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Pursuing Equality for

African-Americans During
Radical Reconstruction

Freedmen in the South Carolina Sea Islands

The End of the Civil War

When the Union won

the Civil War the big
questions were:

Jefferson Davis,
President of the

What should Southern

states have to do to be
readmitted to the Union?
What should happen to
southerners who
participated in the war
What should happen to
the newly emancipated

Views of Reconstruction

Republican leaders agreed

that slavery had to be
permanently destroyed
and all forms of
Confederate nationalism
had to be suppressed
Moderates thought this
could be accomplished as
soon as Confederate
armies surrendered and
the southern states
repealed secession and
ratified the 13th
All of this happened by
the end of September

General Lee surrendering to

General Grant at Appomattox

Johnson Alienates
Radical Republicans

President Andrew

President Johnson
supported votes for Black
army veterans in 1864
and 1865
By 1866, however,
Johnson broke with the
moderate Republicans
and aligned himself with
the Democrats who
opposed equality and
opposed the Fourteenth
Radicals attacked
Johnsons policies,
especially his 10% Plan
and his veto of the Civil
Rights Bill for the

Plans for Reconstruction

Led by Charles Sumner

and Thaddeus Stevens,
the Radical Republicans
wanted the Southern
states to be punished for
their treasonous
They called for harsh
punishment of
Confederate officers and
soldiers and equal rights
for Freedmen

Radical Republicans Gain

Control of Congress

Time Works Wonders by Thomas


The election of 1866

dramatically changed the
balance of power in
congress, giving the
Radical Republicans
enough votes to
overcome Johnson's
Though he avoided (by
one vote) the Radical
Republican attempt to
impeach him Johnson
remained almost
powerless regarding
Reconstruction policy

Radical Reconstruction

Radical Republicans
implemented a federal
reconstruction plan
They used the Army to
combat the effect of black
codes and enforce new
laws that guaranteed
rights to African
Americans in Southern
Federal reconstruction
took the vote away from
10,000 to 15,000 white
men who had been
Confederate officials or

Radical Republican Leaders

Black Codes

African American men who

were arrested for vagrancy due
to unemployment

White Southerners
sought ways to control
newly freed African
They wrote Black Codes
to regulate civil and
legal rights, from
marriage to the right to
hold and sell property
In many ways the codes
guaranteed African
Americans would
continue working as
farm laborers

The Civil Rights Act of 1866

The Civil Rights Act of 1866

gave rights to freed slaves
including the rights to make
contracts, sue, witness in
court, and own private
President Johnson vetoed the
bill saying it would "operate in
favor of the colored and
against the white race
Congress overrode the
presidential veto in April of
The act declared that all
persons born in the U.S. were
now citizens, without regard
to race, color, or previous
condition of servitude,
excluding Indians

Former Slaves and Wounded

Union Veterans Celebrating the
Passage of the Civil Rights Act of

The 14 Amendment

In order to ensure
permanent change
the 14th amendment
granted citizenship
to African Americans
The amendment also
guaranteed the right
to due process under
the law to African

The 15th Amendment

Granted African
American men suffrage
in 1870
This did not guarantee
African American men
would be allowed access
to their local polls
Violence against African
Americans at polling
places was common
Literacy tests, poll taxes
and other voter
qualification laws
became common

The First Black Voters

African Americans Vote

Hiram Revels, the first

African American elected
to the U.S. Senate

Slowly Southern states

held elections in which
Freedmen voted
These elections usually
produced Republican
state governments
For the first time
African Americans
were elected to local,
state and federal

The End of Radical Reconstruction

Federal Reconstruction
ended in 1876 with the
election of Rutherford B.
Hayes to the presidency
A few weeks after taking
office Hayes issued an
order for the removal of
all federal soldiers
stationed in the South
The end of
Reconstruction led to a
drastic reduction of
rights for African

President Rutherford