North and South. In the year 1870 there were 7,2 million people in the USA. For 1,2 million of these people the words of the Declaration of Independence “that all men are created equal” were far from true. They were black and they were slaves. North and South.
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In the year 1870 there were 7,2 million people in the USA. For 1,2 million of these people the words of the Declaration of Independence “that all men are created equal” were far from true. They were black and they were slaves.
In the North of the United States farms were smaller and the climate was cooler than in the South. Northern Farmers did not need slaves to work for them. Some o opposed slavery for moral and religious reasons also.
By the 1820s southern and northern politicians were arguing fiercely.
On march 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln took the oath of office as President of the United States. In His inaugural address he appealed to the Southern states to stay in the Union and warned that he would not allow them to break up the United States.
The Southern States Took no notice on the appeal and on April 12 the American Civil War began.
The Civil War gave the final answers to two questions. It put an end to slavery. In 1865 this was abolished everywhere in the US by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. And it decided finally that the United States was one nation, whose parts could not be separated.
But white southerners were determined to resist any changes that threatened their power to control the life of the south. They were especially horrified at the idea of giving equal rights to their former black slaves.
In July 1866, despite opposition from the President, Congress passed a Civil Rights Act. And then it introduced the 14th amendment to the Constitution. The 14th amendment gave blacks full rights, including the right to vote.
All the former Confederate states except Tennessee refused to accept the 14th Amendment. The largest and the most feared terrorist group was a secret society called the Ku Klux Klan. They rode by night through the countryside, beating and killing any blacks who tried to improve their position. Their sign was a burning wooden cross, which they placed outside the homes of their intended victims
But reconstruction had not been for nothing. The 14th Amendment was especially important. It was the foundation of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s and made it possible for Martin Luther King to cry out eventually on behalf of all black Americans: “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
In 2008, Democratic Sen. Barack Obama defeated Republican Sen. John McCain becoming the first African-American elected to the office of President of the United States, and making Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and daughters Malia and Sasha the first African American First Family of the United States. Ninety-five percent of African American voters voted for Obama.