To control former slaves -as new state governments took power in the south, many republicans in congress were alarmed to see that they were headed by the same people who had led the south before the warwealthy white planters. once in office, these leaders began passing laws known as black codes to control their former slaves.the black codes served three purposes. the first was to limit the rights of freedmen. generally, former slaves received the rights to marry, to own property, to work for wages, and to sue in court. but they did not have other rights of citizenship. blacks, for example, could not vote or serve on juries in the south.the second purpose of the black codes was to help planters find workers to replace their slaves. the codes required freedmen to work. those without jobs could be arrested and hired out to planters. the codes also limited freedmen to farming or jobs requiring few skills. african americans could not enter most trades or start businesses.the third purpose of the black codes was to keep freedmen at the bottom of the social order in the south. most codes called for the segregation of blacks and whites in public places.