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Lecture 1

HISTORY 373 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Debt Bondage, Grandfather Clause, Sharecropping

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Fronc Jennifer

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History 373 – 9/12/16
way Marxists look at history, they first look at base —> economic system
base then determines the structure which shows up in pop culture, law, and
after civil war, slavery was eliminated but not racism
during reconstruction:
political reconstruction: focus was on how to bring rebel states back in
how will newly freed slaves have a role in society
free labor ideology (opposite of slavery)
popular in north
northerners were anti slavery only because slavery lowered their wages
what is freedom in the absence of slavery?
sharecropping system:
was the new labor system for freed slaves and poor whites
poor whites weren’t affected by black codes
newly freed slaves went back to work on plantations for wages
would buy stuff from country store in exchange for a share of their crop (50% go
to store owners)
if they couldn’t pay back, store owners would lend $$ with an interest rate
soon they found themselves in debt peonage
14th ammendment - establishes that anyone born in the U.S is a citizen of the
country and the state their live in (they have equal protection under the law)
15th ammendment - grants black men the right to vote
white women were angry —> “why give black men the right to vote?"
immigrant men could vote before middle class white women could
black codes: series of county/town laws that articulated what black people
weren’t allowed to do and curtailed the freedom they could have
not really free but not enslaved either
included voting “loopholes”: sneaky laws to make sure that black men couldn’t
the grandfather clause: if your grandfather could vote, they you could vote;
literacy tests
poll taxes
examples: prohibits black people from going out after dark, no more than 3 can
gather, no interracial marriage
it restricted black people’s mobility by requiring labor contracts
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