A Brief History of Slavery Edit



Short information

-       Slavery began in Jamestown Virginia in 1619, 

-       Slavery was practiced throughout American colonies in the 17th And 18th centuries

-       African-American slaves helped build the economic foundations of the new nation

-       The bloody American Civil War (1861-65)

-       The union victory freed the nation’s 4 million slaves.

-       The legacy of slavery continued to influence American history 

A Brief History of Immigration in the United States Edit


The Civil War, pt.1 Edit

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Civil war was the thing (some said) that in many ways created a nation. Some can mean that the civil war was Abraham Lincoln playing a game of chess. No one will be claiming that the civil war was about anything else than slavery. 680.00 to 800.000 people died during the war. It was from 1861 – 1865 the war was on. Lead by Abraham Lincoln was the union (also called the north) and they fought against the south. In between the north and the south there were four states who allowed slavery and were critical to the union. In between there they said that Missouri was the gate to the west. Lincoln said in his second inaugural address, that one-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves. They were not distributed generally over the union bot localized in the southern part. These slaves constituted of peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. Some were like, “The war was about agriculture versus industry, or the states’ rights to protect themselves from the tyranny of a big federal government, but if it were really about that, the civil war would have started way before.”

In the beginning of the war, Lincoln deliberately tried to downplay the slavery angle. That the war was also about religion, for both sides. Southerners welcomed a war to create a nation more perfect in its fealty to God than the one they had left. It is important to remember that regular soldiers often had more prosaic reasons for going off to fight. For Northerners, union, religion and an end to slavery mixed together to form a potent rationale for war. It were unsurprising that the union won the war, because they had massive advantages. They had many more people, approximately 22 million as compared to 9 million in the south, of whom 3.5 million were slaves and therefore unlikely to be sympathetic to the southern cause. Really the only advantage the south had was better leaders like Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson etc..

The Civil War, pt.2 Edit

In January 1st, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln got known for being the great emancipator after introduced the emancipation proclamation. Proclamation 95 freed the slaves who were rebelling against the United States, in areas where the government had no authority to free slaves. In areas where government did have the authority to free slaves were in some of the states where the federacy, that had been effectively conquered and occupied by the federal troops, those enslaved were not free. So, Abraham Lincoln did not free the slaves, but it was in fact slaves who freed themselves by running to the union front line.

Because it was during the civil war and slaves were a valuable resource to the enemy when they escaped. So many slaves escaped that Lincoln was forced to issue the emancipation proclamation, because the slaves was still property of their southern masters, which made them break the law by not returning them. Lincoln still ended slavery in America by issuing the 13th amendment, he continued the war to its end and demanded the end of slavery and return of the southern states to the union, be settled for peace.

Matthew Brady was a prolific photographer during the Civil War. He often took credit for work done by his employees. Brady changed the way that people thought about war. He and his staff created 10.000 images during the Civil War. This was the first time that an event had been photographically documented. Many of Brady's photos were staged. He would move bodies, sometimes soldiers were told that they had to act dead.

The most important impact of the Civil war was the new nation that it created. Soon after, there would be places on the map. This was countries like Italy and Germany and older places like Greece would be reborn as nation-states. These places would be known to Americans as 'Not America'. The most successful of these new nation states were the ones that embraced industrialization and modern ideas of organization and centralized government. Northern victory in the Civil War meant that the United States would follow the path that the North had laid down. This mean that it would become an industrial rather than agrarian nation with a national government, it became a nation. The USA stopped saying "The United States are a great place to live," and began saying "The United States is a great place to live.".

Abraham Lincoln was the first president to truly expand the power of the executive. The congress passed the Homestead Act in 1862, that they basically giving away land to anyone who had 18 dollars and was willing to live on it and farm it for five years. In the Pacific Railway Act of 1862, the congress helped unify the country with massive land grants. Lincoln Administration was during the war, giving away 158 million acres to railroads. All together the total cost of the war for the Union was 6.7 billion dollars. If in 1860 the Federal Government had purchased every slave and had granted a 40-acre farm to each family, the total cost would have been 3.1 billion dollars. The Federal Government also actively promoted the industrial economy that was to become dominant in the United States after the war. The Civil War wasn't just a victory of North over South or of freedom over slavery. It created the nation that the United States of America has become!

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Reconstruction and 1876 Edit

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Short information

-       Slavery began in Jamestown Virginia in 1619, 

-       Slavery was practiced throughout American colonies in the 17th And 18th centuries

-       African-American slaves helped build the economic foundations of the new nation

-       The bloody American Civil War (1861-65)

-       The union victory freed the nation’s 4 million slaves.

-       The legacy of slavery continued to influence American history

About the actual conflict

-       1619 a Dutch ship brought twenty Africans too a British colony of Jamestone Virginia

After the civil war ended the United States had to reintegrate the slave population, 

Lincoln’s idea was to facilitate reunion and reconciliation.

In 1867 over Johnson’s veto, they divided the south into 5 miliary districts and required each state to create a new government, one that included participation of black men.

