28 May 2022


Response to the End of Slavery

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The end of slavery meant changes for both the slave and the Southern whites who depended on slave labor. Freedom was undefined after the end of slavery because slaves wanted to achieve full independence from the whites while the white did not want to lose control. Given the different objectives on slavery from the African Americans and the Southerners, the response to the end of slavery was different (Digital History, 2003). An evaluation of the reaction of the slave and the Southern white will give an insight into the perspective of the end of the slave-based economy from the two point of view.

African American Response to the End of Slavery 

African Americans response to post-slavery was firstly celebration for the newly acquired freedom. Slaves prioritized the bringing together of families that had been separated by slavery (Kliztman, 2013). Another response want the African American pursuit of education. After the proclamation, several organizations came up to help the former slaves learn. Most former slaves sold and young took advantage of the learning opportunities offered by churches and missionary organization to acquire literacy. Also, African Americans responded to the end of slavery by fighting for civil rights in the US such as voting. Even after the end of slavery, the white saw the people of color as inferior to them, and they were not allowed civil rights such as voting and denied citizenship (Library of Congress, 1998). For this reason, in response to the end of slavery, Former slaves engaged in civil rights movements to acquire citizenship and be allowed to vote.

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Southern Whites’ Response to the End of Slavery 

The Whites of the south were the majority owners of slaves and were significantly affected by the end of slavery. Therefore the response of the Southerners to the end of slavery is noticeable. First, the Southerners were dismayed by the end of slavery. The families of the whites had suffered under the blacks fight for freedom through loss of family members, the ruin of property and ended up withdrawing to the old south after the liberation. Other Southerners would neither accept the outcome nor comprehend the new relations with the former slave (Digital History, 2003). Therefore the White resulted in violence against the new kind of world about to be formed with the slaves acquiring independence.

Response to the Analysis of the End of Reconstruction 

Reconstruction ended as a result of a concession between the North and the South following the results of the controversial presidential election of 1876 (Jackson, n.d). Democrats representing the South and Republicans representing the North reached an agreement to have Republican Rutherford become the president and the Democrats to end the reconstruction.


In conclusion, the end of slavery was both liberating and enslaving depending on the side one was standing. Interestingly, the end of slavery did not free the people of color completely since they were left bound in poverty and still had to work to earn a basic living. Furthermore, slavery took two more years after the signing of the proclamation to be effective. Nevertheless, the end of slavery marked a great time in the history of US more so the African Americans.


Kliztman, Z. (2013). Black reaction to the emancipation proclamation. President Lincoln's Cottage . Retrieved on 21 March 2018 from http://www.lincolncottage.org/black-reaction-to-the-emancipation-proclamation/.

Jackson, B. (n.d). The end of reconstruction. The Social Studies Center . Retrieved on 21 March 2018 from http://www.socialstudieshelp.com/usra_end_of_reconstruction.htm.

Digital History. (2003). The meaning of freedom: Black and white response to the end of slavery. America’s Reconstruction . Retrieved on 21 March 2018 from http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/exhibits/reconstruction/section2/section2_intro.html.

Library of Congress. (1998). The African American Odyssey: A quest for full citizenship. USA.gov . Retrieved on 21 March 2018 from https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/african-american-odyssey/.

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