African Americans now had a huge part in the government. They were elected and became a large part of the government in the south. "Black Republicanism", was the term that Southerners called the way African Americans were being involved and being elected in the government. The Republican Party took over the power in the south because large numbers of white Southerners were supporters. There were many restrictions on voting until 1870, the 15th amendment was passed. It stated that African American men could vote. Which helped in the south because there were many things keeping the African Americans from voting.

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Black Codes was the name given to the laws that were passed by Southern governments. They were made during the presidency of Andrew Johnson. The laws were restrictions on freed slaves. For example, not allowing the freed slaves their right to vote and limiting their right to testify against white men. After the Civil War the Civil Rights Bill was made to protect freed slaves from Black Codes. But in 1866 Andrew Johnson vetoed the bill. The bill was later passed with the reconstruction acts but despite the acts, white control over Southern state governments was restored when organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan started forming and frightening blacks from voting.

The Ku Klux Klan was started in 1866 and it was formed by Confederate soldiers from Pulaski, Tennessee
. Their goal was to drive out all the union troops and carpetbaggers, which are Northerners who moved south to make money during the reconstruction of the south. Also they wanted to regain control of the south for the Democratic Party. They broke up Republican meetings, drove out officials of the Freedmen's Bureau; they burned houses, schools, and churches of African Americans. In 1870 to 1871 congress passed an act called The Ku Klux Klan Act, outlawed the activities. Over 3,000 arrested and only about 600 served in prison.

Instead of working in big groups, the freed men became tenants. The landowner assigned each family a small tract of land to provide food and shelter and the necessary equipment and seeds for farming. When the crop was harvested, the landowner took the cotton to the market, and after deducting the cost of the items the tenants had been furnished during the year, and gave half of the proceeds to the tenants; this became known as sharecropping. By 1930 there were 1,831,470 tenant farmers in the South. What began as a device to get former slaves back to work became a pernicious system that entrapped white as well as black farmers. By 1935 nearly half of white farmers and 77 percent of black farmers in the country were landless.


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The federal government did much to improve and aid the newly freed slaves through the establishment of Freedmen's Bureau. Freedmen's Bureau supplied the newly freed slaves’ legal aid, set up schools, and provides health care. When the black codes were made Freedmen's Bureau suspended or overruled them. These codes were adapted by many Southerners. Some of the Bureau's achievements were education, land distribution, day by day duties, church establishment, and rebuilding family structure. During this reconstruction African American men gained seats in congress. Two in senate and 20 in The House of Representatives.