primary source analysis 2

At the end of the Civil War, Congress passed the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery. Many southern states adopted “black codes” to provide rules about newly freed blacks in the region. Please review the codes adopted in Virginia in 1865 (see resolutions.html (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.)

Based on your analysis, please write an essay (up to two pages long) that uses citations to reference primary and secondary sources and addresses the following questions:

  1. In what ways did the Civil War and Reconstruction extend the rights of black people in the South? In what ways did it fail to address the rights of freed blacks?
  2. What do the codes say about the freedom and rights of southern black citizens?
  3. In what ways might the 13th Amendment have limited freedom for the ex-slaves? How do the Virginia “Black Codes” exploit this potential limit on black freedom?
  4. What is the relationship of the codes to the Tenth Amendment? Thirteenth Amendment?
  5. The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1868, but failed at that time to provide full rights to black citizens in the South. Why did the Amendment fail to provide southern blacks with a means to confront southern black codes and racial inequalities during the last half of the 19th Century?
  6. Please pose at least one discussion question about this source. What questions does this source raise for you with regard to race and equality after the Civil War?

Responses will be graded according to the following criteria:

  • Does the response address all the questions posed?
  • Does the response demonstrate that the student has done a close and careful analysis?
  • Does the response offer a thoughtful engagement with the document?
  • Does the response demonstrate a concerted effort to think about the significance of the document and its relationship to course topics?
  • Does the response make sense? Are the ideas within it clearly communicated?
  • Is the response written in essay form, with a thesis, a set of paragraphs that each address a distinct argument in support of the thesis, and a conclusion?
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