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Why, despite the victory of the Unionin the Civil War, did former slaves fail to secure full civil rights 1865 - 77?

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  • Essay length: 1872 words
  • Submitted: 10/10/2003
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AS and A Level History of the USA, 1840-1968

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Why, despite the victory of the Union in the Civil War, did former slaves fail to secure full civil rights 1865 - 77?

The end of the Civil War provided America with the perfect opportunity to start again as a united and democratic country. The Northern victory had put an end to the threat of a rupture in the Union, and the future of the country had been established. However, there was also the far more significant chance to unite the country under the flag of liberty and equality, for which the North had won their devastating success. Surely victory would be useless if it was not pursued by a radical change in the situation and status of the African Americans, who, after all, had played a significant part in the war effort. Unfortunately, there were several obstacles in the way of true racial equality, which were destined to remain insurmountable for nearly one hundred years.

At the end of the war, the challenge for the Northern leaders seemed intricate and thorny, but not necessarily impossible. The most important question still to be answered was what to do with the rebel states. Should they be

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