Why did ownership of land and control of labor become major points of contention between former slaves and whites in the South?

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Following the Civil War, ownership of land and control of labor became major points of contention in the American South. Recently freed African Americans found themselves in a situation that very closely resembled slavery. Although they had technically received freedom, they did not have the means to produce a living that would truly liberate them. They did not have land, or really much of anything of value, and they often did not have many skills that could be used to achieve economic and social growth.

Land became an issue of contention, because with land a recently freed African American could grow and sell crops on their own. This would allow them to hopefully earn enough for an independent living and possibly have a surplus of money which could be reinvested for further growth. Freed African Americans had heard of being provided land to begin their new lives and hoped that this opportunity would be provided (as they did not have the resources to purchase land on their own)....

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