T. Stevens was a member of the House of Representatives. He was on of the Radical Republicans during the 1860's. Stevens along with the other Republicans wanted to secure the rights of African Americans. He wanted equal rights for everyone. Thaddeus Steven also played a major roll in the wars financing.
Civil Rights Act of 1866
The Civil Rights Act of 1866 was the first United State federal law to define US citizenship. It said that all citizens were equally protected by the law. Its mainly protecting the rights of African Americans. President Andrew Johnson vetoed. In April 1866 Congress passed the bill. Johnson again vetoed but 2/3 majority in congress over powered the veto.
The 14th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1868. It says citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States” which included former slaves recently freed. Also it doesnt allow states from denying any person "life, liberty or property, without due process of law" or "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” The 14th Amendment expanded the protection of civil rights to all Americans.
15th Amendment gave African American men the right to vote by saying the "right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude." It was ratified on February 3, 1870. People used the use of poll taxes, literacy tests and Grandfather clause in Southern states were able to take away this right from African Americans.