The "New" South After the Civil War

Essay by dkirkhamHigh School, 10th gradeA, May 2006

download word file, 17 pages 0.0

Downloaded 74 times

The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution says: "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 was passed on December 18, 1865 and abolished slavery, the Fourteenth amendment proposed passed on July 28, 1868, and granted citizenship to people once enslaved, and the Fifteenth Amendment passed on February 3, 1870, which guaranteed black men the right to vote.

But the changes in the Southern States hadn't come easy. New state governments were created after the Civil War. After each state elected a governor and a member of the state legislature, and ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, the state was back in the Union again. Although then many former Confederate officers were elected to the Congress, when Congress began again after the elections, the ex-Confederates were not allowed to participate; it was punishment for the Southern States trying to go around the new laws and still practice discrimination against African Americans.

The President tried a "radical" reconstruction policy. This involved the military and many people elected to office that came down from the Northern States after the Civil War. The Military Reconstruction Act placed Southern States under the direct control of the US Army. This was a state like martial law in which the military closely supervised local government, elections, and protected the office holders from violence. The South felt punished by the President and Congress and many people began acting violently and using threats. To keep African Americans "in their place" they also used poll taxes, literacy tests, and property requirements. Several laws were enacted like the Civil Rights Act in response to southern Black Codes. The Act granted the right to buy property and...