Shortly after the civil war, the 13th Amendment passed which granted slaves their freedom. This made the question arise, "What was their status in the south?" Due to Andrew Johnson's lenient Reconstruction policies, southerners were able to reestablish civil authority in the former Confederate States. Laws known as the "Black Codes" were put into act. These "laws" basically forced African Americans to work (for very little pay). If they refused, punishment or conviction was definite.