The Experience of Freedom

  • Created by: Redheadxx
  • Created on: 05-10-19 19:02
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  • The Experience of Freedom
    • Initially the feeling of being free was exhilarating
      • Many African Americans went in search of family members
      • By 1870 80% of African -American families were strong, stable, family units.
    • The Homestead Act (1862) - provided free land to settlers if they farmed it for 5 years. By 1865, 20,000 homesteaders settled on the land.
      • Sharecropping - was when landowners divided up their land into small tenancies of between 30 & 50 acres
    • Southern Homestead Act (1866) - set aside 44 million acres of land in five southern states to be allocated to former slaves
    • The growth of African American Solidarity
      • Black people took the opportunity to set up schools for adults and their children
        • Black Universities like; Fisk University, Howard University,and Hampton University
        • Education
          • By 1870 $1 million had been spent on black American Education
          • Between 1865 and 1877 approximately 70 black teachers entered politics
          • By 1877 80% of black American were still illiterate
      • Religion played a vital part as it comforted the slaves during their imprisonment and hence the rise of independent Black churches
        • They taught people how to act and punished them if they didn't follow the rules
        • Minister became spokesman for community
    • Politics
      • Black ministers became politically active
      • Over 100 black ministers served on state legislatures between 1865 and 1877
      • In South Carolina African Americans formed 60% of the vote
        • Two secured seats in the American Senate at this point
          • The compromise of 1877 meant that freed slaves were now virtually at the mercy of the southern state legislators
            • By 1877 when the period of reconstruction ended, things had virtually gone back to the beginning of segregation and no civil rights.
      • Freedmen  were surprisingly knowledgeab-le about the legislation passed by the federal gov.t in the post-emancipation period
        • Signs of fragmentation were beginning to show between the North and the south, eg: black Americans, from the North didn't want their children to go to school with black children from the south


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