Final Research Paper.. - Mariah Dubose Slavery and The Americas Final Research Paper Professor Fitzgerald The Southern Response to the Emancipation of

Final Research Paper.. - Mariah Dubose Slavery and The...

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Mariah Dubose Slavery and The Americas Final Research Paper Professor Fitzgerald 05/20/13 The Southern Response to the Emancipation of Slavery with Violence and the Black codes of 1865 After the Civil War abolished slavery in 1865, African Americans were to be liberated from the oppressive reign of the white master. As this news spread across the Confederacy it was met with fierce opposition by southern whites and plantation owners. Southerners were disgusted that the institution that had become such a vital aspect of southern life was being eradicated. Slavery influenced every aspect of their beloved region’s social, political and economic life, benefitting both planters and the general public. The enforcement of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation in the latter 1860s ignited many southerners’ hostility and violence towards blacks. In resistance of the abolition of slavery, southern states began to enforce black codes and countless citizens joined the Ku-Klux Klan. The anger and actions taken by these Southern Democrats are illuminated in newspapers such as the Democratic Watchmen , Mobile Register , The Daily Evening Bulletin of Philadelphia and the New York Tribune . Although the freedom of slaves had been declared constitutionally, socially and ethically it had not come to fruition. The South, not ready to see the complete elimination of the foundation on which their society flourished, remained in a state of denial and rebellion. Southerners feared the impact that hundreds of thousands of free slaves would have on their society and were anxious to reestablish their institution. In an attempt to retain their lucrative system, southerners enforced laws, commonly known as black codes
that restricted the civil rights and liberties of freedmen. The New York Times describes the opinions southerners had of freedmen in the following statement: The very fact that the Negro had been held to work all his life under compulsion, was taken as an indication that under freedom he would not work and would become an unmanageable…burden on the community. This anticipated evil found expression on the part of the south, in the Negro codes… (“New York Times” 8). States such as Mississippi, South Carolina, and Georgia argued that the freedmen would not be able to sustain themselves and thus needed to enforce specific regulations for them. These black codes made labor cheap and accessible, forcing freedmen into labor

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