America’s Post Civil War Growing Pains” Essay

2413 words - 10 pages

“America’s Post-Civil War Growing Pains”

“America’s Post-Civil War Growing Pains”
Gwendolyn I. Burrows
Dr. Kristina Nelson
Contemporary U.S. History HIS 105
October 28, 2012

The Civil War was the harshest war in American history by almost any definition. It has been called the “brothers' war,” the war between the states, or the “War of Northern Aggression,” and strong feelings about the background, causes, fighting, and meaning of the Civil War continue to this day. Over 600,000 Americans died during the Civil War and another 400,000 suffered critical wounds. Millions of dollars’ worth of property was ruined, families were dislocated, riches were made and lost, and ...view middle of the document...

A historical turning point in United States history was the passing of the first Civil Rights law. In 1865 the first Civil Right law was passed. Passed by Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified on December 6, 1865, the 13th amendment abolished slavery in the United States and provides that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, nor any place subject to their jurisdiction." The 13th amendment was preceded by the Emancipation Proclamation. Originally, the Civil War between North and South was fought by the North to prevent the separation of the Southern states and preserve the Union. Even though conflicts over slavery had been a major cause of the war, ending slavery was not a goal of the war. That changed on September 22, 1862, when President Lincoln issued his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which stated that slaves in those states or parts of states still in rebellion as of January 1, 1863, would be declared free. One hundred days later, with the rebellion unrelenting, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation proclaiming “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious areas “are, and henceforward shall be free. With the onset of these two statues, lead to the rights of the Civil Rights Act, the 14th amendment, and the 19th amendment (National Archives).
The next major event in history is the Jim Crow era which lasted approximately from 1877 and the mid-1960s. Jim Crow was a set of anti-racist laws that relegated African Americans to the status of second class citizens. Jim Crow symbolized the legitimization of anti-black racism. Many Christian ministers and theologians communicated that whites were the superior race of people, while blacks were destined to be servants, and God supported racial segregation. The Jim Crow system was supported by the following beliefs or validations: whites were superior to blacks in all important ways, including but not limited to intellect, principles, and refined behavior; sexual relations between blacks and whites would produce a mongrel race which would destroy America; treating blacks as equals would encourage interracial sexual unions; any activity which suggested social equality encouraged interracial sexual relations; if necessary, violence must be used to keep blacks at the bottom of the racial hierarchy.
Analyze the impact of the two (2) or more major historical turning points selected on America’s 1) current society, 2) economy, 3) politics, and 4) culture.
The impact of passing of the first Civil Rights law in America’s current society provided some basic liberties for non-white Americans. Although African Americans were given freedom in 1862 when slavery was abolished they were not afforded the same type of lifestyle as White Americans. In 2012 however the more things change the more they stay the same. Blatant racism is not as...

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