Changes in Race Relation After the Civil War - Free Paper Example

Published: 2022-12-08
Changes in Race Relation After the Civil War - Free Paper Example
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Race Racism American Civil War Slavery World War 1
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1455 words
13 min read


After the civil war, many questions remained unanswered. The African Americans eagerly waited to have their freedom of voting, owning property and starting a family. However, this did not come as expected. Racial discrimination continues to threaten the peace of many. The primary purpose of the reconstruction was to end slavery and to recognize all people as equal.

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One of the most remarkable events was the abolition of slavery by Abraham Lincoln which was led by the emancipation declaration (Buccola, 2016). This was not enough because the statement was only useful in the rebellious areas while more than half a million slaves were left unliberated. On 13th January 1865, the thirteenth amendment that lawfully abolished slavery except on criminal offense was passed by the Congress. Four million people were freed from the northern slavery that had existed for many years.

After the death of Abraham Lincoln, new laws called black codes were passed to monitor the black's behavior and control their social and economic life. The regulations allowed them to own property, to marry and work. However, it denied them the right to join the army and participate in lawmaking. Black witnesses against the white were turned off. Orphaned children were returned to their masters (Wigmore, 2015). They also introduced a law that required all freed men to carry papers that showed they had permission to work. Failure to have these documents, one was arrested and beautiful by the Sheriff, and if they were unable to pay the fine, the police could hire out the prisoner to whoever was willing to pay the fine.

Finally, black people were given the right to participate in political affairs. In the beginning, only a few northern states gave the black people equal rights with the whites in voting. In the north side, the decree by the Congress to eliminate discrimination in voting had taken effect where the blacks started winning elections. Therefore they came into possession of power in the American government for the first time in history. The blacks also participated in the constitution amendment. Through their participation, public schools were opened in every state in the southern region. This gave the African American children the opportunity to learn just as white children.

Consequences of Industrialization

The industrialization era brought a new view to the southern whites. They hoped that by the combination of northern capital and the cheap labor in the south, they could embrace industrialization and massive agriculture production. Though they wanted good infrastructure and manufacturing to make the new south that will look like the north, this was not possible due to their history. The alliance's failed rebellion brought a halt on their source of livelihood and their national pride (Stearns, 2018). The southern witnessed loss of life and massive destruction of properties. Many enslaved people freed themselves from slavery. The liberation of slaves could be the fall of the new south. The wealthy white people were against the freedom of African Americans, and they went as far as forming terrorist groups like Ku Klux Klan which economically exploited people violated them. These wealthy people used the state and the local government to marginalize black people. They passed laws that alienated public facilities like schools, employment transportation by race. This was contrary to the new south that they desired.

As industrialization continued to advance in urban centers, they needed more labor. Therefore, many people moved from rural areas to urban areas in search of employment in the industries. By 1920, the census showed that almost half of the united states population live in towns. The civic center had more privileges other than employment that attracted the villagers to migrate to the city. As more people moved to urban centers, it became impossible for the resources in urban centers to support the rising population. This led to the destruction of social orders in urban centers (Stearns, 2018). The industries could not employ everyone, and therefore other people became thieves. Also, the few houses failed to accommodate the high population which led to the construction of slums. Lastly, all these resulted in the outbreak of diseases like cholera and tuberculosis which left many people dead.

Religion and Social Morality in Promoting Progressive Reforms

The voice for the need to reform was not only heard in the political arenas and magazines but also pulpits and social gatherings. The church played a vital role in encouraging people to take part in the reformation.

As the consequences of industrialization faced Christians, their question was how they could solve it, and the only answer they could get was by looking at the life of Jesus and the action he could have taken if he was in the same situation. Charles Sheldon published a novel which gave a story of a minister who was challenged by an unemployed foreigner for his church's unconcern of the poor and the weak (Nichols, 2015). He told the members that if they were involved in the political social and economic affairs of their surroundings, the world would be different and that human suffering would be reduced to zero. At the beginning of the twentieth century, protestant came up with the social gospel which was concerned with the salvation of the society as a whole and not of individual only. The doctrine encourages Christians to be on the lookout for social injustices in the society

Movements That Defined the Progressive Era

Women movement was formed by both old and of young women who wanted to know the role of women in development and politics. They also worked with church reformers to eradicate the injustices of industrialization. One of the notable things about this women organizations is that they fought against alcoholism which seen as the root of all evils in the society.

The environmentalism movement emerged to speak against the massive destruction of forests by the industries (Nichols, 2017). They advocated for the conservation of the environment for the continued survival of the species. Most reformers argued that the forests should be used in a way that it will benefit the most significant number of individuals.

The progressive era did less in eradicating the evil of discrimination. In essence, the reforms completely removed African Americans from whites. The southern art took a new turn as its politics were full of corruption and voter threatening and race discrimination. The Democratic Party warned the southern that the blacks would dominate them and later defile their women. The southerners decided to clean up their ballot boxes by preventing the blacks from voting. They hoped by this they will end racial strife.

Imperialism and Its Contribution to Hawaii and World War 1

The American interest in the Mexican land ushered in World War 1. President Wilson sent troops in the northern Mexico which prevented the transport of German arms to Mexico. The killing of American people by Pancho Villa led to the president Wilson sending troops to capture him. However, this did not continue as the crisis in Europe caught people's attention (Zinn,2015). During world war 1, the Germans started an illegal underground war to prevent its enemies from receiving supplies from the United States. After the Germans realized that their action would ignite the Americans to war, they decided to offer their support to the Mexican and hoped by doing so they would together fight the Americans. The American president realized that the success of the Germans in the war would negatively impact the power balance in Europe. On April 4th the Congress declared war on the Germans.

Finally, the United States withdrew its treaties with Japanese in 1939 and stopped to supply them with ammunition. Japanese took another turn of invading the Pacific as a source of their supply. Japan went ahead to declare war on Europe and the independent nations which broke their diplomatic relations with the United States (Zinn, 2015). In 1941, the Japanese attacked the American navy camp in Hawaii with the intention of destroying the ships and all American arms to disable the American to participate in the war. They also destroyed American holdings all over the Pacific. The attack on Hawaii remained to be known as "a date which will live in infamy." Franklin Roosevelt declared war on the Japanese which the Congress responds within a few hours. What was a conflict between two leagues, became a world war within a week as the Americans defended the Pearl Harbor.


Buccola, N. (2016). Abraham Lincoln and Liberal Democracy. University Press of Kansas.

Wigmore, J. H. (2015). Louisiana: The Story of its Legal System. Tul. L. Rev., 90, 529.

Stearns, P. N. (2018). The industrial revolution in world history. Routledge.

Nichols, C. M., & Unger, N. C. (Eds.). (2017). A Companion to the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. John Wiley & Sons.

Zinn, H. (2015). A people's history of the United States: 1492-present. Routledge.

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