Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Jo-Ann Delia Giustina
Following the Civil War, southern legislatures created the Black Codes to regulate the civil and legal rights and responsibilities of former slaves and free Blacks. In the face of the devastation caused by the Civil War and the ensuing economic depression in the agriculturally based economy, severe restrictions were imposed on Black people so that they would not gain legal, political, economic, and social rights. Indeed, the Black Codes were designed to maintain White control over the Black population. While the Black Codes were different from restrictions during slavery, they placed the states in a position similar to that of the former slave masters. Black Codes not only controlled the lives of Black people but also were the source of free labor, which was needed to replace the abolished slave labor. Since the Thirteenth Amendment allows slavery as a punishment for a criminal conviction, several states enacted vagrancy and other ...