and the New South
Analyze whether “40
acres and a mule” would have made a difference in the outcome of
would have allowed the freed slaves to own private lands; therefore, it would have
changed the results of Reconstruction.
It was laid down by General William T. Sherman so as to assist the freed
slaves. Land along the Southeast coast
was set aside so that every family could have a plot of not more than forty
acres. The plan was approved by President Lincoln whereby; the freed slaves
were to be offered a piece of land per household (Foner 525). However,
the order was only enacted for one year which meant that the slaves would go
back to their previous lives. They would not own any land; hence, they had to
work as slaves so as to feed their families. However, the 40 acres and a mule
would have meant that they had a source of income; therefore, there would have
been no need to work for the white landowners.
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of the leading causes of conflicts during the reconstruction period was
slavery. The black Americans felt that they needed their freedom. However, the
Democrats were not ready to grant them freedom. For instance, by the end of
reconstruction, most of the slave owners had regained their strength.
Therefore, it meant that they could own slaves and on the other hand, the
slaves could not own private lands (Foner 583). If the plan would have implemented
there would not have been talks concerning reparations. The slaves would have
been offered their freedom hence; they would not have gone to demand their
rights. The conflicts between the whites and the black Americans would not have
erupted. Land ownership would have
equalized the blacks and the White land owners, which mean that slavery, would
not have been an issue.
Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty!: An
American History. New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 2014.
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