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Passing the 14thAmendmentDuring the Civil War, the 13thAmendment to the United States Constitution was pushed through Congress(Carlisle). As the war was coming to a close, Abraham Lincoln’s administration knew that they needed to abolish slavery in the Constitution while the south was still seceded from the Union if it were to have any chance of working (Carlisle). The House of Representatives fought bitterly over the controversial amendment. The Amendment ultimately passed through the House and was ratified by the States before the Union was restored (“The 13thAmendment is Ratified”). Once it was however, it became clear to many that the 13thAmendment was not enough. During Reconstruction, the newly freed slaves needed to be protected, especially in the South. This realization meant federal intervention on behave of the new citizens, through more Constitutional Amendments. The 14th Amendment to the Constitution, enacted in response to the Southern Black Codes to enforce the Civil Rights Bill of 1866, expanded the scope and power of the federal government.Once the Union was restored, many states concocted laws to regulate the newly freed black citizens. These laws became known as “The Southern Black Codes” (“The Southern ‘Black Codes’ of 1865-66”). These codes were created for the purpose of limiting the civil liberties and the civil rights of blacks. The legislation was mostly targeted toward the control of labor and movement of the newly freed slaves (“The Southern ‘Black Codes’ of 1865-66”). The codes reflected the unwillingness of many of the white citizens to accept the blacks. Many of the new citizens, being the former property of the white plantation owners, were not welcome in their homes any longer. The southern legislatures did not want to see the blacks to neatly fold into their society. This conflicted with the southern fear that without free labor their economy was now going to collapse. After the War much of the South was damaged, that alone was
alarming to many of the plantation owners. The Southern economy was completely dependent upon slave labor. Thus the southern legislatures aimed the Black Codes toward keeping the blackcitizens from moving North and forcing them to work for almost nothing (“The Southern ‘Black Codes’ of 1865-66”). The South’s justification for the Black Codes was as much economic as it was social. In response to the prejudice that was running prevalent through the country, Congresspassed the Civil Rights Bill of 1866. This legislation was aimed at protecting the civil rights of the new black citizens. After Congress overcame President Andrew Johnson’s two vetoes the legislation was enacted. It declared all people as citizens regardless of, “race, color, or previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude” in addition to, “any citizen has the same right as a white citizen to make