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Postwar Ideals and Struggles

Postwar Ideals and Struggles

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Postwar Ideals and Struggles

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  1. Postwar Ideals and Struggles History 17B Lecture 2

  2. Terrible destruction of Civil War led to high hopes for a “new nation.” Individualism, free enterprise, and equality of opportunity. Would ideals apply to all Americans? Our focus today: African Americans and women. A New Nation Richmond, VA, 1865

  3. Collapse of political system over slavery issue brings Civil War. Republican ideology an important component. Free labor respected the dignity of work and provided for advancement. All Americans should have a chance to succeed. “Free Labor, Free Soil, Free Men” Northern Commercial District

  4. Radical Republicans Take Charge • Repercussions of Lincoln’s Assassination • Punish the South. • President Johnson criticized as “too lenient” to South. • Marginalized (even impeached!) by Congressional Republicans. • South passes “Black Codes” despite 13th Amendment. • Congress furious. Andrew Johnson

  5. Reconstruction Legislation • Civil Rights Act of 1866 • Abolishes “Black Codes” • Guarantees all U.S. citizens, regardless of race, equal rights and protections under law. • 14th Amendment (1868) • Civil Rights Act of 1875 • Prohibit racial discrimination in all public accommodations, places of amusement, transportation, and juries. “And not this man?”

  6. Former slaves embraced freedom Looked for work and separated families. Freedman’s Bureau Demanded land. Land ownership meant independence. Sharecropping Rent land, tools, seed, etc. and pay with crop (1/2 to ¾). Easy to fall into debt through bad crop and/or deceit. African American Response Freedmen’s Bureau School

  7. An African American Community • Spiritual and financial support through community ties. • Churches, schools, socializing, and political education. • Widespread optimism among black middle-class elite. • A belief that the color line would disappear once blacks proved their abilities. African American politicians during Reconstruction.

  8. Emancipation robs South of “racial hierarchy.” Whites in South united by color. Discontent of poor whites directed at blacks. Non-race based Voting Restrictions Literacy tests and poll taxes Social and economic segregation White Violence Race riots. White Southern Response

  9. Lynchings

  10. Lynchings • 3,811 lynchings between 1889 and 1941 • Criminal Accusations • Intimidation of Blacks • Allegation of Rape • No Federal law against lynching.

  11. Racial Etiquette • African Americans in the South had little choice but to take their place in this racial hierarchy. • No protection from legal system which reinforced segregation.

  12. The African American Response • Booker T. Washington • Accommodation and economic independence • “Atlanta Compromise Address” (1895) • W.E.B. DuBois • Political and legal equality • Founding of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

  13. A Distinctive Black Culture • Urban centers (Harlem, Chicago, Kansas City) become black cultural communities • Music, fiction and poetry • Development of an African American identity.

  14. Feminism and Abolitionism • Women’s fight for equality after Civil War. • Abolitionist ideology • Absolute moral equality of all human beings. • Women also victims of institutional oppression.

  15. Ideals of the Middle Class for women: Piety Purity Submission Domesticity Home was to be harmonious, comfortable, a safe haven. Women’s role was to dispense comfort. The Cult of True Womanhood

  16. Social Forces and Change • Social conditions undermining Cult of True Womanhood • Reform, industrialization, westward migration, and Civil War. • “Why not expect the same rights as men?” many women asked.

  17. Controversies Over Suffrage • Right to vote based on independence. • Despite emancipation, many whites saw blacks as childlike or savage. • Republican ideals of emancipation and independence required African Americans to have the suffrage.

  18. Controversies Over Suffrage • Social and legal status of women was of dependence on men. • Most northerners willing to give African the vote (a radical step for its time), but not to women. • Men not ready to redefine role of women.

  19. Fracturing of the Movement • Debate over 15th Amend. splits Women’s Suffrage Movement • Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony aligned with racists to defeat black suffrage. • White women of wealth and culture better qualified to vote, they say. Stanton and Anthony

  20. Successes Out West • Political battles between men (who seek allies) out west open suffrage opportunities for women. • Wyoming, Utah, Washington, Colorado, and Idaho all have suffrage by 1890. • National women suffrage in 1920 with 19th Amendment.

  21. Conclusion • Racism/discrimination slow to die. • African Americans and women should have worked together. • Even with black rights, Republican ideals of prosperity a long way off.