The Fifteenth Amendment extended black male suffrage to the entire nation

The fifteenth amendment extended black male suffrage

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The Fifteenth Amendment extended black male suffrage to the entire nation. “Sherman land” and the establishment of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands created an expectation among ex-slaves that they would become independent citizens and landowners. The black codes were essentially an attempt to subordinate blacks to whites and regulate the labor supply.
The constitutional amendment that prohibited states from depriving citizens of the right to vote on the basis of their “race, color, or previous condition of servitude” was undermined by literacy and property qualifications in southern states. In attempting to establish a reconstruction policy after the Civil War, Congress and the president disagreed about who had the authority to devise a plan of reconstruction. The new southern state constitutions mandated by the Reconstruction Acts introduced universal male suffrage, prison reforms, abolition of the property qualification for holding elected office, state responsibility for the care of orphans and the insane, and debtor relief for home mortgages. In the Slaughterhouse cases (1873) and in United States v. Cruikshank (1876), the Supreme Court restricted the ability of the federal government and Congress to protect individuals from discrimination by other individuals. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 made discrimination in state laws illegal. Pardons granted to rebel soldiers under the terms of Lincoln's Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction were important in that they restored property (except slaves) and political participation. In 1865, moderate Republicans and Republican Radicals differed in that moderates did not actively support black voting rights and the distribution of confiscated lands to the freedmen, while Radicals did. When Union general Carl Schurz undertook a fact-finding mission to the ex-Confederate states in the summer of 1865, he determined that newly freed blacks would need federal protection, land of their own, and voting rights. After Ulysses S. Grant, the former Union general, was elected president in 1868, he supported congressional reconstruction and sectional reconciliation. The army's system of compulsory free labor in the South during and after the Civil War differed from the slave labor system in that wages were paid and employers were prohibited from using physical punishment, although the army could discipline blacks who refused to work.

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