13th Amendment Turning Point

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The later end of the 19th century showed huge change in American society, with special focus being on the 1860’s onwards because of the legal change giving slaves in the USA rights to be a human being. From being classed as animal, black American’s now had opportunities never before faced, however this change did not happen overnight. Although vitally important in the abolishment of slavery in American, it becomes obvious that the 13th amendment was not the turning point of civil rights in the US because of the continued poor treatment of slaves, and the subsequent articles and laws that would have to be continually added to the legal system for over one hundred years so Black American’s could truly achieve equal status as their white counterparts. …show more content…
However, as neither of these things are seen on in any large scale, it becomes apparent that the 13th amendment again did very little, and in no way was a turning point, in helping Black American’s gain civil rights. Although some good can be seen after the introduction of the 13th amendment, such as the splitting of the south into military districts to encourage new labour systems and movement for former slave workers, in reality this affected very little. Although Black people could no longer be classed as slaves, new systems such as the black codes in the south would restrict black workers’ wages, movement and could even force them back into unpaid labour if the local governance deemed it appropriate. African American could be forced to work of debt or simply work for a place to stay, allowing then to be classed as “freemen” but be essentially a slave in any other respect. This lack of basic rights with regards to pay or working rights shows again how little the 13th amendment did for civil rights of African Americans, making no to very little change to the economic welfare of former slaves, but allowing the local officials and president at the time (Johnson) to happily do nothing to help …show more content…
However, although Black American where now legally considered more than slaves, the mind set of many white American people did not change so quickly. The 13th amendment cannot be seen as a turning point for civil rights socially in the US because of the reaction to it by the white population, such as the setup of the KKK (designed to reduce black people back to a non-human standard) as well as the segregation movement proposed by the Jim Crow Laws, that again forced Black Americans away from society and into further sub-standard conditions. This lack of social change in the US makes it clear the 13th amendment cannot be placed as a turning point for civil rights as no improvement in civil rights came after it, making its purpose obsolete in trying to change the conditions black

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