I am to write a short essay of about 25 pages, but there is a paragraph which I am not satisfied with. It has not anything to do with the contents, which I am pretty sure of, but the sentence construction and some of the words, especially these with the election for Congress, which I might have misunderstood. If anybody - native speaker of AmE - is able to assist me on this, I should be very grateful. Any comments to the punctuation would as well be appreciated too. Here it goes:
"In 1865 the civil war in the USA ended but it did not basically change the slave situation, even if it was now prohibited to own slaves. Many alleged free men had no choice but to work for their former masters in conditions which were almost the same as before, and freedom for exploitation, freedom to be considered an American citizen along with the white community became a joke, especially in the South. By the assistance of the army, the Congress managed to institute some "radical" governments in the South because of the fact that the Afro-Americans could vote, which was promised in the 14th Amendment.

And in two states with a white minority, the blacks succeeded in gaining the majority, and two actually were elected senators, both from Mississippi. After that, however, no Afro- American got the opportunity to attend the Congress before 1966. Moreover, nobody from Mississippi was elected for congress until 1986"
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I am to write a short essay of about 25 pages, but there is a paragraph which I am not ... American got the opportunity to attend the Congress before 1966. Moreover, nobody from Mississippi was elected for congress until 1986"

Me no speaky AmE
In 1865 the civil war in the USA ended but although it was now prohibited to own slaves it did not basically change the slave situation.
"Manyalleged free men had no choice but to work for their former masters in conditions which were almost the same ... be considered an American citizen along with the white community became a joke, especially in the South. > no change.

Because the 14th Amendment guareented African Americans the right to vote, congress, with the assistance of the army, managed to install some "radical" governments in the south.
(note; African-American and not Afro-American)
"And in two states with a white minority, the blacks succeeded in gaining the majority with two actually elected as senators, both from Mississippi. After that, however, no African- American .
I am to write a short essay of about 25 pages, but there is a paragraph which I am not ... American got the opportunity to attend the Congress before 1966. Moreover, nobody from Mississippi was elected for congress until 1986"

Me no speaky AmE
I am very sorry - I did not intend to imply that only AmE could answer the question, it was only because I thought that most AmE speakers here in this group would know more about congress and elections in the USA than other native speakers of English. If I am mistaken here, I should be happy to know it.
E.g. I thought that the word 'congress' must be spelled with a capital C, and even if I know that a person elected for Senate is a senator, I don't know what a person elected for Congress is called save "congress man", which I thought would be unappropriate in the sentence.

I am, however, very happy for your efforts to correct and suggest my writings here, and I am glad that the thing which annoyed me, but to which I could not point a finger on, not being a native speaker, has been so eloquently corrected. So I am happy for your contribution. Thank you ever so much.
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I am to write a short essay of about 25 pages, but there is a paragraph which I am not ... to the punctuation would as well be appreciated too. Here it goes: "In 1865 the civil war in the USA

I would capitalize "Civil War", but since the Civil War was a civil war, the lower-case version is grammatical.
ended but it did not basically change the slave situation, even if it was now prohibited to own slaves.

"It was now prohibited to own slaves" sounds strange to me. What was prohibited to own slaves? I would make it "even if owning slaves was now prohibited." Alternatively, "even if everyone was prohibited from owning slaves."
Many alleged free men had no choice but to work for their former masters in conditions which were almost the same as before, and freedom for exploitation,

I can't figure out the function of "freedom for exploitation" here. It doesn't seem to fit. And I wonder if it was meant to be "freedom from exploitation", but that doesn't change that the phrase's function in the sentence isn't clear.
freedom to be considered an American citizen along with the white community became a joke, especially in the South. By the assistance of the army,

I would make that "With the assistance of the army,".
the Congress managed to institute some "radical" governments in the South because of the fact that the Afro-Americans could vote, which was promised in the 14th Amendment.

Yes, as Aquachimp noted, make it African American. "Afro-American" was a term that was tried for a short period before "black" became accepted. Many don't even remember it.
And in two states with a white minority, the blacks succeeded in gaining the majority,

I don't understand. If there was a white minority, weren't the blacks already a majority?
and two actually were elected senators, both from Mississippi. After that, however, no Afro- American got the opportunity to attend the Congress before 1966.

"The opportunity to attend the Congress" seems strange here. I might attend Congress by observing its sessions from the visitors gallery. I would make it "got elected to Congress". "The Congress" is probably okay, but we generally don't use the "the".
Moreover, nobody from Mississippi was elected for congress until 1986"

Well, you had just said that two were elected after the Civil War, so this isn't quite right. How about adding an "again" before "until 1986"? And capitalize "Congress" as you have done in the other instances.

Bill in Kentucky
"Bill McCray" (Email Removed) skrev i meddelelsen
I am to write a short essay of about 25 ... it goes: "In 1865 the civil war in the USA

I would capitalize "Civil War", but since the Civil War was a civil war, the lower-case version is grammatical.

Yes!

