After the Union Victory in the Civil War in 1865, a process of rebuilding called The Reconstruction Period took place. The Reconstruction period can be defined as the attempts that were made to redress the inequities of slavery and its political, social, and economic legacy and to solve the problems arising from the readmission of the 11 states that had seceded from the Union(FN). Reconstruction began less than a year after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. After issuing the Emancipation Proclamation President Lincoln announced his Ten Percent Plan. Under the plan, when one- tenth of a state’s voters took an oath of loyalty, they could establish a new government(FN). Since the plan was put in place in Union occupied Confederate states, To Lincoln, this plan was a method to weaken the Southern states. After Lincoln’s assassination in April 1865, Andrew Johnson became president.
(FN) Johnson offered an apology to all Confederate States in the south, for the issues they faced from Lincoln’s presidency. Not only did President Johnson offer an apology he also restored political rights in the southern states as well. This allowed the Southern states to pass several laws that made life miserable for African Americans residing in southern states. These Confederate states enacted the Black codes and installed Jim Crow laws. Black codes were laws that were designed to maintain the social and economic structure of racial slavery in the absence of the “peculiar institution”. The laws codified white supremacy by restricting the civic participation of freed people(FN).
Jim Crow laws were laws that enforced racial segregation in southern states between the end of reconstruction in 1877 and the beginning of the civil rights movements(FN). The name Jim Crow was retrieved from the name of a minstrel routine performed beginning in 1828 by its author, Thomas Dartmouth Rice and by many imitators, including actor Joseph Jefferson. Legislatures started passing laws requiring the separation of whites from people of color in public places, transportation, and school. This was because the legislation of southern states was no longer controlled by carpetbaggers and freedmen.
This allowed the Southern Legislatures to freely pass any law that concerns people of color without facing any pressure who promote helping African Americans.