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Radical Reconstruction: 1867–1877Events1867Congress passes First and Second Reconstruction Acts Congress passes Tenure of Office Act1868House of Representatives impeaches Andrew Johnson Senate acquits Johnson Fourteenth Amendment is ratified Ulysses S. Grant is elected president 1870Fifteenth Amendment is ratified Key PeopleAndrew Johnson- 17th U.S. president; impeached by the House of Representatives in 1868but later acquitted by the Senate Edwin M. Stanton- Secretary of War under Lincoln and Johnson; was dismissed by Johnson, prompting House Republicans to impeach Johnson Ulysses S. Grant- 18th U.S. president; formerly a Union general and, briefly, secretary of war under Johnson Radical ReconstructionAfter sweeping the elections of 1866, the Radical Republicansgained almost complete control over policymaking in Congress. Along with their more moderate Republican allies, they gained control of the House of Representatives and the Senate and thus gained sufficient power to override any potential vetoes by President Andrew Johnson. This political ascension, which occurred in early 1867, marked the beginning of Radical Reconstruction (also known as Congressional Reconstruction).The First and Second Reconstruction ActsCongress began the task of Reconstruction by passing the First Reconstruction Actin March 1867. Also known as the Military Reconstruction Actor simply the Reconstruction Act, the bill reduced the secessionist states to little more than conquered territory, dividing them into five militarydistricts, each governed by a Union general. Congress declared martial lawin the territories, dispatching troops to keep the peace and protect former slaves.Congress also declared that southern states needed to redraft their constitutions, ratify the Fourteenth Amendment, and provide suffrage to blacks in order to seek readmission into the Union. To further safeguard voting rights for former slaves, Republicans passed the Second
Reconstruction Act, placing Union troops in charge of voter registration. Congress overrode two presidential vetoes from Johnson to pass the bills.Reestablishing Order in the SouthThe murderous Memphis and New Orleans race riots of 1866proved that Reconstruction needed to be declared andenforced, and the Military Reconstruction Act jump-started this process. Congress chose to send the military, creating “radical regimes” throughout the secessionist states.