The Emancipation Proclamation was an official decree of President Abraham Lincoln that led to the destruction of the slave system and freeing the slaves in the USA. The given act gave the right to any citizen of the country, including freedmen who did not participate in the rebellion against the United States and paid the fee of 10 dollars, to take a piece of land of 160 acres on the farm in free areas. After five years of residence in the area, processing and building, a person, particularly an emancipated slave, could get it into private ownership for free. The proclamation also ordered that freemen enrolled in the paid service of the United States’ forces. Although the emancipation proclamation was an instrument of international propaganda, particularly on the British who prohibited slavery on all the territory of the British Empire a few years earlier, it significantly raised the spirit of emancipated slaves. The presidential declaration was not an act passed by the Congress and did not outlaw slavery. Nevertheless, it created preconditions for transformation of freedmen into full-fledged citizens of the country that influenced its further development.
The Emancipation Proclamation angered whites in the South and their supporters that contributed to a race war. The southerners reacted to the emancipation of slaves by starting attacks because they worried that their slaves could escape to the North, get freedom, and join the army or navy on the Union side. The whites in the South started criticizing the emancipation proclamation as they agitated about possible revolt among slaves. Southerners needed a lot of people to take care of their plantations that included huge areas of land, and the slaves fulfilled that requirement. Therefore, whites in the South initiated groups such as KKK that had a purpose to kill the freed slaves (Henry & Chambers, 2013).
During the reconstruction era, many African-Americans had the right to vote and became involved in the government of the USA. They served in almost every part of the government, from members of Congress to state and local representatives. African-Americans got the chance to occupy lots of elected positions such as mayors, sheriffs, prosecuting attorneys, justice of the peace and county superintendents of education. During the Reconstruction era, they were able to achieve significant progress and perform a series of democratic reforms, including the introduction of schools for African-American children and adults. They made crucial changes in federal, state, and local law. Therefore, several states adopted new constitutions that removed the previous qualifications and tests for voting and holding office. The establishment of police units, which mainly included the African-American population of the country, played a substantial role in Reconstruction. The activities of those groups ensured the implementation of government measures and reliable protection from terrorism.
Public support measures to protect the rights of African-American citizens in the postwar South were insufficient. Congress tried to adopt necessary laws that assert the rights of African-Americans but attempts to approve them were met with the resistance from white Americans, especially in the southern part of the USA. Primary actions that the federal government made to protect African-Americans in the postwar South were the approval of relevant laws and amendments to the constitution. Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States and any other area subordinated to their jurisdiction. Since several states refused to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, the government adopted the Act of Civil Rights since 1866. The President Andrew Johnson vetoed the Act, and the Supreme Court renounced to consider cases that had references to the violations of the rights guarded by the act. Due to the inefficiency of public support measures that protect the rights of African-American citizens, Republicans developed projects of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution. The introduction of the Fifteenth Amendment and laws that ensure its implementation helped African-Americans to participate in the voting process and later become Congress, state and local representatives.