Главная > Реферат >Остальные работы
Jefferson Davis stated in the pre-Civil
War years to a Northern audience, ?You say you are opposed to the
expansion of slavery… Is the slave to be benefited by it? Not at all.
It is not humanity that influences you in the position which you now occupy
before the country,? (Davis, The Irrepressible Conflict, 447). The
Northerners had not freed the slaves for moral issues; the white majority
did not have anything but its own economic prosperity on its mind. The
African Americans gained their emancipation and new rights through the
battling Northern and Southern factions of the United States, not because
a majority of the country felt that slavery possessed a ?moral urgency?.
As the years passed and the whites began to reconcile, their economic goals
rose to the forefront of their policy, while racism spread throughout the
country and deepened in the South. Even with all of the good intentions
and ideals expressed in the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments, blacks watched
as their freedom disintegrated through the late 19th Century as a result
of the Supreme Court decisions that limited the implications of the new
After the passage of these amendments,
two of the three branches of government disconnected themselves with the
issue of black civil rights. Following Grant?s unenthusiastic approach
to protecting blacks in the South, the executive branch gradually made
its position on the issue clear in 1876. (Zinn, 199) When Hayes beat
Tilden in the presidential election by promising to end the Reconstruction
in the South, it was evident that the White House would no longer support
any calls for the protection of blacks. The compromise of 1877 brought
Hayes to office, but ?doomed the black man to a second class citizenship
that was to be his lot for nearly a century afterward,? (Davis, 160). The
Radical Republican?s in Congress, who were responsible for freeing the
blacks, were also responsible for letting their voices become silenced.
This occurred as the other, more industrial, interests of the broad based
party dominated their platform; leaving the blacks to face the wrath of
the Southerners. A final blow to the hopes for national protection
of African American civil rights was dealt with The Force Bill of 1890.
In this bill, the Senate objected to the idea of Congress protecting African-
American voters in the South through federal supervision of state elections.
(McDuffie, 117) It was sign that Congress, and its northern constituents,
had finally lost interest in the cause. As the opportunity for economic
advancement increased after the Civil War, the North felt as though it
had done its part and both the President and Congress hastily turned their
backs on the new, colored American Citizens.
With the protection and support
of Northerners lost, the blacks in the South were held hostage by white
supremacists. Although the 13th Amendment stated that ?neither slavery
nor involuntary servitude… shall exist within the United States,? a new
agricultural system, the crop lien, kept the blacks under the control of
their (former) ?masters?. With unfair trade practices and a limited
amount of capital being exchanged, the blacks in the South were not free
to do as they pleased; once again they were caught in a system that profited
the white Southerners. These whites also expressed their extreme
racist tendencies through the acts of violence by the Klu Klux Klan.
The Klan performed acts of extreme violence, targeting blacks and whites,
who were considered to be Republicans or sympathetic to the black cause.
Their success resulted in violence becoming a successful political tool
in the Southern arena. Although the official title was gone, the whites
had managed to reassert their status as ?masters? to the Southern Blacks
through scare tactics and ?economic policies?.
The Supreme Court between 1873
and 1898 expressed the weakness to resisting racism in all areas of the
nation through its successive decisions. The Court prompted discrimination
by implying that if blacks wanted legal protection, they would need to
seek it from their state, not national, government. This legislation
affected black citizen?s across the country, but was especially damning
to the Southern blacks. The amount of racism thriving in the Southern
states made any chances of the State support of Black rights virtually
nil. The Supreme Court supported the Southerners? push for black
social subordination, when in 1883 the Civil Rights Act of 1875 was nullified.
That decision limited the interpretation of the 14th Amendment, applying
its jurisdiction over state actions only. The Court again limited
the role of the 14th Amendment further with its decision on Plessy vs.
?The object of the amendment was
undoubtedly to enforce the absolute equality of the two races before the
law, but in the nature of things it could not have been intended to abolish
distinctions based upon color, or to enforce social, as distinguished form
political equality, or a commingling of the two races upon terms unsatisfactory
The ?separate but equal? doctrine
spread like wildfire across the South. When the Supreme Court reaffirmed
its decision in the Cummings vs. County Board of Education (1899), public
schools were officially allowed to segregate. The implications of the Plessy
vs. Ferguson and Cummings vs. County Board of Education were substantial.
