The Post Slavery South, 1865

Though the Union victory in the Civil War gave some 4 million slaves their freedom, significant challenges awaited during the Reconstruction period. The 13th Amendment, adopted late in 1865, officially abolished slavery, but the question of freed blacks’ status in the post-war South remained. As white southerners gradually reestablished civil authority in the former Confederate states in 1865 and 1866, they enacted a series of laws known as the black codes, which were designed to restrict freed blacks’ activity and ensure their availability as a labor force. Impatient with the leniency shown toward the former Confederate states by Andrew Johnson, who became president after Lincoln’s assassination in April 1865, so-called Radical Republicans in Congress overrode Johnson’s veto and passed the Reconstruction Act of 1867, which basically placed the South under martial law. The following year, the 14th Amendment broadened the definition of citizenship, granting –equal protection” of the Constitution to former slaves. Congress required southern states to ratify the 14th Amendment and enact universal male suffrage before they could rejoin the Union, and the state constitutions during those years were the most progressive in the region’s history.

The 15th Amendment, adopted in 1870, guaranteed that a citizen’s right to vote would not be denied –on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” During Reconstruction, blacks won election to southern state governments and even to the U.S. Congress. Their growing influence greatly dismayed many white southerners, who felt control slipping ever further away from them. The white protective societies that arose during this period–the largest of which was the Ku Klux Klan (KKK)–sought to disenfranchise blacks by using voter fraud and intimidation as well as more extreme violence. By 1877, when the last federal soldiers left the South and Reconstruction drew to a close, blacks had seen dishearteningly little improvement in their economic and social status, and what political gains they had made had been wiped away by the vigorous efforts of white supremacist forces throughout the region.


‘Running from the Ku Klux Klan’  5 Overhead Squats then Burpees until the end of the minute, then 5 Power Snatches then Burpees to the end of the minute, 5 Power Cleans then Burpees to the end of the minute, then back to 5 Overhead Squats and Burpees  – until you get to 100 Burpees (95/65)

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