The African American's Struggle

In: Historical Events

Submitted By theoriginalstew
Words 1356
Pages 6
Running head: THE STRUGGLE

The African-American’s Struggle

Joshua T.K. Stewart

Dr. Michele Kinney

US History

October 23, 2013

The African-American’s Struggle
On the very first day of the year 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing approximately three million slaves held in the rebellious Confederate States. While it did not end slavery entirely, it did get the ball rolling toward the complete abolition of slavery with the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. While the laws of the land were amended, the attitudes of the people did not change and the African-Americans still had a long struggle ahead of them.
President Lincoln had a plan of action that he wished to implement after the war ended in 1865. He wanted to get the Southern states back into the union as painlessly as possible. In order to be readmitted to the union, President Lincoln wanted ten percent of the voters from each rebellious state to swear an oath of allegiance to the United States (Kennedy & Cohen, 2012). Many in Congress disagreed with the President in favor of a law that would force fifty percent of the voters from the seceded states to swear the oath of allegiance. None of that really mattered to the newly freed slaves. That had lives to get on with and a newfound freedom. Unfortunately, there were those in the South that had plans of their own for their former slaves.
Once Reconstruction began, the seceded states began to reorganize their governments and create new State Constitutions. Most of these states simply returned their Confederate leaders to political positions. They immediately passed a series of laws specifically written to control the behavior of African Americans. (Schultz, 2014) These laws became known as the Black Codes, and they bore a striking resemblance to the slave codes…...

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