Having been a gateway to and from southern economics and enterprise before and during the war, Atlanta seemingly sealed its fate by becoming a strategic target for a union offensive. In an effort to cripple the supply line to Confederate forces, General Sherman opted to finish destroying the already war wrenched city. When Union forces finally left Atlanta, it appeared little more then a desolate wasteland. Undoubtedly Sherman had achieved the Unions goal, as well as sending a clear message to the Confederates.Order now
With the end of the Civil War, Atlanta served as a project and model for all the southern populous.
Whites and Blacks alike quickly filled the city and rebuilding began at an astonishing rate. Southern whites, seemingly relieved at the end of the war, wasted no time in creating an environment to suite their needs. Four railways were the centerpiece to Atlantas new vibrant economy. Soon, Atlanta surpassed its pre-war status in both area and size.
The Reconstruction Act of 1867 offered a military presence in Atlanta that insured blacks safety. Like the rest of the southern Freedmen, blacks flooded the city to escape plantations and seek a better life.
The white population took a different approach then other southern areas, seeming to ignore the ever-growing black population. Jobs were sparse for the Freedmen and although compiling nearly half of Atlantas population, blacks found themselves living well below the white standard of living. Owing to the military presents, whites simply concentrated their energies on making themselves and their city more comfortable and wealthy then ever before. In 1868, Atlanta became the new Capitol, further fueling the goal of making it the heart and soul of Georgia.
With the passing of the Fifteenth Amendment, Blacks earned the right to vote. This, although powerful in appearance, had little effect on the segregation that Atlantas white population had adopted.
Black voters boosted the presence of the Republican Party, but not enough to over through that of the Democrats. As Atlantas growth subsided and the military presence was lifted, blacks left the inner city, taking refuge on the outskirts of town. Atlanta had seemingly succeeded in its goals. It welcomed northerners with open arms, but dealt with the blacks by simply shunting them to one side. Over time, blacks and whites simply lived life apart from one another. Civil Rights believers helped the blacks to build schools and churches in concentrated areas outside of mainstream Atlanta.
The white population dealt with its beliefs of black inferiority in a unique manner; ignore them, and theyll ignore you, not violent, but highly effective
In the end, the ideology of the Republican dream had not taken its desired effect, but the whites and blacks had both gained critical grounds. The inner mixing of population hadnt occurred, but at the same time the black populous had found itself better off, free from harassment and far from slavery.
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