The Impact Of Reconstruction On African American Civil Rights And Race Relations

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When John Wilkes Booth fired the fatal round that ended Abraham Lincoln 's life the course of American Reconstruction was forever and unequivocally changed. Andrew Johnson, Lincoln’s vice president, an unabashed white supremacists took the reigns of the leading the Union out of Civil War years. This executive leadership along with federal law that would not be enforced at a state level coupled with the former confederate leaders maintaining power led to the large scale negative impact of Reconstruction on African American civil rights and race relations. Furthermore African Americans would not be better off post Civil War.

As the smoke from the various battles of the Civil war cleared, Americans were faced with the difficulties of bringing the war torn nation back together. The newly freed population of ex-slaves were, for the first time, looking toward a new future of prosperity and increased rights. One of, if not the most important of the greatest changes stemming from the war was in the actual movement away from legal slavery and thus reaching the pinnacle of it’s outright banning. This movement culminated with the 13th Amendment, adopted and ratified in december of 1865. This Amendment outlawed all slavery in all states at a federal level for the first time. Furthermore the adoption of the 14th Amendment in 1866 which provided citizenship and the 15th Amendment in 1866 which provided the right to vote both laid the foundation for further protections and rights for…

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