final paper

final paper - Tamar Godel 12/11/07 MLC History 1102 Fall...

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Tamar Godel 12/11/07 MLC History 1102 Fall 2007 Professor R. Gramer Final Paper Topic One Freedom in America Through the Years American freedom has changed a great deal in all of its forms since 1865. Many more groups can claim to be free, including women, blacks and immigrants. And although all people are not yet completely equal, America is much closer to getting to that point in 2007 than we were at the end of the Civil War. Many battles have been fought, with guns and violence as well as with words and marches, and many sacrifices made for the greater good. Some have been successful, some have not. All, however, have had their impact on the world. In 1865, the only people with any sort of power, control or freedom of any type were white male Christians. Although blacks were officially free, it was truly only by the books, and not a realistic freedom. “Blacks’ ideas of freedom were directly related to land ownership”, and despite the valiant efforts of the Freedmen’s Bureau, Reconstruction did not grand freed slaves any land (Foner, 480). There had originally been plans spoken of to give the land confiscated from rebelling confederate plantation owners to the newly freed slaves. Unfortunately, the plantation owners held too much sway in the government, and the plan fell through. This left the freedmen with no place to live, and no land to farm. Thus, sharecropping was born. With sharecropping, freed blacks quickly fell deep into debt with their landowners (often their former owners), and were tied to the land as thoroughly as if they had been enslaved. The Freedmen’s
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Bureau did make many strides, overseeing many schools and hospitals that helped whites and blacks alike. The Black Codes, and the forming of the Ku Klux Klan were major setbacks in the black bid for freedom and equality, and even though the codes were remedied one by one, the Klan still has not been completely eradicated in parts of the US today. The next group of people to find a serious tightening of their freedoms were small businesses and their employees. The late 1800s and early 1900s saw the rise of monopolies and trusts. These were large businesses that controlled all aspects of a particular industry, from the
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final paper - Tamar Godel 12/11/07 MLC History 1102 Fall...

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