Does Freedom Mean Free? Essay

988 Words Dec 22nd, 2015 4 Pages
Does “Freedom” Mean Free?
The Union’s victory of the Civil War did not bring the previously anticipated peace to the United States. Instead it led to a period of time known as “reconstruction,” which lasted from the end of the war in 1865 to 1877. This period is significant for its radical reforms mixed with racial tensions and divisions. The North won the war and established laws to integrate equality into society. Meanwhile, the South lost the war but was able to manipulate the system and mandate how they treated blacks in their society. Thus, the reconstruction period passed laws and drastically revolutionized the social structure in America, and even though it was impeded by Southern mentality, its ultimate goals of freedom were realized. Upon becoming the victors of the Civil War, Northern Republicans setout to implement radical reforms like the 14th amendment in order to make all men free. In 1868, the 14th amendment was voted on and passed, largely due to Northern Republicans and enacted in the United States. It declared that, “nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…” (The 14th Amendment). Thus, all men, including freed slaves, were now seen as equals before the law. This was an idea completely new and revolutionary from that of before the war when blacks were not even considered humans by some and citizenship wasn’t even up for consideration. The North clearly wanted to make all men free and carried this out…

Related Documents