Antebellum America

794 WordsDec 15, 20134 Pages
Free Black People in Antebellum America During the Antebellum period, White northerners wanted nothing to do with African Americans. They believed that the African Americans were incapable of honest work and the northerners also feared black competition for jobs. They also believed that African Americans had degraded white southerners and would also corrupt white northerners if permitted. Because of that, nearly every northern state considered, and many adopted measures to prohibit or restrict the further immigration of Negroes. During this period of time, African Americans were still being treated harshly. There were laws such as the black laws, which limited the freedom of African Americans. African Americans rarely were…show more content…
The free blacks in the South did have some similarities and differences to the free blacks that lived in the north. Some of the similarities were that their rights were still limited, they were still discriminated against, they couldn’t become citizens, and they were still treated as property. Some of the differences were that in general, free blacks in the north, despite the limits on their liberty, had opportunities that their southern counterparts did not enjoy. Another difference was that unlike the black northerners, free black people in the upper south lived along side slaves. One last difference was that free black people in the upper south were also more at risk of being enslaved that were black northerners. During the antebellum decade, most free African Americans in the Deep South were closer with their former masters than the slaves. To ensure the loyalty of such free people of color, powerful white people provided them with jobs, loans, protection and such special privileges like the ability to vote and to testify against white people. In ways large and small, free blacks went through many challenges such as hostilities, resentment and a never-ending circle of restrictions. Free blacks paid a high and continuing price for their free status. They paid heavily as their groups’ numbers were kept low and their aspirations went unrealized. These restrictions are the keys to appreciating and understanding the challenge filled world of free blacks
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