Post Civil War: Reconstructive Era and African Americans

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The African American during the Reconstruction Era probably felt victorious as well as discomfited. Prior to the Civil war, slaves vehemently hoped freedom would give them the right of equal status in American society, but to their surprise, their dream of an egalitarian America was impeded after the assassination of President Lincoln. Their lives became drastically different and difficult in an era that was increasingly contumacious to their well wishes. The end of the Civil War brought social, moral, economic and political changes within the historical context of Florida’s history. History books have, in general, portrayed Florida as the most progressive southern state in American history, especially when considering Florida’s…show more content…
It is undoubed that upon hearing the Emancipation Proclamation many former slaves in Florida rejoiced. They may have celebrated that a ‘new America’ would now accommodate to their needs. Would it last? According to Kevin Emmett Kearney, Floridians were willing to compromise by accepting “negro” rights during the reign of Johnson’s elected provisional governor William Marvins (1865). Similarly, William Watson Davis reported that Marvins preached legal acceptance for former slaves. For,”unless the negro finds protection in the courts of justice he becomes the victim of every wicked, depraved, and bad man whose avarice may prompt him to refuse payment of just wages or whose passions may excite to abuse or mal-treatment,”Marvin’s is quoted as saying at a congressional convention. Nonetheless, Marvins still asserted the social superiority of the “white man.” Thus, Florida’s Reconstructed congress only marginally passed laws to met Johnson’s demands to re-enter the Union. Consequently, Florida African Americans continued to suffer racial injustice in all aspects of life. The provisional government (in florida) was made up of Ex-Confederates who inherently saw African Americans as inferior, especially when we consider the revised constitution that Marvins passed. African American’s were declared social, political, and civil outcasts by Florida’s provisional government upon ratification of the new state
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