It is widely assumed that the Emancipation Proclamation ended slavery in the United States. Though the passage of the 13th Amendment in 1865 abolished slavery in the United States, remnants of it persisted. During the Reconstruction era, the federal government attempted to reconcile grievances among African-Americans. In particular, aiding former slaves who were once property in the South and now citizen protected but citizens who had inalienable rights codified in the U.S Constitution. Both the convict lease program, debt peonage system in the United States are exampled which exemplify the existence of slavery by another name. Employed readily in the American Deep South, but not exclusively as there instances in both the North and the West, numerous African-Americans found themselves in a system eerily mirroring slavery. By exploring the Gilded Age era of America, a harrowing story emerges involving African-Americans. In disenfranchising Blacks through the legal system, the American Deep South, White Southerners used forced labor to boost their states finances, aid their industrialization, and to assuage their fears concerning racial integration leading to re-subjuagation of Black Americans.
Blackmon, Matthew J. Mancini, Christopher R. Adamson, and William Cohen explored the issues faced by African-Americans throughout the South post-Civil War. Refuting the common narratives propagated by some historians, each author brings a unique perspective to the discussion. In combining numerous documents and personal accounts, Blackmon effectively examines the tactics utilized by states in the South that resulted in conditions mirroring slavery. Countless businesses and persons benefited handsomely from convict laborers as Southern States seemingly had an endless supply of labor. Mancini explored the origin of convict leasing in the American South, noting that it is difficult, but not impossible to explain its existence. Different from others beliefs, he explained the heavy economic incentives resulting from convict labor and it differences from slavery. By his estimation, equating the two systems misrepresents them. Adamson examines the dilemma of ex-slaves living in the South and their precarious situation as they sought to exercise their newly secured rights. Cohen plainly states the issues percolating in the South with respect to labor control. Southerners needed labor and recently freed slaves provided the opportunity for them to exploit them once more under the pretense of legal
From the early stages of colonization, the institution of slavery would continually become established within the United States. This creation not only functioned as a system of labor, but also as a system for regulating the relations between the races. The North and South profited greatly at the expense of shackled and separated families, up until the early 1800’s as the idea of slavery became a topic to be repeatedly examined.
Ratified by the states in the winter of 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment was put into play. It declared, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude…shall exist within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” (Primary Documents). Officially, this amendment outlawed the practice of slavery, there was, however, an exception. That exception was the use of involuntary servitude, or slavery, as a form of punishment. More than four million African Americans walked free in 1865, this had a rather negative impact on the Southern economy. And so came the Convict-lease system. Many white Southerners saw this system as a solution to their economic hardships; nonetheless, it was often seen as being worse than slavery. In addition to the convict lease system was the practice of Sharecropping and Peonage. These forms of subjugation brought even greater distress to the newly freed African Americans. Despite the ratifying of the Thirteenth Amendment the abhorrent treatment of this newly freed race did not change significantly thanks to programs like the Convict Lease system, Peonage, and Sharecropping.
In the mid 19th century, the United States of America was experiencing an era of growth. The only problem was the North and South had an economical difference. The North established manufacturing and industry. While the South’s economy was based on large-scaled farming, which relied on the labor of African American slaves to grow and harvest certain crops. Tobacco and cotton were the main crops that was grown. After the abolishment of the slaves in the North, the South felt like they were going to have to remove the slaves also. They feared this because the people of the South knew that the economy was going to fall tremendously. The abolishment of the slaves had spread westward and this is when the South became concerned even more.
During the Antebellum period, the American legal system witnessed disparity when there was a massive movement of African Americans out of the rural cities to the urban areas (Crutchfield and Finke, 1983). Another research in other parts of America, prior to the civil war, many whites was imprisoned (Robert, April, and Jorge, 2010). Prior literature on the convict lease systems in postbellum south that aimed at replacing slavery also practiced racial disparity, seen during the using of blacks to work in the field they had worked before as slaves (Adamson 1790-1835;
The long Gilded Age of America started in 1870 and lasted until 1930. It started right after the Civil War and was a period of extreme economic and industrial growth. After the war, a period known as Reconstruction started. The Reconstruction was meant to rebuild the economy of the South. However, the Reconstruction not only didn’t help the South that much, it also didn’t help the newly freed African Americans. According to Eric Foner’s book Give Me Liberty Volume 2, “African-Americans’ understanding of freedom was shaped by their experience as slaves and their observation of the free society around them.” Even after the Civil War, life was still not good for African Americans. One deadly system that was very similar to slavery was the convict leasing system. According to the Reconstruction Amendments, the 13th Amendment outlawed all slavery except ones “ except as a punishment for crime”. Those few words were enough for many people to exploit this by falsely accusing people(many of them African American) of crime and forcing them to work in horrific conditions such as mines and factories. In the Slavery By Another Name video, it told of situations when convicts were through with their time and yet would be forced to stay by the harsh rule of the place they were working at. Many blacks would get sent to prison and then leased for minor misdemeanors or idiotic actions such as stealing a pig or the “Vagrancy Statutes”(from Slavery By Another Name). These statutes basically
African Americans didn’t know that is was a Great Depression. African Americans have always been poor and knew how to survive. By 1932, approximately half of black Americans were unemployed, blacks always felt unemployed and under paid. Whites attempted to keep blacks out of work by not hiring African Americans. They used racial violence, and discrimination tactics to keep an underprivileged population depressed.
