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Lesson: A Contested History. Throughout most of the 20th century, US history books, films, and other works of popular culture told a story of Reconstruction which today's historians consider obsolete and incorrect and which was used to justify segregation. Many Americans still hold misconceptions about the Reconstruction era to this day. Centered on "A Contested History," the Introduction to Facing History's video series about the Reconstruction, and enhanced with readings and activities, this lesson will help to illuminate how our experience of the past affects our choices and beliefs in the present. By watching the video and analyzing historical documents, students will learn about the misrepresentations of the history of Reconstruction. Students will also discuss and reflect on how the way a society understands its history can shape individuals’ beliefs about the present and can affect political, economic, and social choices.

Ask students to write a short reflection in response to the following questions: Reading. Text to Text | 'Why Reconstruction Matters' and 'Black Reconstruction in America' Slavery in the United States. Jenny Bourne, Carleton College Slavery is fundamentally an economic phenomenon. Throughout history, slavery has existed where it has been economically worthwhile to those in power. The principal example in modern times is the U.S. South. Nearly 4 million slaves with a market value of close to $4 billion lived in the U.S. just before the Civil War. Not long after Columbus set sail for the New World, the French and Spanish brought slaves with them on various expeditions. Slavery in the North Colonial slavery had a slow start, particularly in the North.

TABLE 1 Population of the Original Thirteen Colonies, selected years by type Source: Historical Statistics of the U.S. (1970), Franklin (1988). Slavery in the South Throughout colonial and antebellum history, U.S. slaves lived primarily in the South. TABLE 2 Population of the South 1790-1860 by type Source: Historical Statistics of the U.S. (1970). Slave Ownership Patterns TABLE 4 Holdings of Southern Slaveowners by states, 1860 Law of Manumission. The Case for Ending Slavery. White into Black: Seeing Race, Slavery, and Anti-Slavery in Antebellum America Sarah L. Burns, Indiana University, and Joshua Brown, The Graduate Center, CUNY White or Black?

What could these two images possibly have in common? They seem at first and even second glance to have no connection whatsoever: one is white, one black; one nude, the other clothed; one fictional, the other real. Yet there are ways to show that--appearances to the contrary--they are intimately and intricately related, and to learn what that relationship reveals about the meaning and function of art in antebellum or pre-Civil War America. But to detect and understand these meanings, we need a set of strategies that will enable us to unpack visual images and decipher the explicit and implicit messages they communicated. There are a number of ways you can use this "Lesson in Looking. " Depending on the class and its focus, there are other ways to use this resource.

Go to Step 1. The New Jersey Digital Highway - Paul Robeson. In 1947, the American Heritage Foundation prepared a plan to have the original copy of the Declaration of Independence and other significant historical documents tour the United States on a special train entitled the "freedom train. " Although this project was endorsed by President Truman and sponsored by the Attorney General of the U. S., the American Heritage Foundation refused to guarantee the exhibition would not be segregated. Langston Hughes, the internationally renowned poet, responded to the outrage felt by the African-American community about the contradictions evident in an exhibit emphasizing constitutional ideals of freedom and justice which was touring a society where legal segregation was a daily occurrence.

Hughes' poem "Freedom Train" was the result, and Paul Robeson soon recorded the piece. In the late 1940s, Robeson took the position that he would no longer sing at concerts where audiences were segregated. I read in the papers about the Freedom Train Way cross Georgia. Through a Glass Darkly: Images of Race, Region and Reform at the American Antiquarian Society. Through a Glass Darkly: Images of Race, Region, and Reform is an online exhibition documenting conflicting representations of African-Americans, white Southerners, and reformers during and and immediately after the Civil War. In particular, it looks at the stereotypes popularized in the northern press, and the ways that these depictions were countered--or in some cases, reinforced--in the letters written for northern readers by freedmen's teachers and freedmen themselves.

Many of the northern volunteers who set up schools for former slaves during the Civil War had little or no previous acquaintance with African-Americans or white Southerners. Strangers in a strange-seeming land, the teachers wrote letters describing their encounters with these unfamiliar peoples. Sometimes these accounts reinforced common stereotypes; other times they undermined prevailing myths. Visualizing Emancipation. 19. To Appomattox and Beyond: The End of the War and a Search for Meanings. Watch LOOKING FOR LINCOLN | Looking for Lincoln. DISUNION - Opinionator. [TAG]The climax of Steven Spielberg’s film “Lincoln” — the passage of the 13th Amendment in the House of Representatives — vividly captures the culmination of a dramatic yearlong legislative battle that mixed skillful behind-the-scenes maneuverings with high-minded constitutional debate, internecine party politics, personal animosities and the polarizing dynamics of a presidential election.

Approval in the House on Jan. 31, 1865, trailed the amendment’s passage in the Senate on April 8, 1864, by almost 10 months. Its adoption by 27 states the following December introduced the word “slavery” into the Constitution for the first time. But the amendment’s successful ratification was not the first time Americans had sought a constitutional remedy for slavery. On Feb. 28, 1861, a close vote in Congress sent the Corwin Amendment to the states.

Named for its House sponsor, Ohio Republican Thomas Corwin, the proposal was actually the work of the soon-to-be secretary of state William H. Seward. Freedmen and Southern Society Project - Main Page. Missouri Digital Heritage: Before Dred Scott - An interactive lesson plan. An 1807 Missouri territorial statute said that a person held in wrongful servitude could sue for freedom. Most of the people using this law to gain freedom were enslaved Africans. Since these cases were all brought for the same reason, historians call them "freedom suits. " Suing for freedom was not easy. The 1807 statute had many requirements and outlined each step slaves had to take to win their freedom. Slaves had to prove they were free black persons. They also had to prove they had been physically abused while being held as slaves. Freedom suits followed a general pattern.

The 1807 statute was made part of Missouri law in 1824 . In 1846, a slave named Dred Scott sued for his freedom in St. The Dred Scott decision was one of the factors that led the United States to civil war. On Demand - View Playlist. Slavery and the Making of America . Resources . WPA Slave Narratives. Declaration of Causes of Secession. Declaration of Causes of Seceding States GeorgiaMississippiSouth CarolinaTexas Georgia [Copied by Justin Sanders from the Official Records, Ser IV, vol 1, pp. 81-85.] The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery.

They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property, and by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of an equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the Republic. All these classes saw this and felt it and cast about for new allies. Mississippi. Harpers Ferry and John Brown. The Kansas-Nebraska Act, 1854. Documenting the American South homepage. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Background In the 1960s, Americans who knew only the potential of "equal protection of the laws" expected the president, the Congress, and the courts to fulfill the promise of the 14th Amendment.

In response, all three branches of the federal government--as well as the public at large--debated a fundamental constitutional question: Does the Constitution's prohibition of denying equal protection always ban the use of racial, ethnic, or gender criteria in an attempt to bring social justice and social benefits? In 1964 Congress passed Public Law 88-352 (78 Stat. 241). The provisions of this civil rights act forbade discrimination on the basis of sex as well as race in hiring, promoting, and firing. Subsequent legislation expanded the role of the EEOC. As West defines the term, affirmative action "refers to both mandatory and voluntary programs intended to affirm the civil rights of designated classes of individuals by taking positive action to protect them" from discrimination.

The South's Secession Commemoration - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - 12/09/10.