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Slaves No More by Leon F. Litwack - Essay Example

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The study takes a deeper look at the chapter in Leon Litwack’s book ‘Been in the Storm So Long’ called ‘Slaves No More’. This chapter talks about the regime in which Abraham Lincoln was the then the president of the United States of America…
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Slaves No More by Leon F. Litwack
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Download file to see previous pages This paper illustrates that Litwack in the chapter ‘Slaves No More’ tries to bring out clearly the reasons, which made the black American slaves to be freed. He touches on the various turn of events that led to the freedom of the slaves, and the possible reaction at the time. In that chapter, Litwack argues out what factors and challenges that were faced by the freed blacks and the mode of life that they soon adopted to become what they are today. What can be deduced from his work is that, freedom resulted from a civil war in America. We cannot forget how he stated that there was a difference in the northern and the southern states. No individual who reads through this book can dispute that, Litwack believed the civil war actually brought slavery to an end. He terms this as a ‘change’ by the civil war. He traces the civil wars to when black Americans joined the Union army, and some too were in the federal army. He talks of the blacks who were from the Confederate states, increasing to a significant number in the forces, and the feeling of the desire for freedom was increasing. Since they were in the forces, they were bound to take up arms to carry out their responsibility. This is also documented that the black soldiers intimidated the few blacks who still opted to remain in slavery. The researcher states that he would agree with him since their recruitment in the forces could be viewed as an empowerment to the blacks, and could be a booster for the ignition of the civil war. The thirteenth amendment, signed by the then incumbent president is highlighted by Litwack as a contributing factor for freedom. This is because the amendment itself was to free the slaves and that makes it a key constitutional change that led to the freedom of slaves. Constitution is the supreme law of the land and it is bound to govern the citizens. Therefore it would stipulate some measures, which if not adhered to may have severe consequences. This is of great importance, since the whites were not in the least bit ready to let go of the slaves. It became a legal requirement, and this was a huge nightmare for them to hire black Americans yet they used to work for free. Most of them found it unpleasing and opposed the move but in the long run they had to comply. He also argued that this was to initiate emancipation. Litwack in his work, strong suggests that the civil war actually led to the reconstruction of the United States in different dimensions. For instance, the upheaval signified the new social, religious, and economic living among the black. It also initiated mutual dependence between the whites and the blacks, though the whites had an upper hand. It also shows how the white slave owners sought for compensation for the loss of their free laborers. This was also in view of free marriage rights for the black since the blacks had no freedom in their marital issues. Though hinting at reconstruction, he felt that it was only the political front that would change, but the social imbalance was bound to remain. By this, he meant that though freedom was attained, the slaves would still remain poor for they were landless and they still had to seek employment from the whites. That refers to meager wages as remuneration. Another important point made by Litwack in his work was the change through black Americans participation in certain issues. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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