Black And White Lives : Reshaping And Reordering After The Civil War Essay

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Black and white lives required reshaping and reordering after the Civil War. The problems caused by the Civil War left white and black people in a social void where political and social identities would need to be redefined. The Federal Government was not capable of defining or implementing policies that would aide in the resocialization of elite whites, poor whites, and freed blacks. The Civil War caused shock, trauma and uncertainty. Ex-slaves had to define who they were in relationship to each other, whites and freedom. The future of ex-slaves “uncertain and undefined by law” (Dr. Prior) created social friction between plantation elites, and disenfranchised whites. Ex-slaves were called freedman. The ex-slaves would have to define who they were in newly acquired social space. Being free meant disrupting the social order. Ex-slaves took it upon themselves to define who they would become in public and private spaces. Reordering their lives and refashioning their identities would not come without consequences. Plantation elites who experienced the blunt of the war found themselves stripped of their roles as masters of their domain, family and slaves. Disenfranchised whites without land, power and wealth seized what opportunities they could to elevate their status in a society turned upside down. The Federal Supreme court decision in 1857 Dred Scott (Lecture 15, Slide12) case ruled that Negros were without rights and property. This ruling allowed slavery into

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