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Reconstruction African American Reconstruction

Decent Essays
American Reconstruction began in 1865 at the end of the civil war. The period's main focus was to rebuild the country after war by enacting and changing many key pieces of legislature in the American government. One divisive factor that needed to be addressed was how much representation African Americans deserved in America. During the reconstruction period, African American rights were extended through various new amendments and working opportunities, however, these rights did not last long as they were undermined by black codes and sharecropping. In 1865, the American government successfully passed the thirteenth amendment: ending the institution of slavery in America. “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” The thirteenth amendment opened up economic opportunity for African Americans as slaves were no longer owned by someone else. However, not long after the thirteenth amendment was passed, former slaveholders and southerners created the black codes. Black Codes were a set of laws intended to restrict African American freedoms, causing them to go into low wage labor. A black code passed in the state of South Carolina stated, “To do farm work, a black in South Carolina had to have a written contract, attested to by white witnesses; failure to obtain one before commencing to work was a misdemeanor
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