They had to ratify the 14th amendment if they wanted to get back into the union,

In 1868 Andrew Johnson was about as electable in the U.S as Jefferson Davis.

He didn’t win instead it was won by Republican and former Union general Ulysses S. Grant.  

Now or days there’s still racism but not near to wat it was.

There were about 2000 African Americans who held office during Reconstruction, and the vast majority of them were not corrupt. Americas’ second African America governor, Douglas Wilder of Virginia was elected in 1989. It was a huge step forward by having African America officeholders. It was a huge step forward in term of ensuring the right of African Americans, because it meant that there would black juries and less discrimination in state and local government, when it came to providing basic services. Republicans governments failed in the south, in the end. There were important achiements, in the school system. The segregated did attempt to educate both black and white children. They created a functioning government where both white and black could participate.

The Reconstruction ended because schools and road repair cost money, which meant taxes, witch made Republicans governments very unpopular because Americans hate taxes.

White southerners could not accept Africans Americans exercising basic civil rights, holding office or voting.

The ku klux klan was founded in 1866 and it quickly became a terrorist organization.

There were against Republicans to keep them from voting.

People agreed to cede control of the south to the democrats and to stop meddling in southern affairs and also to build a transcontinental railroad through Texas. Is called the Bargain of 1877 because the histories are so at naming things and kill Reconstruction.

The Industrial Economy Edit

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This is about American industrialization decades after the civil war.

America started out by having per capita the 3rd of the Great Britain’s Industrial to becoming the biggest industrialized and richest nation on earth. It happened because they forced a new currency and gave contracts to arms and clothing manufacturers. The Civil War also boosted the Telegraph and raised communication and started the birth of the railway via the Pacific Railway Act of 1862 and that increased efficiency and productivity. The U.S. had all the necessary resources for an industrial nation. They had Coal, Oil, Water and tons of grain fields to feed their growing population. America’s population grew from 40 million in 1870 to 76 million in 1900 and was because of immigration which is good for economies. America changed from being an agriculture society to an industrial society. New York city became the centrum bull’s eye of Commerce and Finance and in 1898 there were around 3.4 million people living there. Chicago became the second largest city in 1900, Cleveland became the biggest in oil refining and Pittsburg a center of iron and steel production. The American constitution protected patents which encouraged inventions, innovation and new ways to think. The American government gave away land for railroads. Because of all this by 1913 the U.S. produced 1/3 of the world’s total industrial output. Railroads was the reason for this big industrialization. They now had an easy way to transport the goods they were making and the normal U.S. citizen could now make a 50$ investment into a million-dollar investment.

Cornelius Vanderbilt build the grand central depot in 42nd street in new York city in 1871. it was replaced by the grand central terminal in 1913. Grand central station still operates as a hub of rail travel in Manhattan He bought all oil industry's meaning he was the richest man in the world, owning 90 percent of the oil companies in the USA, he put the prices op to 12 cent per gallon the 20 people who had cars were pissed. The supreme court forced standard oil, to sell out the company in much smaller pieces. Because they had bought all, and they were that big that the court, made the decision to sell out the company into smaller pieces. but the company slowly reunited, to become xon mobile, so that did not work out they way they wanted. Us steel was put together by the eras of giant finans, JP Morgan who at his death left a fortune of only 68 Million $, not counting the art that became the backbone of the metropolian museum of art. Leading andrew Carniege to remark in surprise ‘’and to think he was not a rich man’’ Speaking of people who werent rich, let us now praise the unsung heroes of industrialization - The workers.

The 13th Amendment (documentary) Edit

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The 13th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution abolished slavery. But it also included a provision many people don't know about and that is what this documentary brings to view. "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist." That exception justifies the use of forced labor as long as the laborer is a convict. This documentary makes the case that inclusion of this loophole is only one of the justifications for continuing domination of people of color. The 13th Amendment was ratified in 1865 and director Ava DuVernay supports her thesis through the use of both historical footage and interviews. Film clips of former President Richard Nixon call for 'Law & Order' which has resulted in exploding prison populations. The U. S. only has 5% of the world's population but has 25% of the world's prisoners. This Law & Order policy enabled government to imprison blacks. John Ehrlichman was Assistant to President Nixon for Domestic Affairs: "Did we know we were lying? Of course we did." The documentary makes the case that those drug busts, Jim Crow laws and segregation are all variations of domination of black America. Currently the 'Prison/Industrial Complex' is just a new version of the same old problem. Here DuVernay returns to the 13th Amendment and makes the case that the system cannot be dealt with by making small changes. The system itself has to be rebuilt.

The American Dream Edit

(Get Ahead - Niveau B, Pløger og Fennefoss Nielsen, ØKNOM 2002)

Comprehension Questions: Edit

1) What do J. D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, and Bill Gates have in common?

Famous Americans who have fulfilled the American Dream and very successful Americans who have made big names out of them selves.

2) Explain what the American Dream is and on what it is said to be based.

