Poli 200 Paper 1

Submitted By Elizabeth-Giannuzzi
Words: 2070
Pages: 9

Equality for African Americans
Elizabeth N. Giannuzzi
Political Science 200
Professor Aarabi
University Of Maryland Eastern Shore

Equality for people, African American, to be specific, has been a struggle. Many have gone through racism, all the way dated before the Civil War,and it continued through the Civil War and then a long time after that. Before the Civil War there was a case that went before the Supreme court that ruled that “ Blacks could not be citizens because the founders had not intended them to be citizens.” (Christine Barbour & Gerald C. Wright, 2014; 183) Black people were really not protected because the congress would not and did not protect them, neither did the court. In 1865, slavery was banned with the 13th amendment. When the 13th amendment was passed the southern states created laws called the black codes. The black codes were created to kept African Americans from being able to be in political power, and in economics. This caused a big problem, because the North tried to check on the South to make sure that they were following the laws that were created. When the North found out the South was not following the laws, North had the federal government come take control of the southern politics. This was called Reconstruction and it started in 1865. This caused the 14th amendment to be created. The 14th amendment granted every person that was born in the United States rights to citizenship. They created the 14th amendment to really bring civil rights to the southern African Americans. After the first reconstruction the south was changed, as the North had hoped that they would. African Americans gained the right to vote, they were elected into local posts. This caused a large problem with the white southerners. These white southerners came after the African Americans with violence. A group called the Ku Klux Klan was terrorizing the blacks in the south. The Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1866. By 1870 there was a branch of the Ku Klux Klan in almost every southern state. The Ku Klux Klan would attack people at night. The Ku Klux Klan were lynching the African Americans, setting fires, assaulting and beating the African Americans just because they were black. Page 1 The Klan mainly struck in the places where the African American population was small or they were a minority. The Northern congress tried to control the terror,but they were dealing with with their own political problems and the North just ran out of energy helping control the South. The reconstruction was over by 1876, and the white people were out to destroy the African Americans lives. Five hundred Klan members attacked a county jail in South Carolina January 1871. They lynched eight African Americans prisoners. Many of the placed that had the most Klan activity, the law enforcement officers belonged to the Klan or decided to not take action against the Klan. In 1870 the Republican state governments turned to the Congress for some help. Three enforcement acts were passed and the strongest one was the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871. With the whites out to destroy the blacks lives, the 15th amendment was written. The 15th amendment made it so that everyone had the right to vote, and they could not be denied based on race and color, or what ever they tried to deny people before the amendment. The white people that did not like the black people, wanted to find another way to make sure that the African Americans could not vote. So now that all people had the right to vote, the white people had to find a way to make it so that the African Americans did not have the right to vote. They created poll taxes, and literacy tests. The poll taxes made it so that people had to pay a small tax before they could cast their vote. That made it very hard for the African Americans to vote because they were to poor to pay the tax. The literacy tests made it so that the voters had to show that they had some reading skills. Most African