Yes, but the meaning is that two blacks got the majority when they voted for Congress
and two actually were elected senators, both from Mississippi. After that, however, no Afro- American got the opportunity to attend the Congress before 1966.

"The opportunity to attend the Congress" seems strange here. I might attend Congress by observing its sessions from the visitors gallery. I would make it "got elected to Congress". "The Congress" is probably okay, but we generally don't use the "the".

I have also omitted this in my essay, and I have followed your advice in this matter.
Moreover, nobody from Mississippi was elected for congress until 1986"

Well, you had just said that two were elected after the Civil War, so this isn't quite right. How about adding an "again" before "until 1986"? And capitalize "Congress" as you have done in the other instances.

Good point.
Bill in Kentucky

Thank you very much.
E.g. I thought that the word 'congress' must be spelled with a capital C, and even if I know that ... what a person elected for Congress is called save "congress man", which I thought would be unappropriate in the sentence.

Yes. There is the Senate and House of Representatives, and members are senators and representatives, and congressman refers to both. However, for some reason, a member of the House is more often called a congressman. That would seem to elevate his position, because he wasn't singled out as being a member of the only the House, but since the word is used rarely for both at the same time (Instead they say: Senators and Congressmen) and only for members of the House, I don't see how it has any more status than representative, a word which is rarely used these days. I don't know about the 1860's.
I am, however, very happy for your efforts to correct and suggest my writings here, and I am glad that ... a native speaker, has been so eloquently corrected. So I am happy for your contribution. Thank you ever so much.

Posters should say where they live, and for which area they are asking questions. I was born and then lived in Western Pa. 10 years
Indianapolis 7 years
Chicago 6 years
Brooklyn, NY 12 years
Baltimore 26 years
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I am to write a short essay of about 25 pages, but there is a paragraph which I am not ... ended but it did not basically change the slave situation, even if it was now prohibited to own slaves. Many

Maybe comments about content are beyond what you want to know, but the end of the Civil War did not mean slavery was prohibited. Allthough maybe in practice it did in most places, but I'll bet where the war wasn't fought, and there must have been a lot of such places, at least where it wasn't fought hard, people went on as if nothing had changed.

The Emancipation Proclamation only claimed to and only freed the slaves in areas that were under the control of the North, and I think that means Missouri and what became West Virginia, but I'm very unsure about the area involved. Even there I'll bet you, but I'm just guessing, there were places where no Northern authority was exerted, during or after the war, and slavery might have continued.

The 13th Amendment ended the legal existence of slavery and it was ratified by the states Dec. 6, 1865. I'm not sure which former-Confederate states participated in that, if any. Their state governments had to do something, pledge allegiance in some way, to the national government to participate in such things. I don't know if any of the Confederate state governments remained after the war, if new ones were created, if Negro-run governments did this, or if it didn't happen until later, maybe years later. I feel very ignorant.
alleged free men had no choice but to work for their former masters in

"Alleged" would be sarcasm, right? Okay by me but if avoiding sarcasm, I would call them "legally free".
conditions which were almost the same as before, and freedom for exploitation, freedom to be considered an American citizen along with the white community became a joke, especially in the South.

I'm confused. F for exploitation is bad, f to be considered a citizen is good. Are they both a joke?
By the assistance of the army, the Congress managed to institute some "radical" governments in the South because of the fact that the Afro-Americans could vote, which was promised in the 14th Amendment.

The fact that AAs could vote was promised? That's not the way it would normally be said, I think. Maybe the right to vote was promised.
OTOH, you can't elect anyone based on a right, but on the fact that people voted. So I see how you ended up with what you have.

Maybe just add one word, "which right was promised in the 14th Amendment." (BTW, I'm not a good writer myself. So I don't know if "which right" is still used in writing. It used to be in this situation. Anyhow, I only know how to find flaws. I think I'm good at that.)The 14th Amendment wasn't ratified until July 9, 1868. Three years later. If any Negroes were able to vote before that, I don't know. IIUC the south was occupied militarily by the North and things like voter registration might have been run by the US Army, which might at least in some places have decided that indeed Negroes were citizens, no need to wait for the 14th Amendment. But I'm guessing. I don't know if any Negroes voted before 1868 or not, and it might have taken some time after ratification to register voters and until there was an election.

I guess the first national election was early in November, 1868, but maybe there were special elections each time a southern state rejoined the Union. Depending on what else you have to say, it's beyond the scope of a 25 page paper probably, as is much of the stuff I've added here.
And in two states with a white minority, the blacks succeeded in gaining the majority, and two actually were elected senators, both from

I thought that in order to vote, white citizens had to "swear" or I hope, affirm, their loyalty to the US, and I thought a lot were too angry to do so for quite a while, years probably, so once Negroes got registered, they were the majority of voters even many places where they weren't the majority of the population. In fact, I thought no state and few if any congressional districts were they the majority of the population. I'm not positive about any of this, if you have reason to say different. And maybe what you mean by "gaining the majority" is being the majority of those eligible to vote.
Mississippi. After that, however, no Afro- American got the opportunity to attend the Congress before 1966. Moreover, nobody from Mississippi was elected for congress until 1986"

Nobody from Mississippi? No Negro from Mississippi.

