America History

George Hawthorne
His:204 American History Since 1865
American History 1865-1876
Dennis Magnuson
October 17,2010

American History is an interesting course to study. Throughout this essay I will discuss
the life of the African American and the obstacles they faced from 1865- 1876. I will provide
you with different examples, as well as discuss my own thoughts about the things they faced.
This essay will also cover the slavery days and provide you with how rough the African
American had it from 1865- 1876.
Depending on one??™s perspective, perhaps the Reconstruction period was the best or the
worst time in history, especially for the progression of those individuals who considered
themselves, African Americans. Throughout time, the relationship between blacks and whites
were, and in many cases, still remains particularly intense. The period of 1865-1876 proved to be
a time of change that offered limited possibilities agitated by the mental illness of racism that
often propelled darkness and despair. This was the reconstruction period that centered around
slavery and of course, cotton. The land owners made their living from the crops of cotton they
raised, or shall I say the African Americans raised.
The blacks were owned by the white man and made to work from sun up to sun down in
the fields. Most days they didn??™t even get a meal to eat, but instead they were beat and made to
do things against their will. Some of the blacks would even get up before they were suppose to
so they could escape the beatings they received each morning before they went to the fields. This
life and time shaped history as we know it today for the life of the African American.
Then in 1866 the most radical racial group known to man was created, The Klu Klux
Klan. The terrorist group known as the KKK, made the lives for the blacks, hell. They would
threaten them with violence, burn crosses in their yards and treat them as they didn??™t exist. The
KKK was and still is one of the worst groups of then and now. How can a person think they are
better than another person just because of the color of their skin I see no difference in the black
race versus the white race. We are all human and deserve to be treated as equal, regardless of
what race we are.
The Klansmaen would hide beneath costumes that were meant to represent the ghost of
Confederate soldiers, but they often unmasked themselves when committing violence. This act
sent a chilling message to their victims: Klansmen thought they could murder with impunity,
because the authorities were unwilling or unable to stop them. The Klan targeted Republicans,
outspoken blacks, and workers who challenged planter rule. In Monroe County, (Mississippi)
Klansmen killed a black Mississippian Jack Dupree in front of his wife. The Klan targeted
Dupree because he led a local Republican Party group and spoke his mind. The Klansmen even
went as far as whipping a Black woman for ???laziness,??? and pummeled a freedman for suing a
white man. The terrorists told him that ???darkeys were through with suing white men.???
Still much hadn??™t changed for the blacks, especially when Mississippi passed the first,
and might I add the most notoriously ridiculous and de-humanizing Black Code Law. This law
meant that blacks could and would be punished differently than whites, the beginning of the
disparities in the legal system that still exist even today, for any and every crime, which included
insulting gestures. Are blacks the only people to break laws Of course not, but in America, they
are the only race of people hunted down like cattle, often leaving behind loved ones too poor to
pay for decent legal presentation. According to many referenced publications despite prevailing
stereotypes, whites, not blacks, collect the greatest share of public aide dollars in this country,
and whites, not blacks are amongst the largest in numbers of child molesters and rapists.
???http://www.yellodyno.com/html/child_molester_stats.html.???
The complexities, as well as the evolution of the white attitudes toward the institution
of slavery and the idea of what African Americans did in respect to achieving their own freedom
during the particular era, deemed crucial to the way many view an American past that can never
be forgotten. ???Nation of Nations, p. 477, ???the United States is the only society in the world in
which the destruction of slavery was accomplished by violence.??? And so it seemed that most of
the declining land prices and falling cotton market experienced in those days, may have easily
been a direct result of the disconnect of a free labor force of people no longer being forced and
driven to labor and build a country from the sweat of their backs.
According to the book, Slavery and the American Economy, by Waldron H. Giles,
Ph. D., ???The first African slaves hit the shores of the United States in 1619 and were constantly
imported into the US until 1860, even though importation had been outlawed in 1808. Over those
intervening 246 years the slaves contributed more than 605 billion hours of free labor, which
funded the Industrial Revolution, financed most of the fortune 500 companies, helped finance
two World Wars, and left a negative sociological impact on an entire race of people, mainly the
African Americans.
In 1865 this deep prejudice appeared in Mississippi??™s notorious Black Codes enacted
in late November by the newly elected Mississippi Legislature. One of the first necessities of
Reconstruction was to define the legal status of former slaves. How would Mississippi define
citizenship Which civil rights would the state legislators give to freedom Instead of embracing
change, Mississippi passed the first and most extreme Black Code, laws meant to replicate
slavery as much as possible. The codes used ???vagrancy??? laws to control the traffic of black
