As more blacks participated in politics, the black vote became important.
African Americans filled many elected and appointed positions, including those of sheriff, mayor, prosecuting attorney, justice of the peace, and county superintendent of education. Mississippi, Louisiana, and South Carolina each elected black lieutenant governors.
Many changes were made in federal, state, and local laws. For example, laws allowing whipping and branding as punishment were abolished throughout the South. Imprisonment for debt was abolished in many states.
Several states adopted new constitutions that removed property qualifications and tests for voting and holding office. Each constitution provided for a statewide system of free public education.