SOC 318- Race, Gender, Class
October 18, 2012
Writing Assignment #2
In 1865 slavery had begun to come to an end in the United States. Because of industrial technology, many Americans realized they needed workers to operate all of the new machines and materials. From 1865 to 1880 a period of reconstruction began for African Americans. This period involved figuring out the details of making African Americans citizens, and not property. They were still not granted equal rights, but society was opening up new doors for them in order to have their labor done for them. The unfortunate part about the reconstruction period for the African Americans is they were still put at a disadvantage. Even though they were told to be given the opportunities to work, many of them wouldn’t get the jobs because they were uneducated or illiterate. Many white southerners noticed these disadvantages and came up with a social system to replace slavery.
The social system known to replace slavery is called de jure segregation. De jure means by law so de jure segregation was a set of laws based on how the community would be segregated. It pertained to African Americans having to ride at the back of the bus, go to different schools, and even have different drinking fountains. How this social system came about was a direct result of the Civil War.
De jure segregation was established so white southerners could still maintain their dominance over the African American community without having to give them equal rights. After the South lost the Civil War, many of the landowners were panicking in need of farmers to maintain the crops. Because of the economic depression after the war, many landowners tried to pass a series of laws called the “Black Codes.” These codes were intended to force African Americans back into involuntary servitude without pay. This was where the reconstruction period began in order to resolve these issues.
Throughout 1880 to the...