Posters should say where they live, and for which area they are asking questions. I was born and then lived in Western Pa. 10 years
Indianapolis 7 years
Chicago 6 years
Brooklyn, NY 12 years
Baltimore 26 years
"mm" (Email Removed) skrev i meddelelsen
Maybe comments about content are beyond what you want to know, but the end of the Civil War did not mean slavery was prohibited.

"The most fundamental issue on the agenda was slavery. Lincoln's 1863 Emancipatoin Proclamation clearly signaled the North's intention to bring an end to the peculiar institution. That intention was translated into law by the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, approved by the Senate in 1864 and the House of Representatives in 1865: ratified by the states later in 1865, it permanently abolished slavery throughout the nation" (p.487)

The 13th Amendment to the Constitution declared that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude...shall exist within the United States." Formally abolishing slavery in the United States, the 13th Amendment was passed by the Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified by the states on December 6, 1865.
http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/13thamendment.html

If I have misunderstood you in this matter, I should be very happy to learn how this misunderstanding has occurred, so please feel free to explain it to me.
Allthough
maybe in practice it did in most places, but I'll bet where the war wasn't fought, and there must have been a lot of such places, at least where it wasn't fought hard, people went on as if nothing had changed.

You're welcome to bet, but my problem is not the historical facts, which I think I am in control over, but the language. I am very uncertain whether my language suggestions are good enough, and even if I cannot ask you to proof read my essay, I should be happy now and again to return to this group to get some corrections in the subject matter. One cannot proof read oneself - at least not to a certain standard. I am to blame if the historical facts are not correct; it is my responsible, and mine alone, to set the facts right, and technically it is my responsible also to write an essay so accurately possible, and your contribution to this is highly appreciated.
The Emancipation Proclamation only claimed to and only freed the slaves in areas that were under the control of the ... guessing, there were places where no Northern authority was exerted, during or after the war, and slavery might have continued.

The Emancipation Proclamation was an intention, but this intention became a law which was valid throughout the states, i.e. no state could uphold slavery within the law. I agree, however, that in real life some places, some regions might have disobeyed the law, but I need a paper to confirm this. Even if I think it is likely that this obedience might occur in some places, it is not sufficient to my essay just to claim so. I need facts, facts and facts, and so far I have not seen any, I'm afraid.
The 13th Amendment ended the legal existence of slavery and it was ratified by the states Dec. 6, 1865. I'm ... created, if Negro-run governments did this, or if it didn't happen until later, maybe years later. I feel very ignorant.

You must see this in a context with the proclamation of the commonly called "the Ten-Percent plan". This plan offered a full pardon and the restoration of all property, exept slaves, to all "persons" who took a loyalty oath an vowed to accept the abolition of slavery. Only a small number of Confederate officials were deemed ineligible. When, in any state, such pledges numbered 10 percent of the number of votes cast in 1860, those who had vowed their loyalty could form a new state government. Once that government had determined to abolish slavery and provide for the education of black children, the state could be represented in Congress.
alleged free men had no choice but to work for their former masters in

"Alleged" would be sarcasm, right? Okay by me but if avoiding sarcasm, I would call them "legally free".

It was sarcasm, and you are quite right here. I should avoid sarcasm in this essay.
conditions which were almost the same as before, and freedom ... the white community became a joke, especially in the South.

I'm confused. F for exploitation is bad, f to be considered a citizen is good. Are they both a joke?

I have erased this instantly. I don't think that my Canadian lecturer would agree here.
By the assistance of the army, the Congress managed to ... Afro-Americans could vote, which was promised in the 14th Amendment.

The fact that AAs could vote was promised? That's not the way it would normally be said, I think. Maybe ... at least in some places have decided that indeed Negroes were citizens, no need to wait for the 14th Amendment.

As I have mentioned above, the Ten-Percent Plan was the outcome of the Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction which spelled out the terms on which rebellious states could rejoin the Union. And this comprised the withdrawal of the North States' troops and instituated the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, commonly called the Freedmen's bureau. This ended with the agreement.
But I'm guessing. I don't
know if any Negroes voted before 1868 or not, and it might have taken some time after ratification to register ... say, it's beyond the scope of a 25 page paper probably, as is much of the stuff I've added here.

I agree in the last sentence of yours.

I have rephrased it to:
"No African-American got elected to Congress again until 1966"
I am to write a short essay of about 25 ... Moreover, nobody from Mississippi was elected for congress until 1986"

Me no speaky AmE I am very sorry - I did not intend to imply that only AmE could answer ... what a person elected for Congress is called save "congress man", which I thought would be unappropriate in the sentence.

A member of the House of Representitives is refered to as Congressman{most commonly} or Representitive.
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