1. What religious and philosophical background led to anti-slavery sentiments?

  • Christian religious principles
  • egalitarian philosophy

2. Where was slavery first abolished? In the North or in the South?

  • In the Norther states

3. What does THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD refer to?

  • a secret system of hiding places in the homes of abolitionists

4. Name a very famous black abolitionist and say how he felt about the progress of the movement.

  • Frederick Douglass
  • he was impatient with the slow progress

5. Why did the FUGITIVE SLAVE ACT make life even harder for slaves?

  • because if they escaped they still were in danger of other slave owners

6. Why were military units formed in the Northern cities in the 1850s?

  • because the conflict between Souther slaveholding interests and Northern antislavery activists was growing. In anticipation of the Civil War they formed miltary units.

7. What economic reasons prompted white Northerners to be suspicious of an expansion of slavery?

  • slaves meant a cheaper competition for jobs

8. What position did Southerns take regarding slavery?

  • they feared that reducing slavery would cause its abolition

9. How many Southern states broke away from the union as a result of the conflict?

  • 11

10. In July 1862 President Lincoln had the chance to use new troops. Who were they and what did they fight for?

  • they were black and fought for the abolition of slavery

11. Name and explain the important event which took place on 1st January 1863.

  • the president issued his Emancipation Proclamation which initiated the abolition of slavery

12. Who won the Civil War?

  • the Northern antislavery activists

13. Did Lincoln manage to enjoy his triumph?

  • No, he was assassinated in April,1865.

14. When was the 13th Amendment issued and what was its content?

  • In December 1865 the slavery was formally abolished

15. Name the steps comprising the RECONSTRUCTION between 1865 and 1877 and point out which new rights the blacks were awarded as a consequence.

  • 13th Amendment: slavery was abolished formally
  • 14th Amendment: all states were required to revise their constructions and to ensure that Blacks had ctizenship rights, including the right to vote. Also the Southern states had to ratify the 14th Amendment.
  • 15th Amendment: forbade the denial of right to vote based on race
  • Civil Rights Act of 1875: forbade racial discrimination

16. How did Southern democrats try to undermine the process of granting blacks more rights?

  • they used violence

17. What role did the KLU KLUX KLAN play in this scenario?

  • groups conducted terrorist attacks and lynchings on African Americans and their allies to limit Republican political power and restrict black opportunities.

18. Sketch the development in the South after 1877.

  • black rights still taken away in different ways
  1. laws that force the separation of races
  2. systems that kept blacks economically dependent on Whites
  3. increased incapacitation of blacks

19. What changes did the Jim Crow Laws bring along for black citizens?

20. What Supreme Court verdict must have been particularly depressing for all those in favour of equality?

21. Explain the role terrorist attacks against black Americans played in the Jim Crow era.

22. Sketch Booker T. Washington`s view on what should be done to achieve more equality.

23. What position did W.E.B. DuBois advocate?

24. What problems did the Great Migration cause in the North?

25. Name some examples of Race Rioting which took place in 1917.

26. What black behaviour was new during the RED SUMMER of 1919?

27. What different approaches did Malcolm X on the one hand and Martin Luther King on the other take towards black protest?

28. How were black soldiers treated after WWI ?

29. What attitude did a new type of black person, the NEW NEGRO take towards whites and the struggle for black equality?

30. What courageous action has ROSA PARKS become famous for?

31.  Imagine you had been on the committee selecting Dr. M.L. King for the Nobel Peace Prize. What reasons could you present that would confirm your decision?

32. What effect did the 2nd Civil Rights Act have on the lives of African Americans? Check the website below for more information


33. What new aspects did the AFFIRMATIVE ACTION LAWS from 1972 bring along?

34. Comment on the significance of the joint observance of MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. Day in all US states.

35. Name some influential black politicians from the late 20th and early 21st century and point out their significance for the FACE OF AMERICA.

36. Speculate on the road ahead for African Americans on the backdrop of the rough economic climate.