The Long Struggle for Civil Rights Essay

2180 Words 9 Pages
African Americans have a history of struggles because of racism and prejudices. Ever since the end of the Civil War, they struggled to benefit from their full rights that the Constitution promised. The fourteenth Amendment, which defined national citizenship, was passed in 1866. Even though African Americans were promised citizenship, they were still treated as if they were unequal. The South had an extremely difficult time accepting African Americans as equals, and did anything they could to prevent the desegregation of all races. During the Reconstruction Era, there were plans to end segregation; however, past prejudices and personal beliefs elongated the process. All African Americans thought with the creation of civil …show more content…
The Black Codes limited their social life, work life, and the lives of their children. African Americans could not go to the same church, ride the same trains, or even sit next to each other on busses. The Black Codes also kept African Americans working on the plantations, and those unemployed were forced to work on a plantation with no pay . The process that was made towards the end of slavery was digressing and all of the African Americans in the South had no controll of their lives. The prejudices and the past beliefs of the South prevented all African Americans from being able to forget their past and be free. After hearing about the Black Codes, the North was furious. Congress then forced the southern states to approve of the 14th Amendment in 1868; it stated that all male Americans have the rights of citizens and it prevented the ability for one state to make laws similar to the Black Codes. In addition to the 14th Amendment, Congress ratified the 15th Amendment. It stated that African Americans have the right to vote and could be elected to government offices. African Americans were finally able to participate in government issues and vote. They were given more freedom than ever because of the amendments, but the South was soon able to revert back to their past prejudices with the creation of the Jim Crow laws. The Jim Crow Laws were created to create a further gap between the two races, white and black. The southern whites felt
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