Many of the African Americans stayed with their old masters after being freed, while others left in search of opportunities through education and land ownership. The Southern white conservatives did not want blacks to own property, have political power, or have the right to vote in elections. In addition, the whites strongly believed that they were superior, and they worked hard to make sure legal limitations were in place to prevent the blacks from gaining any type of equality or power. President Johnson's reconstruction plan included the black codes, which stated that the African-Americans were required to have a curfew and carry identification on their persons at all time. These regulations also bound the 'freedmen' to their plantations. The freed slaves merely wanted the opportunity to continue the family-based shared work methods contrary to having to accept the individual piecework structure. Former slaves wanted to be able to continue to live on the land their ancestors had farmed.
African american's lives were improved in many ways
References: 1. www.digitalhistory.uh.edu 2. wikipedia.org 3. http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Black+Codes 4. http://www.loc.gov