Carl Schurz, Report on Conditions in the South (1865)
1. Describe the four categories of Euro-American Southerners Schurz observed.
2. Why did Schurz think that real loyalty on the part of former Confederates to the Union was impossible (at the time of his report)? What would help foster the development of loyalty to the Union
3. What was the situation of the Unionists in the post-war South? What did their safety depend upon?
4. What was at the heart of the difficulty in reconstructing the South? Explain why this was a problem for some?
5. What was keeping Euro-American Southerners from accepting the consequences of emancipation? Why were they so resistant? Explain. (This is a tough question and will require some introspection.)
6. What was necessary to protect African Americans' right to labor freely?
7. In Schurz's view, how had the U.S. government encouraged Euro-American Southerners to resist the social revolution brought on by the defeat of the Confederacy?
8. Why did Schurz suggest that it would be wise to give African Americans in the South the right to vote? Explain.
The Mississippi Black Codes (1865)
9. What rules did this code set up regarding marriage? What do you think motivated those rules? Explain.
10. According to this code, what were the consequences for African American workers who quit their jobs? What effect would this code have on employment choices of African Americans? Explain.
11. Who was charged with enforcing labor-contracts of African Americans? From the passage, who was considered a "person" and who was not?
12. What role did the former owner of orphaned minors have in determining the minors' future and in physically punishing them? Why do you think that was the case? What attitude does this reveal?
13. How might Mississippi's vagrant law be used to unjustly imprison African Americans? Explain
14. What freedoms from the Bill of Rights (to the U.S. Constitution) were denied to African Americans by the Mississippi codes? What do you think was the reasoning behind this? Explain.
15. What was the overall intent of these laws?
16. How did the Mississippi Black Codes demonstrate the truth of Schurz's report? Explain.
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