Escaping Slavery During the Civil War: A Monument to African-Americans Lost Pursuing Freedom
How can we explore the story of Black men and women who escaped from slavery during the fighting of the Civil War? In this episode of BRIdge from the Past, Mary explores the Contrabands & Freedmen Cemetery Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia, to reveal stories of sacrifice and bravery. What imagery does the sculptor use to convey the hardships these men, women, and children faced? What is the significance of the statue's location right outside of Washington, DC?
BRIdge from the Past: Art Across U.S. History Video Playlist
BRIdge from the Past: Art Across U.S. History is a new YouTube series for students that explores an important historic image every episode to gain insights into the culture, politics, and society of a particular time in U.S. history. Host Mary Patterson will explain how each primary source is its own “window to the past,” revealing new areas for contemplation and discussion.
Activism through Literature: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Slavery, and Justice
In this lesson, students will learn about how Harriet Beecher Stowe fought against the injustice of slavery. They will also consider ways in which they can fight injustices in their own lives.
The End of Slavery and the Reconstruction Amendments
The interests of Northern and Southern states grew increasingly divergent. Eleven states eventually seceded from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America. After the Civil War, Congress required that the southern states would approve the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth amendments as a condition of their re-entry into the union. The Thirteenth Amendment banned slavery throughout the United States. The Fourteenth Amendment granted citizenship to formerly enslaved people and banned states from passing laws that denied the privileges and immunities of citizens, due process, or equal protection of the law. The Fifteenth Amendment extended the right to vote to black men. The Fourteenth Amendment in particular was a dramatic departure from the Founders’ Constitution, and set the stage for dramatic increases in the size, scope, and power of the national government decades later.
Slavery and the Constitution
Today there are few more controversial topics in the study of American history and government than the issue of slavery and the Constitution. On the surface, the Constitution seemed to protect slavery in the states, prohibited Congress from banning the slave trade for twenty years, and required that fugitive slaves, even in the North, be returned to their masters. Because of these apparent constitutional protections, a bloody Civil War was fought to free the slaves and win ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to end slavery in the U.S. forever. The Constitution, therefore, in the eyes of some scholars, seems to be a contradiction to the universal ideals of liberty and equality in the American Founding and the Declaration of Independence which proclaimed “all men are created equal” and endowed with “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”