The Bear Historical Context

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Emancipation

Though the 1862 Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves, their economic conditions were dire, as inequalities kept them from many jobs and educational opportunities. Southern states, bitter upon losing their bid for secession, attempted to deal with emancipated slaves by passing laws known as the "Black Codes." These laws, effectively perpetuating the racial segregation and degradation formerly applied to slaves, kept the ex-slaves from achieving economic opportunity and fair judicial process almost as thoroughly as before Emancipation. Congress, however, refused re-admittance to the Union to those states who would not ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery, and the Fourteenth Amendment, which guaranteed civil liberties to all citizens. By 1877, the plans for Reconstruction were completed. Rather than integrate African Americans into society, however, the South erected a system of segregation that supposedly provided separate but equal opportunity for freed slaves and their descendants. "White supremacy" undercut any sense of...

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This section contains 680 words
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Short Stories for Students
The Bear from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.