HIS 4--Midterm Exam Review Sheet Spring 2019(1).docx - Reconstruction Amendments During Reconstruction three amendments to the Constitution were made in

HIS 4--Midterm Exam Review Sheet Spring 2019(1).docx -...

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Reconstruction Amendments : During Reconstruction, three amendments to the Constitution were made in an effort to establish equality for black Americans. The Thirteenth Amendment, adopted in 1865, abolishes slavery or involuntary servitude except in punishment for a crime. The Fourteenth Amendment, adopted in 1868, defines all people born in the United States as citizens, requires due process of law, and requires equal protection to all people. The Fifteenth Amendment, ratified in 1870, prevents the denial of a citizen’s vote based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude. The Amendments were intended to restructure the United States from a country that was (in Abraham Lincoln's words) "half slave and half free" to one in which the constitutionally guaranteed "blessings of liberty" would be extended to the entire populace, including the former slaves and their descendants. Black Codes : After the Civil War, many southern states created laws called Black Codes. These laws were even harsher than the Jim Crow laws. They tried to maintain something like slavery in the south even after the war. These laws made it difficult for black people to leave their current jobs and allowed them be arrested for just about any reason. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the Fourteenth Amendment tried to put an end to the Black Codes. Black codes were restrictive laws designed to limit the freedom of African Americans and ensure their availability as a cheap labor force after slavery was abolished during the Civil War. Many southern governments enacted legislation that reestablished antebellum power relationships. South Carolina and Mississippi passed laws known as Black Codes to regulate black behavior and impose social and economic control. These laws granted some rights to African Americans, like the right to own property, to marry, or to make contracts. But they also denied fundamental rights. White lawmakers forbade black men from serving on juries or in state militias, refused to recognize black testimony against white people, apprenticed orphaned children to their former masters, and established severe vagrancy laws. Mississippi’s vagrant law required all freedmen to carry papers proving they had means of employment.6 If they had no proof, they could be arrested and fined. If they could not pay the fine, the sheriff had the right to hire out his prisoner to anyone who was willing to pay the tax. Similar ambiguous vagrancy laws throughout the South reasserted control over black labor in what one scholar has called “slavery by another name.”7 Black codes effectively criminalized black people’s leisure, limited their mobility, and locked many into exploitative farming contracts. Attempts to restore the antebellum economic order largely succeeded.
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