- from Civil Rights
During the Civil War between the North and South, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.
It freed enslaved persons in the southern states that were 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 hotels, theaters, and other public places. For a while, these laws helped the efforts of African Americans to become full citizens. But the laws were ignored more and more. Segregation became the unwritten law of the land.