African-Americans During Reconstruction

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The first African slaves arrived in the new world during the 1620’s and the institution of slavery lasted for 245 years until 1865. Slavery in North America lasted longer than the United States itself. For this reason, when Abraham Lincoln decided to emancipate slaves during the Civil War, then pass the 13th amendment he was putting an end to a social order that was the fabric of American society. The period Reconstruction after the end of the Civil War represented an upward battle for revolution, the “forcible overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system”, due to the racism and prejudice that was entrenched in American society. However, the spread of education and tools for African Americans to fight oppression, the end…show more content…
The 13th amendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for a crime. The amendment provided certainty for the legal status of former slaves and overthrew the three-fifth clause, a constitutional enshrinement of slavery. Soon after the 13th amendment many southern states passed the Black Codes, restricting African Americans’ freedom, and forced them to work in a labor economy based on low wages or debt. The Black Codes spurred northern outrage and helped to undermine support for Andrew Jackson’s policies on reconstruction, giving the power of reconstruction to the radical republicans in congress. By 1868 the 14th amendment was ratified, granting citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States,” which included former slaves. Furthermore, as Eric Foner explains, the 14th amendment “prohibited the states from abridging the ‘privileges and immunities’ of citizens or denying them the ‘equal protection of the law.’” By writing into the constitution that citizens are equal before the law, regardless of race, the 14th amendment set the ground for the protection of disadvantaged groups from the infringement of equality or their rights by discriminatory action. Radical Republicans were not finished with the 14th amendment, they wanted the
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