For my final project, I am very interested in looking at the “black codes” introduced during Reconstruction as my object. As for what I “know” about the object I think that the “black codes” were a set of rules that were imposed post the abolishment of slavery to try and still control the African American population. I also think of the “black codes” as an earlier form of Jim Crow Laws that the black population faced during the civil rights movement. In regards to what we need to find out, I think it is vital to discover why exactly the Jackson administration felt the need to keep the African American population under such a restricted way of life. I also think it is important to investigate how these attitudes of segregation and discrimination are similar and unalike to modern opinions today. In reference to post-civil war law and politics I think the “black codes” will have an incredibly profound impact on how blacks were treated as they gained legal and political rights in America.
To research this proposal I think it would first be beneficial to discover what exactly the black codes allowed and prohibited and how this was different from what i already have discovered about slave life. Next, I think it would be best to find a primary resources like a journal or diary that explained what a former slave felt like to live in an era with black codes. Did they think it was still better than an enslaved condition or were the black codes infuriating? My overall idea for the project is to investigate how the black codes introduced under the Andrew Jackson administration not only affected reconstruction, but how they led to the growth of the more radical side of the Republican Party and how they shaped modern attitudes about African American rights today.