevelt publically announced “A perfectly stupid race can never rise to a very high place” .How could the black’s of America progress in gaining freedom if the leaders of there nation did not believe in the acts they were passing. Socially, black Americans were segregated in schools, southern states spent “10 times as much on white schools as on blacks” ,, slavery had been abolished but segregation had become more intense. By 1872 president Grant had ended ‘most’ of t violence against blacks, but white extremists such as the Ku Klux Klan, emerged and lynching’s were displayed in the newspaper above the phrase “the above represents the fate in store for those great pests of Southern society” . Slavery was abolished quickly after the success of the Union, creating a new problem; the black Americans did not know how to be free. Houston