USA Modern History: Challenges for freedpeople after the Civil War.

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The Questions

  1. What challenges did emancipation pose for freedpeople in the aftermath of the Civil War?
  2. What perspectives and strategies did some African American leaders believe should be adopted in the struggle to attain full citizenship. Strengths and weaknesses of each approach.
What was the vision of these reformers for the nation?
What did they fear?
What was some of their work?

Challenges that emancipation posed for freedpeople in the aftermath of the Civil War

Victory on the battlefield was accompanied by the extension of Free Labor ideology into At the ending of the American Civil War, all slaves were freed. The Republican-controlled Congress struggled to "reconstruct" the South and the Union. For a decade, Union troops protected the freed people, who moved quickly to seize the offered political, financial, and social opportunities.

Reconstruction was doomed, however, when the Union peace keepers and law enforcers were withdrawn. Challenges included:

Family (Harper).
Education (Du Bois; Washington).
Segregation (Du Bois).
Lynching (Wells).
Inequality (Turner unaccepting; Washington accepting as an intermediate step).
Votes (Turner; Du Bois).
Arms (Wells).
Return to Africa (Turner).
Agitation versus non-agitation (Du Bois versus Washington).
Land ownership (Turner).
Higher-paying jobs (Du Bois).
Boycott (Wells).

Perspectives and strategies of some leaders:

Leader Profession. Emphases of strategy. Criticisms of strategy.
Du Bois Academician. Votes. Agitate. Segregation problem. Higher-paying jobs. Du Bois leaves out 90% in focus of resources on his "talented tenth". Undemocratic.
Harper Family; important role of mother as civilizer and teacher.
Turner Bishop. Votes. Equality. Return to Africa (land). Weakness: Africans have no obligation to give up their land to the returning African Americans. Is the American government supposed to buy the land for them?
Washington Educator. Slow approach to change. Inequality accepted. Reconciliation. Critical of African Americans that tried to move too fast. Weakness: Whites have to be willing to embrace you and they were not.
Wells Journalist. Lynching problem. Arms. Boycott. Some thought her ideas were 'short term' and too localized. But boycotts were still needed generations later.