Chapter 15 b -- The Meaning of Freedom
Chapter 15 b -- The Meaning of Freedom
Quest for land
As a result, many slaves had to work as wage-workers for their former masters. They would get payed, but so little as to not replace the food, clothing, and shelter their masters would give them
In general, the former slaves were prioritized protecting black women from abuse. Black women sometimes became the head of the household, instructing their children as a "Republican mother should"
To compensate: some slaves organized meetings and strikes, others left the south for better paying jobs making railroads, turpentine, or lumber camps
became a system of labor in the south in which freedmen would labor in exchange for housing, implements, the use of land, or seeds and fertilizer.
share-croppers had to borrow money the first season, because they had nothing -- they were often subject to unfair bookkeeping, high prices, and unfair interest rates
Share-croppers had little incentive to improve the land, thus stagnating the southern economy as solely agricultural for may years
Life for African-Americans was not free of hurdles -- many policy makers opposed there access to land, which was the form of wealth in the south.
Freedmen's Bureau, the method by which African-Americans could hope to attain land, was thwarted from distributing property because Johnson's plan allowed southerns to regain any land they lost in the war.
Most Republicans envisioned the former slaves as wage-workers on cash-crop plantations such as factory workers in the north -- only a few radicals such as
argued that slaves had the right to obtain land
Some states put higher taxes on land to try to break up the big plantations, unsuccessfully. Some slaves however, did manage to acquire land, particularly in the Upper South states
Without land, however, slaves were poor and vulnerable
African-Americans with the help of former Union veterans often engaged in violent fights with white land-owners who were supported by federal troops.
churches became central institutions that not only served as places of worship, but also as schools, societal centers, and meeting halls
new denomiations -- National Baptist Convention and African Methodist Episcopal Church
sought to pass a bill that would allow equal access to schools, public transportation, hotels, and churches
Apart from schools and churches, passed
Civil Rights Act of 1875
requiring "full and equal" access to jury service, transportation, and public accommodations irrespective of race
most did not argue for desegregation because they were worried that it would put African-Americans in a susceptible position to racist violence
Radical Reconstructionists were not loved by many white southerns -- they were seen as corrupt and threatening to the elites
Southern whites who supported Reconstruction were called
by anti-reconstruction southerns.
Northerns who sought to make money in the South via the emergence of some industrialization were called
to the disdaining locals.
Radical Reconstruction admired the industrial Revolution of the North and sought to impart it on Southern society, an ambitious endeavor.
They sought to reform public education, social services, commerce, and transportation
Republicans were often former Whigs, a few Democrats, and mostly Unionists. However, many Republicans were reluctant to work with African-Americans
Most public officials who were African-Americans were free before emancipation -- these men recruited other African-Americans as best they could
Some Republicans joined the Union League to protect black rights. The
also supported Republican Reconstruction. They helped slaves with unfair labor contracts, forced plantation owners to bargain, advised former slaves on economic matters, provided payment to desperate families, and helped establish schools
Reconstructionalists eliminated property qualifications to vote, expanded the rights of women (they own property and control their own wages), they built railroads and other projects, outlawed whipping and branding as corporal punishments, established hospitals and aslyums, and some offered free medical care or free legal representation
As a result, both black children and white children received an education in greater numbers than ever before.
Negative affects, however, include convict leasing -- companies could hire convicts to labor, the practice was horrific and supported by both parties