Florida After the Civil War Term Paper

The unsolvable contradictions between Northern and Southern states led to the Civil War in the USA in 1861-1965. The industrial North fought against slavery and plantation system in the South aiming at establishing the equality of human rights for African Americans and making a farm reformation in order to let people work on themselves on their own lands. After long and bloody battles the army of the Northern states took over the South and won the war.

As one of the Southern states Florida was a part of so-called Confederacy. And though no decisive battles were fought on its territory, Florida was quite important supplier during the Civil War. About 15 000 troops from Florida fought against the North, and significant supplies of beef, pork, salt, and cotton were provided to the Confederate army. In fact, the larger part of the state remained under the rule of the Confederacy till the very end of the war and Talahassee was one of the last southern capitals to be occupied: the federal troops entered the city on May 10, 1965.

After the war the economic situation in Florida was very complicated because the plantations were in a serious crisis. The soil was exhausted and the harvests decreased greatly. Besides, the plantation owners could no more make slaves raise and pick cotton and had either to pay them or work themselves. The former slaves in their turn were not educated and skilled enough to find a job, so very often they had no other choice but return to plantations of their former masters.

In order to solve the economic problems occurred after the Civil War the government introduced the programme called “Reconstruction”.

Within the “Reconstruction” frames many African Americans were given lands to live and work on. Luckily, Florida suffered not much during the war and consequently recovered from the crisis. The state had the possibility to provide other states with such materials as lumber through ports of Jacksonville and Pensacola. Also for that purpose a wide rail system was built. This opened many Florida districts for development. Many people began travelling throughout Florida. They found the land warm and beautiful. The hotels were built for the guests. One of the main problems were “Black codes” not allowing African Americans appear in some public places, that’s why President Johnson demanded from all the Southern states to accept the 14th Amendment to the Constitution which proclaimed the equality of rights for all the people regardless of their race and social status. Gradually Florida became a valuable state in the New South and joined the United States of America on July 25, 1968.

Although there was much to be done yet to unite all the Americans and restore the economic and social life in the full scale, the official period of the Reconstruction was over.

Leave a Reply