Reconstruction Political Changes

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The Reconstruction era after the Civil War lasted began in 1865 and lasted approximately twelve years, it was long and tiring but brought much change in many areas. Reconstruction was ultimately run by the Radical Republicans in the U.S. Congress. This itself brought controversy and trials with President Johnson who had received office after Lincoln 's assassination. Johnson was followed by Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes, these presidents actions also adding stress to the reconstruction. While the federal government was fighting corruption in the North, the Ex-Confederate leaders were slowly making their way back into the southern government, something that everyone in the Union had decided was unacceptable upon Southern …show more content…
The 13th amendment abolished slavery, the 14th made all people born in the United States legal citizens and the 15th gave all males, 21 and older the right to vote on any account of race, color or previous servitude. Many physical changes happened due to these laws. The government had just given anyone the right to be a U.S. citizen and, in the beginning, had an enormous increase in voting. Contrary to the increase there was a recent imbalance, due to hostile feeling the Southerners became known as the “Solid South” and Northerners often chose the “Wave the bloody shirt” during elections. Corresponding with these amendments were the Civil Rights Acts giving the definition of a citizen, authorizing the government to bring a lawsuit to anyone who violated newly given rights, giving African Americans the legal rights to a fair trial while in theory simultaneously trying to end public discrimination and segregation. Government during Reconstruction was weak resulting in Ex-Confederate officials once again gaining political power. This resulted in a group of vigilantes identically known with the democrat party. Congress enacted the KKK Act giving the federal government the right to use the military to ensure the safety of U.S. citizens rights due, this being the first time the federal government had done anything to protect the individual rights of …show more content…
Directly after the ratification of the 13th amendment southerners had plans to advert the constitutional law. Black Codes were quickly enforced, restricting African Americans in so many ways it could be considered a continuation of slavery. Black Codes included requirements such as; all African Americans had to be in a form of servitude to a white person, all African Americans had to have permission to leave the property, preach to a congregation and were not permitted to have any form of firearms, etc.. Although the Black Codes were repealed at the beginning of Reconstruction, the battle for white dominance continued. Ex-Confederate officials being re elected to political status had a burning desire for the reestablishment of white supremacy which they called “Redemption”. This desire caused the formation of the famous vigilante group the KKK, who rode around destroying crops, burning houses, lynching and even murdering freed African Americans who threatened white supremacy. While the government tried to distinguish the KKK, the group has yet to end, although most recent members are estimated to belong in the Deep South. These acts combined with the long lasting Jim Crow Laws, laws ensuring segregation, proved that federal laws had made the African Americans free but white racists ensured them to be far from

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