RECONSTRUCTION

By: Marco Sevilla

CIVIL WAR ACT OF 1866

The Civil Rights Act of 1866, 14 enacted April 9, 1866, was the first United States federal law to define US citizenship and affirmed that all citizens were equally protected by the law It was mainly intended to protect the civil rights of African Americans, in the wake of the American Civil War. This legislation was enacted by Congress in 1865 but vetoed by President Andrew Johnson. In April 1866 Congress again passed the bill. Although Johnson again vetoed it a two-thirds majority in each house overcame the veto and the bill ostensibly became law.

ANDREW JOHNSON

Andrew Johnson the 17th U.S. president, assumed office after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln Johnson, who served from 1865 to 1869, was the first American president to be impeached. A tailor before he entered politics, Johnson grew up poor and lacked a formal education. He served in the Tennessee legislature and U.S. Congress, and was governor of Tennessee. A Democrat, he championed populist measures and supported states’ rights. During the U.S Civil War Johnson was the only Southern senator to remain loyal to the Union Six weeks after Johnson was inaugurated as U.S vice president in 1865 Lincoln was murdered. As president, Johnson took a moderate approach to restoring the South to the Union, and clashed with Radical Republicans. In 1868, he was impeached by Congress, but he was not removed from office. He did not run for a second presidential term

14TH AMENDMENT

he Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9 1868 as one of the Reconstruction Amendments. The amendment addresses citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws, and was proposed in response to issues related to former slaves following the American Civil War. The amendment was bitterly contested, particularly by Southern states, which were forced to ratify it in order for them to regain representation in Congress. The Fourteenth Amendment, particularly its first section, is one of the most litigated parts of the Constitution, forming the basis for landmark decisions such as Roe v. Wade regarding abortion, and Bush v. Gore regarding the 2000 presidential election. The amendment limits the actions of all state and local officials, including those acting on behalf of such an official.

THADDEUS STEVENS

Thaddeus Stevens was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Pennsylvania and one of the leaders of the Radical Republican faction of the Republican Party during the 1860s. A fierce opponent of slavery and discrimination against African Americans Stevens sought to secure their rights during Reconstruction in opposition to President Andrew Johnson. As chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee during the American Civil War he played a major part in the wars financing.