Reconstruction: Turning point?

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  • 1865-77: Reconstruction. Turning point?
    • In 1865 all slaves in the country were formally freed with the passing of the 13th Amendment
      • However, the unleasing of around 3 and a half million former slaves into society made the nature of emancipation and the question of civil rights for the free slaves a major issue in the Post War Period
    • Wanted the radical south to accpet African Americans
    • The Civil Rights Act of 1866 - Said that all other races than Native Americans were US citizens. Intended to guarantee equality. Johnson tried to Veto the bill - but his motives were racist.
    • The Fourteenth Amendment (1866/ratified 1868) gave all freed black US citizens oritection under the Law
    • The Fifteenth Amendment (1870) Forbade the denial of the vote to any man on the basis of colour, race or 'previous conditions of servitude'. However, its terms did not preclude the imposition of voting qualifications and there was nothing in the amendment that said former slaves could be in office
    • The Civil Rights Act of 1975 - Prohibit segregation in all public places. THIS ACT WAS NEVER ENFORCED AND EVENTUALLY THROWN OUT BY THE SUPREME COURT.
    • Freedman's Bureau was set up by an Act of Congress to support free slaves. Helped them to find home and employment, provided food and medical care and education. Found allocated land for them.
    • Education - Freedmen's Bureau spent $17 million on setting up 4,000 schools and 100 hospitals. $1 million on higher education. Black colleges were founded in the north. Number of Black teachers increased andso did literacy.
    • In urban areas, black people seized the initative themselves in setting up schools. They joined together to buy property and black tradesmen gave skill and labour free of charge.


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