black codes

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black codes,

in U.S. history, series of statutes passed by the ex-Confederate states, 1865–66, dealing with the status of the newly freed slaves. They varied greatly from state to state as to their harshness and restrictiveness. Although the codes granted certain basic civil rights to blacks (the right to marry, to own personal property, and to sue in court), they also provided for the segregation of public facilities and placed severe restrictions on the freedman's status as a free laborer, his right to own real estate, and his right to testify in court. Although some Northern states had black codes before the Civil War, this did not prevent many northerners from interpreting the codes as an attempt by the South to reenslave blacks. The Freedmen's BureauFreedmen's Bureau,
in U.S. history, a federal agency, formed to aid and protect the newly freed blacks in the South after the Civil War. Established by an act of Mar. 3, 1865, under the name "bureau of refugees, freedmen, and abandoned lands," it was to function for one year
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 prevented enforcement of the codes, which were later repealed by the radical Republican state governments.

Black Codes


bills introduced in the legislatures of several Southern states after the US Civil War (1861–65). The codes forced Negroes to work for meager wages for their former owners and deprived them of their freedom of movement and their right to own or rent land; they also permitted the use of forced Negro child labor and forbade Negroes to hold meetings of any kind, carry weapons, or marry whites. Provision was made for the formation of special courts to deal with crimes committed by Negroes. The Black Codes were formally abolished in a number of states in the 1870’s, but similar statutes were included in state constitutions and criminal legislation.


Foster, W. Negritianskii narod v istorii Ameriki. Moscow, 1955. Chapter 27. (Translated from English.)
Ivanov, R. F. Bor’ba negrov za zemliu i svobodu na luge SShA, 1865–1877. Moscow, 1958.
References in periodicals archive ?
Oft-times historians take a reductionist approach in defining Black Codes, but the 'restrictions' placed on Black Americans included a curfew, having 'papers' to prove your identity and usually required a white male to vouch for the authenticity of the papers or the Black individual himself and discrimination in the workforce which kept Black Americans in involuntary agriculture work known as sharecropping.
Since the Black Codes were designed to deny to ex-slaves basic rights enjoyed by all citizens of the United States, the Civil Rights Act of 1866 was proposed (in 1865) to guarantee citizenship to all persons, without regard to race, color, or previous condition of servitude, giving them equal access to the protection of the law and to afford them due process of law.
This predicted future was deliberately stifled by measures such as the Black Codes and economic coercion.
The bus boycotts, the role of the churches, black codes, and important participants on both sides of the conflict are represented in the simple but effective drawings.
When a lot of Democratic-controlled segregationist governments, after the Civil War, attempted to deny black men and women their freedom, they instituted black codes largely to deny the Second Amendment from newly freed slaves.
4) For more on the complicated ethical considerations of the Black Codes, see, In Costodia Legis: Law Librarians of Congress.
The prototypical example of this type of legislation would be the Black Codes, which purposefully limited slaves' right to contract.
Numerous comparisons can be made between the Civil and Black Codes.
slavery was governed by extensive bodies of law known as slave or black codes.
From Black codes to recodification; removing the veil from regulatory writing.
From Black Codes to Recodification: Removing the Veil from Regulatory Writing" analyzes the wording of in today's laws, and the importance of modern writing in these laws when dealing with older texts and their impact on racial issues.