Essay on American Civil War and Fugitive Slave Act

743 Words Nov 14th, 2013 3 Pages
In Chapter 9, “Slavery Without Submission, Emancipation Without Freedom,” of A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn takes about the slave rebellions, abolition movement, the Civil War, and these effects on African Americans. Zinn included this chapter to explain the life of African Americans before and after the Civil War and their treatment accordingly. Howard Zinn explains how the life of an African American remained cruel and taken advantage of through explaining the life of a slave before the War and then the mentality that whites were better than blacks that continued after, seen through the effects of the Klu Klux Klan.
First of all, Howard Zinn proves his thesis by talking about the life of a slave prior to the war.
…show more content…
After the war, laws were passed that defended the rights of African Americans, but that all changed with the Klu Klux Klan. Originally, “The Constitutional amendments were passed, the laws for racial equality were passed, and the black man began to vote and to hold office,” but, “The violence mounted through the late 1860s and early 1870s as the Ku Klux Klan organized raids, lynchings, beatings, burnings… As white violence rose in the 1870s, the national government, even under President Grant, became less enthusiastic about defending blacks, and certainly not prepared to arm them” (Zinn Ch. 9). Africans Americans were granted the equal rights that they wanted, but with the actions of the Klu Klux Klan, a white supremacy group, the US government began to back off from supporting the African American due to fear of more attacks (possibly becoming more violent). The African American also lived in poverty, “The average wage of Negro farm laborers in the South was about fifty cents a day, Fortune said” (Zinn Ch. 9). Not only were the newly freed blacks being hunted down by white supremacy groups, but also they lived in poverty. Yes, they life of some approved greatly and they were able to receive an education, but for the majority of African Americans, they were still living in the shadow and fear of whites.
In conclusion, Howard Zinn wrote “Slavery Without Submission, Emancipation Without Freedom” to explain that the life of an African American did not change too…