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Civil Rights and Society: Black Codes
Terms in this set (26)
What laws were passed following the civil war
The Black Codes were
a series of statutes and laws enacted in 1865 and 1866 by the legislatures of the Southern states following the end of the Civil War at the beginning of the Reconstruction Era.
Public laws that economized restricted minorities' civil rights
What did the Black Codes restrict?
the freedom of black people (freedmen) and the right to own property, conduct business, buy and lease land, and move freely through public spaces such as Southern towns.
What was the Purpose of the Black Codes?
Regain control over the freed slaves
Inhibit the freedom of freed slaves
Prevent black uprisings
Ensure the continued supply of cheap labor
Maintain white supremacy
Black codes enforced a series of requirements that included
poll taxes, property qualifications, and literacy tests,
What were some Black Codes?
Property Ownership required to vote
the practice of keeping blacks from voting in the southern states' primaries through arbitrary use of registration requirements and intimidation
Most black codes were based on
vagrancy law; had to prove they had a job and that job was recognized by whites
what was the first year a state did poll tax
By what year did every state have poll tax
A test given to persons to prove they can read and write before being allowed to register to vote
A clause in registration laws allowing people who do not meet registration requirements to vote if they or their ancestors had voted before 1867.
-fee that people had to pay in order to vote
-a way that the Southerners got around the 15th amendment
The Black Codes, that included Vagrancy Laws, led to a system of
penalties and punishments including Convict Leasing that put freed slaves back into forced labor on the plantations.
Who Created the Black Codes?
white law makers in the South in the legislatures of the states of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Virginia, Florida, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
When was the first of the Black Codes passed?
in Mississippi on November 22, 1865, following the end of the Civil War (April 12, 1861 - May 10, 1865) during the Reconstruction Era.
How did the Black Codes deny rights?
Crimes and Punishments
Labor contracts required
a legal document for black "servants" who agreed to work for white "masters".
Terms and conditions of employment were fully documented and signed by a judge. These included strict conducts of behavior and required permission before an ex-slave could leave the premises
Vagrancy Laws placed pressure on
ex-slaves to sign labor contracts
Vagrancy Laws allowed police to
arrest people merely on the suspicion they were about to do something illegal
A vagrant was a person who
although fit to work, was without visible means of support or a permanent home and traveled from from place to place without working.
Crimes and Punishments: Different levels and types of punishment between
freedmen and whites. Punishments included chain gangs and convict leasing
Apprenticeships: Courts were authorized to apprentice the black children of
vagrants, or orphans, even against their will, to an employer until the age of 21 for males and 18 for females
Under Black Codes, the Civil Rights of freedmen were
restricted in the Black Codes and unequal to the Civil Rights of whites
Racially segregated courts were established for black only cases
How did Congress Respond to the Black Codes?
1. Congress refused to seat the Southern representatives
2. Congress overrode President Johnson and passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866
3. A Joint Committee on Reconstruction was established to investigate the situation in the South and reported that the Southern states were in a state of civil disorder, and had therefore not held valid elections.
4. The Fourteenth Amendment was passed by Congress
5. A follow-up Freedmen's Bureau Bill was passed by Congress giving additional rights to ex-slaves
6. Reconstruction Acts were passed over President Johnson's veto "...to provide for the more efficient government of the Rebel States"
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