Reconstruction did not succeed in incorporating former slaves into American society, but rather complicated the lives of blacks. For example, employment opportunities for african-americans at that time we much more scarce than for the average white. Blacks were usually met with signs saying “Help wanted. Whites Only” and bigotry when seeking employment. Evidently, these facts show that former slaves had little chance of becoming financially stable at the hands of these highly biased hiring
Looking at the social order at the time is important to understanding what is to come. While the slaves were now free and able to do as they pleased, there was still a deeply embedded racism within the minds of Southern whites. Just because blacks had fought in the Civil War did not suddenly mean that the perception of blacks had changed; rather to the Southern elites, they still viewed blacks as inferior and only good for labor, longing to perpetuate the slave system but within a new industrial framework seeing as how the agricultural framework had been destroyed. This new system was to be found in through convict leasing.
The introduction of Africans to America in 1619 set off an irreversible chain of events that effected the economy of the southern colonies. With a switch from the expensive system of indentured servitude, slavery emerged and grew rapidly for various reasons, consisting of economic, geographic, and social factors. The expansion of slavery in the southern colonies, from the founding of Jamestown in 1607 to just before America gained its independence in 1775, had a lasting impact on the development of our nation’s economy, due to the fact that slaves were easy to obtain, provided a life-long workforce, and were a different race than the colonists, making it easier to justify the immoral act.
The Prison Industrial Complex flourished during the Reagan Administration. It was a way for Corporate America to use cheap prison labor to make huge profits for their corporations. With 42% of the prison population being black and only 13% of the country being African American, it’s easy to realize that the government was exploiting the black prisoners with cheap labor, no union representation, and huge profits that did not get passed on to the prisoners. According to author Michelle Alexander, there are more blacks in prison today than there were enslaved in 1850. This is what she refers to as “The New Jim Crow.” In her argument, she states: “In this era of colorblindness, it was not socially permissible to use race as a tool for disfranchisement, marginalization and discrimination” (Module 9/ Page 6).
The issue of slavery has been in infamous part of American history since it first started in the 1600’s in Jamestown, Virginia. During the colonial era, white male landowners needed help on their land taking care of crops, so they would purchase the African slaves after they arrived by boat and have them work the land as well as other tasks that needed to be done such as tending to
As a result of these drug laws the use of drugs decreased slightly, but the number of African American men incarcerated for drug crimes skyrocketed to more than 300 %, The number of African Americans arrested for drug abuse went from 112,784 to 452,574 in a short period of time. Young African American males were almost 9 times more likely to be incarcerated than their Caucasian counterparts. With considerably long sentence, and having to serve out a minimum of 85% of their time, these men have absolutely nothing to turn to. No longer was the goal of the penal system to reform these misguided men. Now the main priority of the prison system was to punish. Instead of giving these men a basic education, and helping them become productive members of society once they were released, Congress cut funding to educational programs, and actually tried to pass an act known as the No Frills Prison Act, which funded prisons to “prevent luxurious conditions.” To make things worse, South Carolina prisons banned basic necessities out of spite,such as the air conditioners.
Roads and bridges had to be rebuilt and many people lost their homes and belongings. This sent the country into a state of steadfast dedication to get structures up to par. Railroads were more advanced in the North, and this spread to the South, which substantially aided in transportation. A new institution known as “convict leasing” was implemented to hasten the process. Convict leasing, a controversial subject, was a network that took criminals from jail and brought them to work. This was a hot debate topic because many believed it was mimicking slavery since the labor wasn’t paid. The conditions endured by the convicts were unbearable, and numerous of them died. Convict leasing was much cheaper to hold onto than slavery, with one convict costing as low as nine dollars, while slaves were a long time investment. While it did help to rebuild the U.S., convict leasing was a cruel organization that was poorly