Reconstruction Era

by Jasmine Cox

Thaddeus Stevens

  • In 1861, Stevens became chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee and helped to secure passage of the legislation needed to finance the Civil War.
  • Stevens served on the crucial Joint Committee on Reconstruction in the postwar period, guiding much of its legislation, including the 14th Amendment, guaranteeing civil rights for the freedmen, through the House.
  • In 1868 Stevens served on the committee that drafted the articles of impeachment against Johnson and was a manager of the case before the Senate. Johnson was acquitted in May, and Stevens died on August 11 in Washington.
Reconstruction Era: After their congressional election victory in 1866, Stevens and the Republicans nullified Andrew Johnson's Presidential Reconstruction plan and passed groundbreaking Civil Rights legislation and the Fourteenth Amendment over his veto.