Week 4 - Application Assignment: Statehood of Florida- Introduction to Florida History - Essay Example

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The South’s defeat in the civil war impacted the lives of African American’s in Florida and the South in a number of ways. African Americans who were now able to leave slave owners, masters and mistresses, found there were no jobs to be had. With no money or homes there…
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Week 4 - Application Assignment: Statehood of Florida- Introduction to Florida History
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Week 4 - Application Assignment: hood of Florida October 26 The South’s defeat in the civil war impacted thelives of African American’s in Florida and the South in a number of ways. African Americans who were now able to leave slave owners, masters and mistresses, found there were no jobs to be had. With no money or homes there were many who could not survive and died of exposure, malnutrition, and lack of simple medical care (Gannon, p 46).
The Freedmen’s bureau was established in March 1865 and their mission was to supply food, black educational institutions, medical aid, housing and legal assistance ( Legal assistance was provided to advise the adult freedmen of their new rights and duties and to institute the formality of marriages among the blacks. The Bureau also tried to settle prior slaves on land that was abandoned and/or confiscated during the war. The bureau was closed in 1872 in part from pressure from white Southerners.
Florida’s initial postwar government implemented harsh laws known as black codes that were also discriminatory against blacks with crimes such as rape, vagrancy, and insurrection; this was an attempt by former slave owners to reinstitute the system in fact if not in law (Gannon, p 48). The radical Republican party made strong attempts to implement economic and political rights (Armstrong, 2012), to those blacks who were newly freed. The radicals Republicans also wanted to counter the black codes which also prohibited interracial marriage, placed limits on the movements of blacks and insisted that blacks get special certification to hold certain jobs.
The end of the civil war saw the passage of the thirteenth amendment which technically brought freedom to black Americans though true equality was far from the actual case.
2. White Floridians were for the most part unhappy with these changes, implementing black codes which carried much stiffer penalties for blacks found guilty of certain crimes and also forbid certain behaviors by blacks such as interracial marriage. Democrats known as bourbons gained political power and one of their goals was to ensure the freedmen were kept ‘in their place.’
This democratic leadership and all white unity were formed and blacks begin to lose the ability to exercise such rights as they had remaining such as suffrage. The Ku Klux Klan was formed and white supremacy evaded constitutional and statutory law (Gannon, p 50). Intimidation and violence, including lynching and mobs was a factor in black neighborhoods, especially when they were thought to be living to closely to whites.
Jim Crowe laws made certain that the States black population would be regulated to a station of social bondage, if not physical or legal. By 1890 most blacks would no longer vote and this was considered a failure on the part of the reconstruction efforts and an embarrassment to whites and a source of shame and bitterness. It was ensured that blacks were still very much segregated from whites in schools, churches, and public and community events and also were still denied the privileges that whites enjoyed and that were taken for granted.
Gannon, M. (1993). Florida: A short history. Gainesville: University Press of Florida (2012). Freedmens Bureau. Retrieved October 26, 2012, from
Armstrong, S. (2012). The Era of Reconstruction (1865–1877) for AP U.S. History. The Era of Reconstruction (1865–1877) for AP U.S. History. Retrieved October 26, 2012, from Read More
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