Marisa Schaldach

The Three Civil Rights Amendments

The Thirteenth Amendment was passed by Congress on January 31st 1865 and was ratified in December 1865. This important document got rid of slavery in the United States. Many former northern abolitionists had risked their lives to help out southern freedmen.

The Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in July of 1865. This amendment provided a constitutional guarantee of equal protection and citizenship. During this time, the south would be punished if they denied the right for a black citizen to vote. This had made many people happy, but there was still more that could be done to make the United States more equal. That is why they went forth and produced another important piece of legislature.

The Fifteenth Amendment was ratified in 1870. This document gave people the right to vote, no matter what race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Though even more people were happy, this document did not allow women to vote. This angered many women’s rights groups.

Plans For Reconstruction

President Lincoln had a distinct plan for the reconstruction. He suggested the ten percent plan. This plan stated that a southern state could only be readmitted into the Union when ten percent of its voters agreed to an Oath of Allegiance to the Union. Lincoln also wanted to pardon everyone but the highest military officers. Lincoln did not want congress to know about his plan for reconstruction.

President Johnson was against rich people, he was also a racist. Johnson set up the ten percent plus plan. This plan offered amnesty upon oath to all except Confederate Civil and military officers and those with property over $20,000. In the new constitutions, they must accept minimum conditions repudiating slavery, secession, and state debts. Johnson’s plan pardoned the rich and brought them to power which was was a contradiction to his being against rich people. he also granted 13,500 special pardons. Johnson also vetoed the Freedman’s Bureau bill, and the 1866 Civil Rights Act.

After Johnson vetoed those two bills, Congress passed both of the bills over Johnson’s wishes. Many Republicans in Congress did not think that Lincoln’s plan was harsh enough, and they wanted the south to be punished more for starting the war.

Black Codes

The purpose of the Black Codes was to guarantee stable labor supply after the emancipation of the African Americans. This plan forced many of the African Americans to become sharecroppers. Basically these codes were still slavery.

Racism and Discrimination

Voting rights for African Americans were not guaranteed until the fifteenth Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868. After this was put into effect, southerners were punished if they denied the right to vote to black citizens.

The Klu Klux Klan was a group of racist people who used violence against African Americans. They dressed in all white costumes, masks and robes. These groups opposed desegregation, and they only came out at night. Many people were killed because of these activists.

African Americans tried to protect their rights by becoming more active in churches, politics, schools and other educational programs. They were given new hope, and they moved forward with it. Some even became delegates, others became representatives and held state and local offices.

End of the Reconstruction

The end of the reconstruction was the Compromise of 1877. The Democrats and Republicans struck this deal. The Democrats then accepted the election of Rutherford B. Hayes to president, and the Republicans withdrew their remaining federal troops from the South. They began to rewrite constitutions and overturned Reconstruction reforms. Thus ending the Reconstruction era.


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