- Actions Taken by Freed Blacks after the End of the Civil War
The American Civil War secures its place in American history as the grand dividing point. One of the weightiest outcomes of the American Civil War was liberation. Approximately 4 million enslaved blacks in American territory were emancipated both during the war and after its end. The switch from slavery to self-determination and autonomy was not only astonishing; it was intricate at the same time. Newly African Americans at liberty experienced both illimitable happiness and terrible displeasure while establishing them as independent faction of the American society. They repeatedly came across aggressive confrontation by the whites as they struggled to become paid workers and dynamic part of the community (G. van Zelm 1).
After getting independence, the main concern for blacks was to find their long-separated family members. The former slaves, thus, desired to keep their families together once they found their lost ones. However, external pressures such as inadequate resources, miserable monetary conditions, and exploitation by white employers threatened the family structure even after the end of the Civil War (G. van Zelm 3).
Another significant outcome of the emancipation was the legalization of slave marriages. The ex-slaves were supported by the federal authorities and missionaries for making their marriages lawful and official. The black families particularly availed the opportunity to get education by learning to read and write (G. van Zelm 4). Though these slaves were predominantly sound in doing agricultural work, they involved themselves in other types of labor after the war (G. van Zelm 5).
However, they did not limit themselves to their work lives. The former black slaves established their own churches and educational disciplines all over the country. With the encouragement from these institutions, the freed blacks were also successful in creating generous and political unions (G. van Zelm 1).
- Importance of Land Ownership
The former black slaves wanted to survive slavery. Therefore, it was important for them to carry on with some traditions of their previous life. This was the reason why they vehemently struggled have a land of their own where they could farm (G. van Zelm 5). Thus, having the possession of their own property was a significant step of African Americans towards independence. As the acquirement of land was real difficult (due to less money), the freed slaves gained pride by achieving the status of property owner. Another factor of giving so much importance to land ownership was the firm belief system of the black slaves that the land should be owned by those who work on it (Booker).
In short, a glimpse at the history crystal-clearly reveals how the freed African Americans continued to resist their position as slaves and second-class citizenship after the Civil War.
Booker, J. R. "Harvesting Freedom: African American Agrarianism in Civil War Era South Carolina." South Carolina Historical Magazine 107.2 (2006): n. p. Questia. Web. 7 Dec. 2012.
G. van Zelm, A. "Hope within a Wilderness of Suffering: The Transition from Slavery to Freedom during the Civil War and Reconstruction in Tennessee."tn4me. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Dec. 2012. <>.