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APUSH-14-E

The abolition of slavery


1.  Confiscation Acts

2.  Emancipation Proclamation

3.  Freedmen's Bureau

4.  Thirteenth Amendment


Resources:

History as Destiny: The Case of New York City
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant transcripts:
Cities Have Personalities Too

Colonial City: Revolutionary Battleground
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant transcripts:
A Free and Independent City
Slavery: A Business Necessity

The Old South
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
Slave Life and Culture: Slave Communities

The Civil War
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
The Road to Emancipation: The Actions of Slaves
The Road to Emancipation: Changes in Strategy
The Road to Emancipation: Lincoln's Early Actions
The Emancipation Proclamation: Characteristics
The Road to Emancipation: Characteristics
Black Soldiers: A Changed Policy
Black Soldiers: Service and Citizenship
The End of Slavery
Who's Who

Relevant texts:
The Emancipation Proclamation.
Description of celebrations of the Proclamation in Washington D.C.
An excerpt from Lincoln's last public address.

Relevant transcripts:
Professor Foner introduces the e-seminar
The war undermined slaveowners' control of the slaves.
Professor Foner discusses criticism of the proclamation.

Relevant interactive tools:
Geography of Slavery
Geography of Slavery
The Civil War and the service of black soldiers did not eliminate racism in the North, but there were also indications that in some quarters attitudes were changing.
The Civil War and the service of black soldiers did not eliminate racism in the North, but there were also indications that in some quarters attitudes were changing.

Martin F. Becker (c.1820s-1880)
Resource Type: Primary Source
Abolitionist and Union army officer. Becker was born in Dutch Guyana of an African father and an East Indian mother, and assumed various occupations during his lifetime. In the 1850s, he was an active abolitionist. During the Civil War, he joined the Union navy and then served in the army. He was a member of the 55th Massachusetts Regiment and moved through the ranks from private to quartermaster sergeant to second lieutenant, a position he would have assumed had he not been demobilized. After the war, he was appointed trial justice in South Carolina.

John S. Rock (1825-66)
Resource Type: Primary Source
Lawyer, abolitionist, and physician. Born of free African Americans in New Jersey, Rock earned a medical degree from a medical college in Philadelphia (1852), then went on to study law and was admitted to the Massachusetts bar (1861). Rock helped to assemble the Massachusetts 54th Regiment and sought equal pay for African American soldiers. In 1865 he became the first African American lawyer to be admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Lorenzo Thomas (1804-75)
Resource Type: Primary Source
Union general. Shortly after the Emancipation Proclamation (1863), Thomas was ordered to the Mississippi Valley to lead the Union's first concerted effort to recruit African Americans into the army. Under his direction, the Bureau of Colored Troops was established, and his actions helped to erode the resistance of white soldiers to incorporating fugitive slaves into military service. By the end of the war, Thomas had recruited more than 75,000 African American soldiers.

The Secession Crisis
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
This selection of primary sources allows students to interpret the Civil War as an ideological battle, pitting abolitionists against slavery's apologists, and Northerners against Southerners. Students will understand why most of the Southern states chose secession over union.

African Americans and the Civil War
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
This rich variety of primary sources allows students to evaluate the role and historical agency of African Americans. When W. E. B. DuBois wrote Black Reconstruction in America (1935), he quoted a contemporary historian who gave no credit to African Americans for the freedom they won. These documents provide evidence of the roles African Americans played in the history of the Civil War and the larger history of their fight for freedom and equality.

Harriet Tubman's Letter to Lincoln
Resource Type: Primary Source
After escaping from slavery in 1849, Harriet Tubman became one of the most prominent abolitionists and a driving force behind the various secret escape routes for slaves. In this quotation from a letter by another great abolitionist, Lydia Maria Child, Tubman seeks to influence President Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln's Letter to Horace Greeley
Resource Type: Primary Source
President Abraham Lincoln responds on August 22, 1862, to the publisher Horace Greeley, who three days earlier criticized the government for not making emancipation a key war aim. What Greeley did not know and what Lincoln in his letter does not divulge is that a draft of the Emancipation Proclamation was on Lincoln's desk as he wrote this letter to Greeley.

Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation
Resource Type: Primary Source
Read the Emancipation Proclamation to determine whom exactly it set free. Was the Proclamation issued because the war was not going well for the North or because African Americans were demanding that the destruction of slavery become the key aim of the war?

African American Troops Liberating Slaves
Resource Type: Primary Source
As the African American presence in the Northern war effort increased, so did the chances of freeing slaves from Southern plantations.