people and punished them for any breach of Old South etiquette. Blacks could not be idle,
disorderly, or use ???insulting??? gestures. Blacks could not own a gun or preach the gospel without
first receiving a special license. Black children were forced to work as ???apprentices??? for white
planters, usually their former masters, until they turned eighteen years old. Most blatant of all,
the state penal codes simply replaced the word ???slave??? with ???freedman,??? all the crimes and
penalties for the slaves were in full force, for the emancipated.
On one level, the Black Codes made a political statement. White Mississippian??™s
meant to limit the political power of blacks by denying them civil rights. On another, deeper
level, these codes revealed an economic struggle between former masters and the freed slaves.
Ex ??“ masters wanted to force blacks to work as they had during bondage. Freedom desired
something else. The Blacks sought to own and/or rent land, they wanted self-sufficiency and
independence from the old ways of plantation agriculture. Though most blacks wanted physical
and economic distance from their terrible past, few ever achieved this goal. Blacks who saved
money to buy land with, seldom found a white man who sell it to them. In certain parts of
Mississippi when blacks offered to buy land for $10 an acre, landowners refused and then sold
the same land to the whites for half that price.
Testimony from officials like Colonel Samuel Thomas and the oppressive Black
Codes convinced Congress that the states needed a more thorough Reconstruction. One of the
greatest successes was black participation in democracy, both as voters and office holders. At
least 226 black Mississippians held public office during Reconstruction. Mississippi sent the first
two (and only) black senators of this period to Congress. This was the first of what we call a
change for the African Americans.
The first Senator, Hiram R. Revels (1827-1901), was a free black man from North
Carolina who served as a chaplain to black troops during the Civil War. Revels moved to
Natchez Mississippi in 1866 and founded schools for freedom throughout the South. The second
African American senator was Blanche K. Bruce(1841-1898). Bruce??™s parents were a Virginia
slave woman and her master. In Bolivar County, Mississippi, Bruce encouraged black political
participation as the county sheriff, tax collector, and superintendent of education. This local
political base catapulted Bruce to a U.S. Senate seat in 1875.
Reconstruction for Mississippi??™s black and white citizens was particularly intense.
Places with the shortest, perhaps most mild, Reconstruction experience were the Upper States of
Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia, where former slaves were a minority of the population,
and white citizens had refused to join the Confederacy until after the war??™s first military
engagement at Fort Sumter. States with the longest and most divisive Reconstruction were states
where most of the population was black and whose white leaders had established the
Confederacy, such as South Carolina, the first state to secede from the Union, and Mississippi,
the second to secede. Reconstruction, which went through two phases, lasted for eleven years.
Being the center of slavery and cotton culture, heavily agricultural places such as
Mississippi secede first and returned to the Union last. Planters, who had produced cotton for the
world market(mainly tended to and raised by the black slaves), emerged from the Civil War in a
state of shock. This position, within a state where the population was 55% black, foreshadowed a
difficult Reconstruction. This had to be hard on the slaves, doing all the work and not ever
getting any credit for the hard work they produced.
The hope of any real unity regarding the African American race seems to have been
destroyed during the Reconstruction period and continues to be a defining problem, even today.
The dispersion and spreading of African peoples throughout the world has made it literally
impossible for African Americans to belong to one nation, to which they call home and/or
experience any sort of common culture, as is experienced by many other races of people. Even
today many of the peoples of African decent are suffering from many of the things done to them
in the past and cannot rid themselves of the control of liberty and fortune, often directed and
dispersed through and by others. Make no mistake about it, with slavery having been recognized
as a prosperous institution, peoples of African decent were the most important trade between
Europe and West Africa.
The progression of African Americans will continue to move forward in spite of all the
road blocks of hate constantly resting in the belly of people who are against the very existence of
isolation and despair. The mere notion of going from nigger, to colored, to black and now
African American shows the diversion, confusion, uncertainly and separation of a race of people
still struggle to find peace within. In closing I have to repeat my sentence at the beginning when
I wrote, depending on ones perspective, perhaps the Reconstruction period was the best or the
worst time in history.
Annotated Bibliography: 1-8
Barrett, J. N, Howard. L. D. Holmes. N. D. (2009) the review of Black Political Economy. Can
Culture Speak to the Race Disparities in Methadone Dosage Levels
The disparities of other races and particularly that of African decent can be seen above and
beyond any spectrum of social and economical sources as so discussed in this journal in respects
to Methadone dosage levels in the attempt to combat substance abuse in certain individuals. As
mentioned in the article, ???The arguments related to organizational differences in resources,
experience and training staff, staff bias and/or racism; deemed cultural competent organizations
may seek in providing a method of treatment???

