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Experience of Freedom for Euro-American (the White American) from 1865 to 1900 - Essay Example

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The former Confederate General Robert Richardson once remarked that the emancipated slaves from the South own nothing because nothing except freedom has been given to them. This brings to mind the question what freedom actually means and whether the emancipated slaves deserved…
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Experience of Freedom for Euro-American (the White American) from 1865 to 1900
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Experience of Freedom for Euro-American (the White American) from 1865 to 1900

Download file to see previous pages... It is important to note that slavery ended not because of the charitable heart of white American slave owners. Slavery ended after a bitter and bloody civil war that cost hundreds of thousands of American lives. Slavery only ended after a struggle both in military and political terms (passing of the Thirteenth Amendment). Majority of the white slave owners did not even wanted to end slavery and so, from their point of view emancipation is already enough for the former slaves. For the white Americans, freedom meant the emancipation of the slave African Americans and that is already more than enough freedom for them considering that they were once slaves before.
The definition of freedom is articulated by Garrizon Frazier, a black minister who responded what freedom means because it includes not only the political aspect but also the economic aspect of freedom. Freedom is “placing us where we could reap the fruit of our own labor, and take care of ourselves.” The way to accomplish this was “to have land, and turn it and till it by our own labor” (Foner 1983:586). Freedom also includes not only freeing from the shackles that the state formerly sanctioned but also the equal protection of the laws and the equal provision of opportunity in all spheres of life.
The White Americans however disagreed to this definition considering the previous of Black Americans as former slaves. To them, emancipation is already enough for the African Americans as freedom exactly meant the removal of the bondage of force servitude. Thus, efforts by White Americans still continued to disenfranchise the White Americans in other forms such as denial of the right to vote, segregation and discrimination.
The first few aspects of freedom such as “reaping the fruit of our own labor, and take care of ourselves [by having] land, and turn it and till it by our own labor” was relatively easier to accomplish because it only ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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