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[Detail] Map of Liberia. Lith. by E. Weber & Co., 1845.

4) The American Civil War and Reconstruction

Maps of Liberia can provide students with insight into the experience of black Americans living in the United States after the Civil War. Although many factors contributed to the outbreak of the American Civil War, most remember the war as a struggle over slavery. The Union victory allowed President Lincoln to emancipate slaves and Congress to ratify the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution. However, laws could not instantaneously revise culture. African Americans continued to lack equality.

As this 1870 map indicates, black Americans continued to emigrate to Liberia after the Civil War, reflecting the lack of opportunities and hope for the future in the United States.