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Carly 9/27 Post

After reading chapter 9, Slavery Without Submission, Emancipation Without Freedom and watching the The American Civil War by Oversimplified, I am again overwheled with new facts and ideas about the Civil War and this time period in American history that I was not aware of previously. For starters, slave revolts were not as common as they were in other countries. Rebellion of slaves was also rare. This was very surprising to me because as I learned in the podcast, about 13% of the population in this time were enslaved, and it only takes about 5-10% of a population to create a rebellion. I truly believe things would have been a lot different if the slave population came together as one and revolted. Nonetheless, a war began regardless of the fact it was not initiated by the slaves. 

One quote really stuck out to me from this chapter. Zinn states, “Such a national government would never accept an end to slavery by rebellion. It would end slavery only under conditions controlled by whites, and only when required by the political and economic needs of the business elites of the North,” (Zinn 187). This idea really didn’t sit well with me. The fact that the only way for our country to abolish slavery was solely up to when rich whites felt like making a difference and was not based on the hardships of the enslaved is sad to me. The Civil War was truly the only way to solve this huge division in our country. I was unaware of how deadly the war was. 600,000 soldiers died on each side. This war had a positive effect for African Americans for a short time period. I did not know that there was a time when in the South blacks could vote, be elected into state legislators, and there were racially mixed public schools. As we all know, this time did not last long, but I did not know that this time even existed at all. Overall, these resources introduced to me yet again, there is a lot more in history and during the civil war time period that I was unaware of.


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  1. Maggie Otradovec Maggie Otradovec

    The fact that slave rebellions were so rare stands out to me as well. One would think that it is part of human nature to rebel when oppressed (ex. American Revolution, French Revolution, Civil Rights Movement (to a more peaceful extent), etc). In the case of slavery, however, it is the oppressors who rebelled, which, in turn, led to the Emancipation Proclamation, even if that wasn’t the original goal of the Union.

  2. Madeline Orr Madeline Orr

    I also was very unsettled by the quote you mentioned. It is awful to think about how ending this horrible treatment of human beings would only be done when it was most convenient for the rich white people. This shows how much the economy depended on the use of slaves and how people were not willing to give up that profit in order to stop the abuse of people.

  3. Olivia Cosco Olivia Cosco

    This quote also stuck out to me. What I took from it was how different our world is today. While we have more equality and freedom than we did back then, it is still amazing to see how much times have changed. If people don’t like a system or agree with a law or the way they are being treated, they will join together with others and protest for change. We see it all the time, especially this year. It baffled me that it was just up to the wealthy “elites” to decide when they wanted things to change.

  4. Thomas Bennett Thomas Bennett

    At my high school, I took an African American History class that focused on highlighting the historical perspective of black Americans. We as a class had an essay assignment about whether slave resistance or Abraham Lincoln brought the nation closer to abolition. After many weeks discussing the topic, the class came to the general conclusion that while the Emancipation Proclamation “ended” slavery, it was just a piece of paper written by some white guys in power. Passive and active resistance by enslaved people wasn’t as futile as it is often portrayed as it served as the inspiration for the Northern government taking action against slavery.

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