History 4305-
1) Topic of Choice-

Civil War: Price of Freedom

2) Rationale for selecting the topic-
I Selected the topic because I want to be able to understand the struggles and the process my ancestors had to go through to gain their freedom .

3) Projected Title of Your Paper-

The Obstacles Freedmen Faced after the Civil War

4) A Main Question or questions that you desire to address.

(1) Has the struggle for freedom become any easier in the 21st century opposed to four hundred years ago?

(2) Did we really win our freedom after the Civil War you truly be free if blacks are still being oppressed?

(3) What can we take from the struggles our ancestors went through to help us grow stronger in the continued fight for justice and equality?


History 4305: New South

The passage of the Confiscation Act of 1862 by the US Congress, marking the end of the Civil War, ushered in a new period for the freed slaves. The freed slaves, commonly referred to as freedmen, although free, found themselves in a precarious position due to a number of difficulties they faced as they adjusted to their newly found freedom. Perhaps the most significant obstacle that that the freedmen faced relates to economic challenges. Homeless and with very few possessions, the freedmen found themselves depending heavily on the Federal government for their survival, reminiscent of how dependent they had been on their slave masters. With the Federal government issuing no concrete policy towards their welfare, many of the freedmen resorted to going to work in the plantations for a small fee to tend for food, clothing, and shelter. As a result of the slave codes, many freedmen only had agricultural skills and hence chose to work in the plantations.

Even though a number of legislations such as the Civil Rights Act of 1875 among others had been passed to protect and help the freedmen, discrimination was still rife. Ironically, important court cases in the era restricted and discriminated them further. With the abuse of slavery still fresh in their minds, many of the freedmen dared not to trust the whites. With the knowledge that the war was not yet over and unsure of whom to trust, many freedmen opted to remain with their masters. Many more others chose to join the Union Army and followed it religiously given that they had run out of options. This research paper aims at analyzing the different obstacles that the freedmen faced after the Civil War. The research paper will then attempt to establish whether the struggle for freedom today is any easier, analyze whether our freedom was won after the Civil War, and discuss the lessons learnt from the struggles of the freedmen.

Annotated Bibliography

GARRETT-SCOTT, S. (n.d.). “When Peace Come”: Teaching the Significance of Juneteenth. “When Peace Come”: Teaching the Significance of Juneteenth, 76(2), 19-21.

Garrett- Scott argues that knowing the exact meaning behind and the history behind such an important day as Emancipation Day, is extremely vital to knowing how to appreciate your freedom. She gives solid background information through the events that were happening to trace the timeline of how we received word that the slaves were free, by the reading of Government order 3. This is a good place to start in my research, from how and when we knew the slaves were free and the passion and importance behind it.

Jeffries, J. (n.d.). Juneteenth, Black Texans and the Case for Reparations. Juneteenth, Black Texans and the Case for Reparations, 55(2/3), 107-115.

Jeffries argue that reparations should be given to former slaves? families, but only for the two and a half years they were in bondage after the official Emancipation Proclamation from Abraham Lincoln in 1863. This has always been a ?hot topic? of discussion amongst whites and blacks, who are on opposite ends of the spectrum.

Calvin, M. (n.d.). American Toussaints: Symbol, Subversion, and the Black Atlantic Tradition in the American Civil War. American Toussaints: Symbol, Subversion, and the Black Atlantic Tradition in the American Civil War., 28(1), 113-127.

Calvin argues that during the American Civil War, Toussaint Louverture was for African Americans the touchstone of a transatlantic identity, which joined their violent struggle for freedom and equality to a black revolutionary tradition that was deeply rooted in the eighteenth-century Atlantic world. These men and women who fought in the war were of Haitian descent and were willing to die and fight for their freedom. They were a different breed, very controlled, disciplined and focused. The Haitian Revolution was important to them and they focused solely on themselves.

Pfeifer, M. (2010). The Northern United States and the Genesis of Racial Lynching: The Lynching of African Americans in the Civil War Era. The Journal of American History, 97(3), 621-635. Retrieved from

Pfeifer argues that lynching was not secluded to just the southern states, but were indeed apart of the northern states as well. Lynching was a big part of the citizens showing their pushback of the political, social and economic changes that were beginning to take place in the country. Lynching kept whites in control and made blacks stay in fear of what the white man could do. Lynching in the 1860?s were a major part of our history and should not be dimmed out.

Research Rationale
You are off to a good start in terms of thinking about your research topic and paper. Ensure that the paper title ties clearly to the New South, the historical time period and region that we are studying. Perhaps you might focus on African Americans in the South during the Civil War. You focus on those enslaved Africans who escaped to the Union lines, the blacks who fought in the War, the blacks in Texas who were not free until years later after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, etc….
I will be providing a handout with further details regarding paper titles. I look forward to hearing more about your research interest this semester.

Annotated Bibliography
You are making solid progress. Continue searching for additional primary sources. For the final paper assignment, you will need 3 secondary sources and 3 primary sources.
Consider looking in the bibliography and at the footnotes for the texts that you have to see if the author’s have any good leads.
Also, keep the paper focused. Are you focusing on Juneteenth? I am not sure I see how the 3rd source fits with the first two. Keep researching and working. I look forward to reading the final paper.

You are making progress toward your final paper. For the abstract, give some discussion of the sources that you will be using. Provide a working thesis statement. Remember the thesis should take a position and be argumentative. As of now, you have provide a description of what you plan to do in your research? What do you plan to argue? How will you make that argument?

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