Reconstruction Summary

Reconstruction Summary - Reconstruction Summary & Analysis...

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Reconstruction was America's first experiment in interracial democracy for men. It tested the central philosophies and traditions of America's society and institutions. The Civil War entailed a dramatic expansion of the roles and responsibilities of the central government that resulted in the ratification of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution. These amendments made involuntary servitude a federal crime, created a new federal dimension of citizenship for all Americans, and sought to guarantee universal male suffrage. Once they were ratified, Congress was constitutionally empowered and obligated to protect and enforce them, sustaining the broad new powers and active role of the national government. The postwar period began with a series of fairly lenient Reconstruction plans put forth by presidents Lincoln and Johnson, who were both eager to see the former Confederacy returned to the Union with as much speed and as little vindictiveness as possible. As the ineffectiveness of Presidential Reconstruction became apparent in the face of blatant violations of the freed peoples' constitutional rights and liberties, northern voters elected Republicans to Congress by a landslide, thereby providing a mandate for the Republicans to take over the job of putting the Union back together again. They were deemed "radical" by subsequent historians because they insisted that blacks be protected in their newfound rights. When white southern intransigence followed the nation's first Civil Rights Act , Congress passed the Ku Klux Klan Act , which gave federal authorities jurisdiction over both states and individuals who tried to deprive freedmen and women of their newfound rights. Never before
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This note was uploaded on 01/04/2012 for the course AMH AMH2010 taught by Professor Pietrzak during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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Reconstruction Summary - Reconstruction Summary & Analysis...

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