Civil War 9 Essay, Research Paper
Many developments in social life and the constitution amounted to a revolution between 1860 and 1877. Some of the major events that took place during this time period were the secession of the southern states, Civil War, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth amendment, and reconstruction.
In 1860, South Carolina declared their causes of secession. South Carolina was the first state to secede, and their main reason was that their powers were restrained by the federal government. They felt they were not sovereign, and therefore needed to secede.
In the 1860 s, the nation continued to struggle to become united. Congress introduced the new banking and currency systems. Senator John Sherman commended this because he was a strong believer in national unity. He believed that everything should be nationalized because putting state authority above national authority would be “the main instrument by which our government is sought to be overthrown.”
The blacks at this time were persistently struggling for their civil rights. They declared that they should have the privilege of voting because they fought in the war to preserve the union. In a petition, American citizens of African descent stated that ” It (the government) can afford to trust him with a vote as safely as it trusted him with a bayonet.” At this time they did not have full protection from the courts, nor did the courts receive a black person s testimony. In 1865, the blacks did not receive homesteads promised to them by the government. They struggled for the right to purchase land. It seemed unfair to them that a person that was a former rebel could regain the land they owned before the civil war, yet the African Americans, who were good, loyal citizens of the United States still could not purchase a homestead.
In 1863, Abraham Lincoln finalized the Emancipation Proclamation. The Proclamation was a very important document in that it guaranteed the future freedom of all American slaves. Though the Proclomation was to have an important impact it initially failed and didn t change the position of a single slave in the south. The south did not consider itself part of the Union and pushed them to fight even harder to protect their so-called property . Though Lincoln knew that this would anger the south even more, he issued it at a time when he believed that the Union was on the verge of winning and that the south would have to give in to a slave-less existance.
In 1866, the Fourteenth Amendment was passed, which gave the blacks their freedom. Senator Lot Morrill addresses this amendment as a revolution, because that one amendment alone revolutionized the system based on black servitude. That form of civilization which we once knew is now “gone forever.”
In 1867, Harper s Weekly portrays a Black citizen casting his first vote. The right to vote was given to blacks in the Fifteenth Amendment.
Thomas Nast depicts that the newly emancipated black people are no threat to the whites because they ve only escaped slavery to come into poverty. In a way, Nast seems to support slavery, he implies that being destitute is worse than being a slave.
With all of these events taken into consideration, the Emancipation Proclomation, the new amendments, Reconstructin, and so on and so forth, we may conclude that each had a sufficient effect on bringing about revolutionary economical, social, and political changes on the lives of all Americans of this era, black and white, north and south, and led to the improvement of life and increase of power to this great nation of these United States.