This promise of great changes, and hope for a new beginning had been the single inspiration that kept a lot of African Americans from giving up completely. With the end of the civil war, and Union becoming victorious, African Americans hope that now they would be allow their whole and complete freedom. Almost a hundred years earlier, African Americans were in a similar situation were they had hoped for freedom after they were promised it during the Revolutionary War.
The promised of freedom was not kept. Few Africa Americans did gain freedom but the majority of them did not and life didn’t improve much for most. However, there was a major difference between the Revolutionary and Civil war for Africa Americans. The reason why the Revolutionary War was being fought had nothing to do with the issue of slavery. Whereas, the Civil War major issue turned into slavery. So, it was understandable why African Americans felt a great deal of hope when the side fighting for the end of slavery won the war. With the Union victory African American did gain their freedom by law, but didn’t gain equality.
With the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in December 1865, slavery was officially abolished in all areas of the United States. The Reconstruction era was under way in the South, the period during which the 11 Confederate states would be gradually reintroduced to the Union. In the meantime, Northern armies continued to occupy the South and to enforce the decrees of Congress. However, in many parts of the South, the newly freed slaves labored under conditions similar to those existing before the war. The Union army could offer only limited protection to the ex-slaves.
However, death of President Lincoln, and Andrew Johnson of Tennessee taking office, also changed direction of equality for blacks. President Johnson had no interest in ensuring the freedom of southern blacks.