Reconstruction: The Mississippi Black Codes Of 1865

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In the summer of 1865 the Presidential Reconstruction took place for southern states. This reconstruction for the states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas) gave the southern people who swore an oath of allegiance pardons and amnesty, it also restored most or all of their property to them (except slaves). In each state they would also have to proclaim secession illegal and ratify the thirteenth amendment at their state convention. Theses people who swore the oath were also aloud to elect delegates to their states conventions, which would provide for regular elections. Though this deal could be a very could thing for many southern people some weren’t aloud to take the deal, Confederate officers,…show more content…
This deal could be considered a good thing for the southerners but many people were upset about having to pass the thirteenth amendment, which guaranteed certain freedoms for the African Americans in the south. To retaliate for this seven states passed the “black codes”. The black codes made it so that the African Americans had to work for very little money and ensured that they were landless and an extremely dependent labor force. Section 6 of the Mississippi Black Codes of 1866 are a perfect example of how controlling these codes were, the section states that when African Americans go to work for someone they must have a contract and if the contract isn’t upheld or if the laborer quits before the contract is up then they forfeit their wages for that year up to the time of quitting. Though the codes couldn’t directly block the thirteenth amendment, they could make parts of the amendment illegal, for example African Americans could marry each other but the black codes made it illegal for them to marry people of other races. Along with not being able to marry people of other races they also weren’t aloud to serve on a jury or give court testimonies against people of other races,…show more content…
Though seven states passed the black codes they tended to vary between states, like how in South Carolina it was required for blacks who wished to enter nonagricultural employment to get a special license or in Mississippi the codes tried to block their ability to buy and sell farmland. Many parts of these codes didn’t take effect because of the union suspending the enforcement of racially discriminatory provisions of the new laws (Boyer et al, p.473). The black codes revealed many white southern intentions and many northerners denounced what they were doing and called it southern defiance. Even many congressmen were upset about the black codes and in December of 1865 they refused to seat the delegates from ex-Confederate states, this actually established the first joint committee (the house and the senate). The Radical Republicans (just a faction of the Republican Party that also supported blacks freedoms in most cases) were very out raged at the treatment of the newly freed slaves and they tried to dismantle the black codes and also tried to lock the ex- Confederate people out of power all together. The southern white government had a range of ways they controlled how the newly freed slaves lived their lives and what freedoms they could have and which ones the government didn’t want them to have but over time these barriers were

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