The African Americans played a major role before and after the Civil War, beginning from 1861 to 1870, which helped shape the course and consequences of the Civil War. In determining how African Americans shaped the course and consequences of the Civil War, one must assess how African Americans were given more opportunities. Politically, African Americans began to have a role in voting and to have the President and Republican Party fight for their full freedom. Socially, the African American’s class began to be looked at differently.
Ideologically, the African Americans were being looked at as equal and made sure that people knew they were people too. Although African Americans had to continue to fight for their equality, they did, in fact, shape the course and consequences of the Civil War by having political, ideological, and social actions. African Americans had no rights to vote or involve themselves in politics but that changed after the Civil War. Giving African Americans the right to vote shaped the consequences of the Civil War by African American’s views being looked at as well. On August 1865, the Convention of the Colored People of Virginia was proceeded which claimed that since African Americans are free, they deserve to vote (Doc H).
The African Americans spoke of being given suffrage, and then they were given the right to vote. This shaped a consequence of the Civil War because the African American’s views were no longer over looked. During the Civil War, no one J. Crespo P a g e | 2 paid attention to what the African Americans wanted but afterward, they were granted the voice to speak about what they wanted. After being heard and given the right to vote, the African Americans had participation in Constitutional Conventions. A map shows the following: the participation of African Americans and Whites in Constitutional Conventions during 1867-1868.
(Doc J). Politically, the whites did not want to be overtaken by the African Americans, so they had a larger participation to overrule the African Americans. The whites wanted a powerful Democratic Party that supported their wanting. The African Americans still participated in the conventions to make sure the Republic Party was strong enough to continue to give the African American their rights. African Americans participating in the Constitutional Conventions shaped one of the consequences of the Civil War by not letting whites take over the political system.
Not only did the African Americans have a consequence politically with being heard and not having white supremacy, politically African Americans were also given their freedom. African Americans were being given their freedom. Politically, African Americans were being granted a change in society. Abraham Lincoln published a letter on August 26, 1863 that proposed the following: the African Americans as a whole, everywhere, should be granted their freedom for they fought for the North (Doc C). Abraham Lincoln was trying to persuade the Whites to agree on freedom for the African Americans in the United States.
African Americans were being freed everywhere instead of just the North. Politically, this helped the African Americans tremendously because they were going to be freed everywhere. One of the consequences was African Americans being freed in the North, but then African Americans were going to be freed everywhere, including the South. After the letter sent out by Abraham Lincoln, the Republican Party decided to try to get an amendment that freed all African Americans. In 1864, the Republican Party’s platform stated the following: they wanted an Amendment to J. Crespo P a g e | 3 officially end slavery everywhere (Doc D).
Politically, the African Americans were beginning to be seen as people throughout the nation. This consequence after the Civil War proved that African Americans were no longer going to be slaves anywhere. African Americans found their freedom with the help of the political power of Abraham Lincoln and Republican Party. Then the African Americans were socially looked at differently. The African Americans were no longer such a low class because people began to look at them differently and notice the good things about African Americans. Socially, the African Americans were being helped by the people.
On July 30 1861 General Benjamin F. Butler reported to the secretary of the war stating the following: the African Americans should be free since they are a part of the North (Doc A). Socially, the North no longer presented the African Americans as property. This shaped the Civil War because the African Americans became part of the Union that fought for the North. Then after the Civil War was won and the African Americans were freed, their school system proved them socially equal and good as the whites.
In March 1864, Charlotte Forten, an African American teacher in South Carolina Sea Islands, said the following: she spoke of how happy the African American children were to learn and how much knowledge they have attained (Doc E). Socially, the African Americans were no longer looked at as less smart than the Whites.
The consequence of the Civil War with the African Americans socially with schools showed their equality to whites. Socially, the African Americans were no longer looked at as slaves or less knowledgeable. The African Americans, ideologically, were no longer looked as property. The African Americans were beginning to be looked at the same as the whites. The African Americans no longer were looked at as property.
Ideologically, the African Americans caused a consequence of the Civil War to be looked at as people. On March 7, 1864 in The New J. Crespo P a g e | 4 York Times it stated the following: African Americans have gone through a drastic change to now be free Americans in the United States equal to the whites (Doc F). The African Americans were no longer the property they were once known of; African Americans were people just as the Whites. Ideologically, this proved that a consequence of the Civil War was the change of equality that African Americans had.
After The New York Times had posted the article, Thomas Nast from Harper’s Weekly on August 5 1865 had posted the following: a picture of lady liberty standing next to an African American Union Solider asking “And Not This Man? ” (Doc G). Ideologically, the picture proved that the people no longer were going to look at African Americans as property so they should be treated equal. The North wanted the South to have the same thoughts about African Americans. This set a consequence of the Civil War by having the African Americans no longer being looked at as slaves as they were when the war had begun.
After the African Americans were no longer looked at as property, the African Americans made sure the Whites thought of them as people no matter what. African Americans were going to deal with racism and injustice but they made sure that the whites knew they were people also. Ideologically, the African American consequence after the Civil War was that African Americans are people, not slaves nor property.
On August 20 1862 in New York during the resolution of African Americans in Newtown, African Americans stated the following: they wanted to make sure that the President knew that they were not going to leave because the United States was their country also that they were going to fight in for their freedom (Doc B). This constructed the course of the Civil War because the African Americans began fighting in the Civil War.
Ideologically, African Americans were looked at as people in the nation of the United States to fight along the Whites for their freedom and country. After the Civil War, when African Americans were no longer slaves and granted their freedom, some J. Crespo P a g e | 5 whites resisted the full freedom of African Americans. In 1867 with Rebecca Parsons she went through the following: she went back to receive her kindred since she was a free slave but the owner would not allow her to because they were “his” (Doc I).
Although, Parsons did not allow Rebecca her children it proved that Parsons realized she was also people because she demanded them back from him. Rebecca is no longer a slave who has to stand down, she also had rights which proved she is as equal as Parsons. Ideologically, after the Civil War this was a consequence by African Americans no longer being looked at differently because they were people also. African Americans ideologically created the course and consequence of the Civil War by being looked at as people and not slaves.
African Americans shaped the course and consequences of the Civil War by ideological, social, and political reasoning. African Americans were known in the United States as slaves and property but they no longer were during and after the Civil War. They became people of equality to the whites in the United States. They no longer had no say in politics; they were given rights and opportunities to speak of their views. They no longer were viewed as property but people. Also, they weren’t the low class everyone had always labeled them as. African Americans helped the Union win the war to win themselves the freedom they deserved.
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