Reconstruction Era

Griselda Gonzalez

Theddeus Stevens

(April 4, 1792-August 11, 1868)

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 a chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee during the American Civil War, he played a major part in the war's financing.

Andrew Johnson

(December29, 1808 - July 31, 1875)

Was the 17th President of the united States, serving from 1865 to 1869.

Johnson became president as he was Vice President at the time of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination.

A Democrat who run with Lincoln on the National Union ticket, Johnson came to office as the Civil War concluded.

The President favored quick restoration of the seceded states to the union.

His plans did not give protection to the former slaves, and he came into conflict with the Republican dominated congress, culminating in his impeachment by the House of Representatives.

The first American president to be impeached, he was acquitted in the Senate by one vote.

14th Amendment

The 14th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified on July 9, 1868 during the Reconstruction era.

It, along with the 13th and 15th amendments are collectively know as the Reconstruction amendments.

However, of those three, the 14th is the most complicated and the one that has had the more unforeseen effects.

Its broad goal was to ensure that the Civil Rights Act passed in 1866 would remain valid ensuring that "all persons born in the United States...excluding Indians not taxed..." were citizens and were to be given "full and equal benefit of all laws."

15th Amendment

The 15th Amendment, granting African-American men the right to vote, was formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution on March 30, 1870. Passed by Congress the year before, the amendment reads: “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.” Despite the amendment, by the late 1870s, various discriminatory practices were used to prevent African Americans from exercising their right to vote, especially in the South. After decades of discrimination, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 aimed to overcome legal barriers at the state and local levels that denied blacks their right to vote under the 15th Amendment.