Social Studies Notes Essay

1027 words - 4 pages

Black Codes - Soon every Southern state passed black codes-laws that greatly limited the freedom of African Americans. Black codes reqirerd African Americans to sign work contracts. This arrangement created working conditions similar to those experienced under slavery. In most southern states, any African American who could not proved he or she had a job could be arrested. There punishment might be one year of forced labor with out pay. African Americans were also prevented from owning guns. In addition African Americans were not allowed to rent properties in cities. The black codes alarmed African Americans. African Americans organized to oppose the codes. One group sent a petition to officals in South Carolina. Such calls for equality had little effect on the new state government.Radical Republicans- wanted the southern states to change much more than they already had before they could return to the union. Like the moderates, they thought the Black codes were cruel and unjust Radicals, however, wanted the federal government to be much more in Reconstruction. They feared that too many southern leaders were still loyal to the former Confedacy.Thaddeus Stevens-of Pennsylvania and Charles Sumner of Massachusetts were the leaders of the Radical Republicans. A harsh critic of president Johnson, Stevens was known for his honesty and sharp tongue. He wanted economic and political justice for both African Americans and poor white southerners. Sumner had been a strong opponent of slavery before the civil war. He continued to argue for Americans civil rights which included the right to vote and the right to fair treatment under the law. Both Stevens and Sumner felt that President Johnson's Reconstruction plan was a failure. Although the Radicals did not control Congress, they gained support among moderates when President Johnson ignored criticism of the Black Codes.Civil Rights Act of 1866 - Republicans responded with the Civil Rights Act of 1866. This act provided African Americans with the same legal rights as white Americans. President Johnson once again used his veto power. He argued that the law would give too much power to the federal government. He also rejected the principle of equal rights for African Americans. The president insisted that they did not understand "the nature and character of our institution." Congress, however, overrode Johnson's veto.Fourteenth Amendment - To protect civil rights laws from hostile presidents, courts, or future legislators, Republicans proposed a constitutional amendment in the summer of 1866. The Fourteenth Amendment included the following provisions.1. It defined all people born or naturalized with the United States, except American Indians, as U.S. citizens2. It guaranteed to citizens the equal protection of the laws3. It said that states could not "deprive any person of live, liberty, or property, without due process of law"4. It banned many former Confederate officials from holding state or federal...

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