Essay on Free Blacks And The United States

1266 Words Oct 31st, 2014 null Page
The United States in the mid 1800s saw a new social group become more prominent, free blacks. Free blacks were starting to emerge and society had to find a way how to deal with this new group, while at the same time blacks were trying to define themselves due to the resistance by whites. This meant creating their own churches and getting an education, all the while they were subjected to laws that essentially made them second-class citizens. Ohio was from the start set up as a free state, due because of the Northwest Ordinance, which established that all the Northwest Territories were going to be non-slave states. Being a free state did not mean that it was a safe haven for free blacks. Like many other states in the United States, Ohio tried to control and limit the amount of free blacks entering the state, those who wanted to settle in its borders. There were a number of laws was instituted by the Ohio state legislature to limit the rights of free blacks and set the minimum requirements for blacks to settle in the state. These laws were hard to meet by most blacks, but at the same time they were rarely enforced by the government at all, allowing many blacks to settle without actually meeting the requirements that the state government put in place. These laws were also instituted to limit the amount of runaway slaves that wanted to move to free states, including Ohio, and begin a new life. The laws also had punishments for any white or free black who any had…

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