The Southerners jumped at the opportunity to introduce ?Jim Crow? legislation.
Although some saw stupidity in the situation and mocked it, ?If there must
be Jim Crow cars on the railroads, there should be Jim Crow cars on the
street railways. Also on all passenger boats… If there are to be Jim
Crow cars, moreover, there should be Jim Crow waiting saloons at all stations,
and Jim Crow eating houses,? (Woodward, 67), the divided South soon became
a reality. The Supreme Court had permitted the legal route for subordination
of the Blacks to be opened; the new, now limited, amendments were no longer
roadblocks, and the Southerners swarmed to their state governments to disenfranchise
the Negroes and to ensure that a white, democratic control continued in
the South. (Woodward, 71)
Since the late 1860?s, Southern
states had attempted to remove the franchise from the black citizens.
Once more, they were aided in their goal with the Supreme Court rulings
that limited the implications of the 15th Amendment. The latest addition
to the Constitution stated that ?The right of citizens of the
United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by United States
or by any State on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude.?
(Norton, A-14) The Supreme Court recognized a weakness in this statement
and knew that it lacked support from the Northern States (the majority
of whom did not ratify it). In 1870, in US vs. Reese, the Supreme
Court declared that the 15th Amendment merely listed certain grounds for
denying suffrage and did not guarantee the right to vote. While,
for the most part, blacks continued to vote in the North, blacks in the
South saw an immediate attack on their franchise. White Southerners
seized the opportunity and the infamous ?The Mississippi Plan? (1890) used
literacy and high taxes to deter the Negroes from the polls. In 1898, Louisiana
introduced ?grandfather clauses?, exempting ?sons and grandsons of those
eligible to vote before 1867, the year the Fifteenth Amendment had gone
into effect,? (Norton, 501). These measures, which were quickly adopted
by all Southern states except Tennessee, turned out to be extremely successful.
The white Southerners had effectively disenfranchised the African American
by the turn of the century.
With the Northern ?victory? in the
Civil War, African Americans were forever ?freed from the bonds of servitude?.
However, the freedom that they were released into closely resembled their
years of servitude, filled with degrading poverty and little chance for
advancement. Although the Radical Republicans had embarked on a costly
Reconstruction plan and set up legislation meant to protect black civil
rights, the blacks did not thrive. The Supreme Court successfully
chipped away at any progress made by the Republicans. Rulings made
in the later half of the 19th Century reduced the scope of the 13th, 14th
and 15th amendments, and lead to the further subordination of the Black
race by Southern State governments. Southern whites were allowed to set
up a system that kept blacks as prisoners without any say on their future.
The social practices, including segregation, curfews, violence and disfranchisement
that the Blacks suffered left them anything but free as the 20th Century
dawned. The amendments to the Constitution had been made, but the whites
did not take the time after 1866 to abolish the prejudice that came with
slavery, giving testimony to theory that the North engaged in the Civil
War for economic, not moral reasons. The application of racism
after the Civil War was just as rampant, but much more subtle than before
the Civil War, making it much more difficult to confront, and resulting
in a century of unequal education, inferior treatment and segregation.
- ... that is sympathetic to the state of African-Americans in the United States. As ... “ (Weiss 1984: 62). In the past, rallying blacks to political causes ... , and then to the war. But for all ... occupying the pro-civil rights side, and Republicans in the anti-civil ...
- ... building, compromising human beings. In the immediate post-Civil War years, the Republican Party combined industrialists ... to change radically. African-Americans in the South, finally realizing that the Republicans abandoned them ...
- ... Life of African Americans in the period after the civil war was stimulatingly difficult. Among the host of ... the blacks. The environment in the post-emancipation south was not the same as before the civil war. Before the war, the ...
- ... enhances the possibilities of African Americans by their becoming actors in the ... and moral allegiances lay in the post-civil rights era. These ... war activities during the 1960s, the farmworkers movement, the solidarity movements with Central America in the ...
- ... the civil war, which granted the Northern Industrialists the majority of governmental power in the United States. In the ... these jobs. This, in effect, kept the African Americans in the South where it was ... have been very poor in the past and do still remain ...