Breen, H. T., Divine, R. A., Fredrickson, Gross, Williams H. R. (1995). America Past and
Present.
The social and political events of our history are revealed in America, Past and Present. This
book embraces the experiences of the ordinary people in a historical era that enlightens each of
us of a disturbing but un believable past of events that include maps and illustrations along with
exceptional pedagogy that assists one in better understanding a past so distorted and torn that
each role is appreciated as it is unveiled. The shaping and unveiling a present and a future,
destined for forgiveness way beyond it??™s greatness, makes this a book full of historical
knowledge embedded in a life time.

Detweiler, R. (2009). Death or Liberty, African Americans and revolutionary America, 47, 752.
A scholar of early African American History, shares his knowledge of the horrific struggles of
blacks in America during the 1800??™s. he reveals the complexities and the envolvements of the
revolutionary era that expanded throughout the so called, ???new nation???. While much of the book
focuses on the achievement of blacks, there are also the unforgettable stories of strength,
endurance, determination and unity blacks sought to achieve their own freedom and
independence.

Giles, H. (2006). Slavery and the American Economy.
The book is about the tragic irony of African national debts and the road to recovery of the
crimes of slavery in respects to the African American people. The plight of the African American
race will continue, as it has in the past, to change the world history in the 21st century, mocking
the repayment of past crimes of both today and yesterday as- ???What goes around, comes
around!???

J. W. Davidson. , B. Delay. , C. L. Heyrman. , M. H. Lytle. , M. B. Stoff. , (2008). Nation of
Nations, A Narrative a History of The American Republic.
This book serves as an on-going saga of historical events that blend the political, social and
economic history; a history which adds to the molding and shaping of the world??™s historical
events from the 1800??™s to that of present times.

Jackson, F. (1971), Blacks In America 1791-1961.
A depiction of Colonial American when slavery became the way of life for large number of
Africans taken from their native lands. By 1660 slavery was a household word in America.

Mississippi Burning; America, (1988). Actors, Brad Douriff, William Dafoe, Gene Hackmen and
Frances McDormand.
This story is evidence of factual data describing three civil rights workers that disappear back in
1964, in Mississippi. There are two FBI agents assigned to find the terrorist affiliated with an
organization known for its hate and violence against African Americans, called the Klu Klux
Klan. There is a lack of witnesses and viable information that causes the investigation to be more
and more difficult as the investigation progresses on-ward. After a long and disgruntled
investigation, finally the two agents discover the remains of the missing workers and conclude
the case.

M. Knapp, The Serial Killer has the same personality characteristics as the sex offender against
children. Yello Dyno-Protecting Children From Child Predators. Retrieved October 17,2010,
from http://www.yellodyno.com/html/child_molester_stats.html.

http://www.articlebase.com/culture-articles/the-progression-of-african-americans.

J. W. Davidson. , B. Delay. , C. L. Heyrman. , M. H. Lytle. , M. B. Stoff. , (2008). Nation of
Nations, A Narrative a History of The American Republic. Vol.II (6th ed.) McGraw ??“Hill
Companies, Inc..

http://www.mshistory.k12.ms.us/index.phpid=204.

Dennis, hope this is what you are looking for. Considering my shape and pain level, I??™m surprised I got this much done..

George Hawthorne.