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Describe the African American experience during Reconstruction. What were the obstacles to citizenship during Reconstruction by African Americans Also, Outline some of the gains and losses in politics made by African Americans during Reconstruction. Fina - Essay Example

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After the civil war, the Reconstruction Era occurred between 1865 and 1877 and sought to address among other things the constitutional and legal status of the freedmen. The Thirteenth Amendment liberated all United States of America slaves presenting a problem as the slave…
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Describe the African American experience during Reconstruction. What were the obstacles to citizenship during Reconstruction by African Americans Also, Outline some of the gains and losses in politics made by African Americans during Reconstruction. Fina
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"Describe the African American experience during Reconstruction. What were the obstacles to citizenship during Reconstruction by African Americans Also, Outline some of the gains and losses in politics made by African Americans during Reconstruction. Fina"

Download file to see previous pages President Abraham Lincoln delivered a speech in Louisiana in 1865 referring to the right of the black man to vote. This did not come to fruition as he was assassinated three days later. The Reconstruction efforts fell to President Johnson. He was of the view that the federal government had no right to determine how states governed themselves and in particular voting rights. Further, land allocated to freed slaves by the Freedmen bureau reverted back to the original owners. This leeway by President Johnson led to the southern states enacting black codes which sought to restrict the activity of black people thus availing them as a labour force. This enraged the Northerners who led Congress in passing the Freedmen Bureau Bill and the Civil Rights Bill which were subsequently vetoed by President Johnson. This notwithstanding, the bills became law. The Civil Rights Act defined all persons born in the United States of America as national citizens as equal before the law.2
Under Republican guidance, congress passed the Reconstruction Act of 1867 outlined how universal male suffrage was to be organized. The law required states to ratify the 14 Amendment which broadened the definition of citizenship by granting ‘equal protection’ of the constitution to former slaves before joining the Union. In February 1869, congress approved the 15 Amendment and adopted it in 1869 which guaranteed that a citizens right to vote would not be curtailed "on account of race, colour, or previous condition of servitude." This assured black’s of their right to vote.3
In 1867 in response to the strides made by the reconstruction efforts, a section of the southern whites formed the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) to challenge the developments. They targeted African Americans who challenged white authority and both black and white republican leaders. They lynched black Americans for what they considered to be sins against the white race. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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