The Impact of Freedom on Slaves Both During and After the Civil War.

While the Civil War was not fought to free the slaves, the result was that they were ultimately freed because of the Civil War.   President Lincoln, by Executive Order issued the Emancipation Declaration on January 1, 1863.   The order itself did not apply to all slaves but primarily to those in territories under Confederate control.   Other actions freed the slaves in other parts of the Union.   The purpose of this paper is to discuss the impact of freedom on the slaves both during and after the Civil War.   While the length of this paper precludes an extensive review, sufficient scope will be included to account for how the slaves first encountered freedom, the barriers they faced because of their freedom, and how they fared following the cessation of fighting.
The act of ending slavery, by the Declaration, was simple.   Enforcing the Declaration was another thing entirely.   As stated by Phillip Paludan,
“The power of slavery consisted of more than the immediate force that whites could use upon blacks, more than whips and guns and shackles and threats to separate families.   The power was sustained by ‘a lock with a hundred keys.” as Lincoln said.   And the keys were held throughout the nation in the form of ideas that whites held that protected slavery.   Racism was the most potent of these ideas, yet equally potent was the belief, in the North and South, that the rule of law, and hence the Constitution itself, somehow protected slavery.”  

Simply saying slavery was over did not make it happen any more than the “Mission Accomplished” sign hanging behind President Bush ended the fighting in Iraq.   Even in those areas that were not under Confederate control, the freed Blacks found that the shackles did not easily fall off their wrists and ankles.   As the Union troops liberated areas of the South, the slaves
were set free.   However, just being free did not afford them an opportunity to support themselves.   Since they had, for the most part, been cared for by white...