Black Codes of Louisiana

Topics: Reconstruction era of the United States, Black people, African American Pages: 3 (986 words) Published: April 20, 2012

Black Codes

The Reconstruction period was not as successful as most people think it was with regards to African Americans. Though some factors may be seen as more successful then others, but overall the Reconstruction period (with respect to African Americans) was very unsuccessful.

In 1865 legislators ratified the 13th Amendment. White Southern Americans released their most precious piece of property, their slaves. Though former slaves were liberated, a tough road was built before them, one filled with potholes and bumps, the road of equality. Former slaves were anything but equal. They would find themselves in great peril concerning economic & social status. The Jim Crow laws enforced African Americans would be "equal but separate". Segregation began.

Two years after the 13th Amendment was ratified, legislators would once again take a step forward by ratifying the 14th Amendment regarding citizenship and civil rights. This Amendment of "equal protection of laws" and stressing that one could not be deprived of "life, liberty and property" to the freedmen was quickly disregarded and imposed strict laws such as the Black Codes.

Black codes left African Americans with little freedom. Slaves took on a new role in America after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. This role was one of more significance and self worth than in slavery. Without the manpower of the slaves, the south's agricultural society would fail, and without the agriculture there would be little money or food in the south. The codes was seen as the negative initiative placed by southern legislators disabling African Americans from holding political offices, voting, serve jury duty and bear arms. This enabled white southerners to regain position in government offices.

The passing of the Louisiana Black Code in 1865, confirmed that whites felt as if blacks could not handle the responsibility or the rights of true citizens. Whites...
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