The American Dream? The American Dream to the Americans is the dream of acquiring ordinary middleclass advantages. Just like the opportunity of going to college, getting a good job, raising your own family, owning your own home, and having the material goods necessary to live a comfortable life. The American dream is based on the idea of equality from the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence states: “All men are created equal and have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

3) Explain what it means to be included in and excluded from society.

Excluded means to be left out of the community, they have no power, are poor and not accepted by the “included” ones. Homeless people are an excluded group.

4) In the text, what reasons are given for homelessness?

The reasons for being homeless could be the results of bad health, the loss of a job or unpaid bills. There is not as great a social justice in the U.S. as here in Denmark, so once you become homeless you are going to have difficulty acquiring a normal type of life.

5) From what groups do the homeless often come?

Homeless groups are often alcoholics, drug addicts, people who fail to cope with life. This could be the unemployed and mentally disabled people also, many homeless are from ethnic minorities.

Word Drill Edit

Which of the following words and expressions are associated with being included in and excluded from society?

  1. abundance - Included
  2. poverty - Excluded
  3. ethnic minorities - Excluded
  4. Bill Gates - Included
  5. homelessness - Excluded
  6. domestic poverty - Excluded
  7. dream come true - Included
  8. college - Included
  9. health crisis - Excluded
  10. raise a family - Included
  11. social services - excluded
  12. upward mobility - Included
  13. private enterprise - Included
  14. micro lending scheme - Included
  15. pursuit of wealth - Included
  16. entrepeneurship - Included
  17. private charity - Included
  18. productive life - Included
  19. adequate income - Included
  20. dispension of food - Excluded
  21. mentally disabled - Excluded
  22. luck - Excluded
  23. ability - Included
  24. alcoholics - Excluded
  25. effort - Included
  26. drug addicts - Excluded

Translation: Edit

Step 1.

1.    J.D. Rockefeller var fantastisk rig.

-      J.D. Rockefeller was fantastically rich.

2.    Få amerikanere er blevet så berømte som Rockefeller.

-      Few Americans have become as famous as Rockefeller.

3.    Rockefeller, Carnegie og Ford er alle indbegrebet af den amerikanske drøm, dvs. de startede fra bunden, og gennem hårdt arbejde blev de utroligt rige.

-      Rockefeller, Carnegie and Ford are all the essence of the American dream, which means(I.E.) they all started from the bottom and through hard work became incredibly rich.

4.     Det amerikanske samfund er velhavende. Folk i andre lande betragter ofte USA som mulighedernes land. Fattigdom er dog desværre stadig et internt problem i USA.

-      The American society is wealthy. People in other countries often consider the USA as the land of opportunities. Unfortunately, poverty is still a domestic problem in the USA.

5.    Nogle grupper er især udelukket fra at få del i den amerikanske drøm.

-      Some groups in particular are excluded from getting a piece of the American dream.

6.    Størstedelen af middelklassefamilierne har mulighed for at få en god uddannelse, et velbetalt job, et veludstyret hjem og andre materielle goder.

-      The majority of the middleclass families have the opportunity to receive a good education, a well-paid job, a well equipped home and other material goods.

7.    De udelukkede tilhører minoriteter; de er fattige og ofte hjemløse.

-      The excluded belong to minorities; they are poor and often homeless.

Step 2.

1.    Selvom der måske er mange vanskeligheder forbundet med at få den amerikanske drøm til at gå i opfyldelse, anses USA skam stadig af mange for at være det virkelige ”mulighedernes land.”

-      Even though there might be difficulties connected with achieving the American dream, USA is still regarded by many to be the real land of opportunities.

2.    For eksempel krydser mange mexicanere illegalt Rio Grande i deres jagt på den amerikanske drøm. Man kan derfor sige at de tror på den gamle myte om, at gader i Amerika er belagt med guld.

-      For example, many Mexicans cross the border of the Rio Grande illegally in their pursuit of the American dream. You can therefore say that they believe in the ancient myth of streets paved with gold.

3.    På trods af at USA er blandt de allerrigeste lande i verden, er der stadig millioner af mennesker, der lever på et eksistensminimum.

-      Despite of the USA being among the richest countries in the world, there are still millions of people who live on a margin of subsistence.

4. Der kan være forskellige mere eller mindre indlysende årsager til folks fattigdom, men manglen på et godt sikkerhedsnet synes at være den allervigtigste grund.

-      There can be different more or less obvious reasons for peoples poverty. But the lack of social security is thought to be the most important reason.      

5.    Denne antagelse støttes af det faktum, at et stigende antal hjemløse hverken er narkomaner eller alkoholikere, men helt almindelige børnefamilie.

This assumption is supported by the fact that a rising number of homeless are neither drug addicts or alcoholics, but completely ordinary families with children.    

6.    Endvidere bor mange vietnamveteraner på gaden; de er måske psykisk handicappet og er ude af stand til at fungere normalt i sociale sammenhænge.

    -      Furthermore, there is a lot of Vietnam veterans living in the streets. They might be psychological handicapped and are not able to function normally in social gatherings.