The Emancipation Proclamation
Resource Type: Point-Counterpoint
Eric Foner considers the Emancipation Proclamation to have been the turning point of the Civil War (1861–65), of the history of slavery, and for President Abraham Lincoln (1809–65) himself. Primarily through the work of Ira Berlin and others, historians have learned a great deal about the behavior of slaves before and after the Emancipation Proclamation. What emerged from this investigation is what Foner calls a new synthesis "that sees slavery as the most crucial problem of antebellum American life and the fundamental cause of the Civil War, and the myriad consequences of emancipation as the central themes of the war and Reconstruction."

The Role of African Americans in the Civil War
Resource Type: Point-Counterpoint
Although there has been no major attack on the view that African Americans played a decisive role in winning the Civil War, it is also true that, with the exception of W.E.B. Du Bois in Black Reconstruction, there were no historians writing prior to 1960, who would have agreed with Foner's interpretation on the decisive role played by African Americans. A teacher explores how, prior to the rise of the civil-rights movement in the mid-1950s, professional historians simply had been uninterested in the behavior of African Americans, either as slaves or as soldiers.

General Benjamin Butler to General Winfield Scott
Resource Type: Primary Source
Two Union generals discuss emancipation.

The Second Confiscation Act
Resource Type: Primary Source
The U.S. Congress passsed legislation to inhibit treason against the Union.

The Emancipation Proclamation
Resource Type: Point-Counterpoint
Eric Foner considers the Emancipation Proclamation to have been the turning point of the Civil War (1861–65), of the history of slavery, and for President Abraham Lincoln (1809–65) himself. Primarily through the work of Ira Berlin and others, historians have learned a great deal about the behavior of slaves before and after the Emancipation Proclamation. What emerged from this investigation is what Foner calls a new synthesis "that sees slavery as the most crucial problem of antebellum American life and the fundamental cause of the Civil War, and the myriad consequences of emancipation as the central themes of the war and Reconstruction."

The Road to Emancipation: Lincoln's Early Actions
Resource Type: Primary Source
President Abraham Lincoln.

The Road to Emancipation: Characteristics
Resource Type: Primary Source

Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation
Resource Type: Primary Source
Read the Emancipation Proclamation to determine whom exactly it set free. Was the Proclamation issued because the war was not going well for the North or because African Americans were demanding that the destruction of slavery become the key aim of the war?

African American Soldiers
Resource Type: Primary Source
This was one of many battles in which the new African American troops distinguished themselves.

The Emancipation Proclamation
Resource Type: Point-Counterpoint
Eric Foner considers the Emancipation Proclamation to have been the turning point of the Civil War (1861–65), of the history of slavery, and for President Abraham Lincoln (1809–65) himself. Primarily through the work of Ira Berlin and others, historians have learned a great deal about the behavior of slaves before and after the Emancipation Proclamation. What emerged from this investigation is what Foner calls a new synthesis "that sees slavery as the most crucial problem of antebellum American life and the fundamental cause of the Civil War, and the myriad consequences of emancipation as the central themes of the war and Reconstruction."

The Role of African Americans in the Civil War
Resource Type: Point-Counterpoint
Although there has been no major attack on the view that African Americans played a decisive role in winning the Civil War, it is also true that, with the exception of W.E.B. Du Bois in Black Reconstruction, there were no historians writing prior to 1960, who would have agreed with Foner's interpretation on the decisive role played by African Americans. A teacher explores how, prior to the rise of the civil-rights movement in the mid-1950s, professional historians simply had been uninterested in the behavior of African Americans, either as slaves or as soldiers.

The Second Confiscation Act
Resource Type: Primary Source
The U.S. Congress passsed legislation to inhibit treason against the Union.

The Thirteenth Amendment
Resource Type: Primary Source
The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is one of the legacies of the Civil War.

The Emancipation Proclamation
Resource Type: Point-Counterpoint
Eric Foner considers the Emancipation Proclamation to have been the turning point of the Civil War (1861–65), of the history of slavery, and for President Abraham Lincoln (1809–65) himself. Primarily through the work of Ira Berlin and others, historians have learned a great deal about the behavior of slaves before and after the Emancipation Proclamation. What emerged from this investigation is what Foner calls a new synthesis "that sees slavery as the most crucial problem of antebellum American life and the fundamental cause of the Civil War, and the myriad consequences of emancipation as the central themes of the war and Reconstruction."


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