Emancipation And The 13th Amendment

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Civil rights are the rights of individuals to political and social freedom and equality. Reconstruction, the abolition of slavery through the 13th Amendment in 1865 and the Civil Rights Act of 1875 promised the improvement of black Americans’ lives. Rather than enhancing black Americans quality of life, it proved how people and governments had not changed and found ways to exploit the law and create schemes that continue to disenfranchise black Americans. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Lincoln on the 23rd of September 1863, it stated that any slave in territory under direct control of the Confederacy would be free forever. However, it is argued that this was a way for Lincoln to weaken the Confederacy to win the Civil…show more content…
President Lincoln was driven by a capitalist mentality, not being an abolitionist. The 13th Amendment of the Constitution declared 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." This amendment was finally sanctioned in December 1865. However the introduction of over 3.5 million former slaves into society made the nature of Emancipation and the 13th Amendment the question of civil rights for the freed slaves a major dilemma in the Post-Civil War Period. This question was combated by the 14th Amendment. In 1868, the 14th Amendment announced that all US citizens would be granted equal protection of the law. It guaranteed that black Americans would practice the same privileges as white Americans. This was regarded as a turning point for the civil rights of black American as it alluded that they would receive the same…show more content…
However this act failed to mention public schools. The Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment protected the rights of national citizenship, such as free movement, but it did not protect the civil rights that individual Americans received from state citizenship. This meant the government could not protect the rights of black Americans against any violence, hence negating what the 14th Amendment was supposed to stand for. This was known as the Slaughterhouse case of 1873. To mitigate the social tensions post abolition and the Civil War, Congress set up the Freedmen’s Bureau to aid former black slaves and impoverished white Americans in the South in providing food, shelter, medical relief, established schools and legal assistance. The bureau was stopped from fully carrying out their agenda as the South was in ruins due to its plantation-based economy being destroyed. Therefore there was a shortage of funds and personnel. Another reason why the bureau did not succeed was due to the pressure of white governments and white Southerners who despised the idea of helping former

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