The Impact Of The Civil War On The African American Community.

Essay by SillyboyA-, November 2003

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The Impact Of The Civil War On The African American Community

Before the war there was a very large African American community already in place. Of course, these had mainly come from the west of Africa as slaves. The conditions in which they were transported were horrendous. The slave ships were always packed. The slaves were positioned head to toe and this allowed disease and death to spread quickly.

Of course the Africans arrived in the US to do a job for the white people that lived there. This was despite the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson in 1776 that stated,

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." The transport of slaves from Africa had been continuing for many years. It appeared that there would be very little change in the rights of these slaves. However in 1863 the then President Abraham Lincoln decided to create the Emancipation Proclamation.

This bestowed freedom upon all slaves. At the time there were over three million slaves. The African Americans were also given the vote. There were many problems with the instant freedom that the slaves had been given. Although it had not been a good life for them their masters had given the slaves food, water and shelter. When they were released the slaves often struggled to find a job and more often than not they were led back into slavery. Du Bois wrote,

"The slaves went free, stood for a brief moment in the sun; then moved back again towards slavery."

It can be said that Lincoln was not always intending to free the slaves. However, throughout the civil war many factors came into place that made Lincoln change his mind and emancipate the slaves. The war was initially going badly for the...