- from Civil Rights
During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.
It freed slaves in the southern states still at war. In 1865, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution ended slavery in the rest of the country. The 14th Amendment in 1868 gave citizenship to African Americans. And the 15th Amendment in 1870 gave African American men the right to vote. The Civil Rights Act of 1875 said African Americans could not be kept out of public places like hotels and theaters. For a while, these laws helped African Americans. But the laws were ignored more and more. Segregation became the unwritten law of the land.