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The Freedmen's Bureau

The first kind of primitive welfare agency used to provide food, clothing, medical care, and education to freedman and to white refugees.First to establish school for blacks to learn to read.

Wade Davis Bill

A plan in 1864 for Reconstruction that denied the right to vote or hold office for anyone who had fought for the Confederacy. Lincoln refused to sign this bill because he thought it was too harsh.

Black codes

South laws passed by Johnson that kept tight restraints on the freedmen. Included no interracial marriages and no service on juries.


A person who works fields rented from a landowner and pays the rent and repays loans by turning over to the landowner a share of the crops.

Civil Rights Bill

A bill passed by Congress in March 1866 as a measure against the Black Codes to reinforce black rights to citizenship. It was vetoed by Johnson and was later passed as the 14th Amendment.

14th Amendment

This amendment declared that all persons born or naturalized in the United States were entitled equal rights regardless of their race, and that their rights were protected at both the state and national levels.

Reconstruction Act

Divided the South into 5 military districts, each commanded by a union general and policed by Union soldiers. To be re-admitted into the Union states had to ratify the 14th Amendment, and that states' constitutions had to allow former adult male slaves to vote.

15th Amendment

The amendment that stated that no one could be rejected voting rights based on race, color, or ex-slave.

Union League

A pro-Union organization consisting of Freedmen. A network of political clubs that educated members and campaigned for Republican candidates. Also took up building black churches and schools, representing black grievances before local employers and government, and recruiting militias to protect black communities from white retaliation.


The name given by former confederates to those southerners who supported the shift in power to congress and the army in the south during reconstruction


A northerner who went to the South immediately after the Civil War and tried to gain political advantage or other advantages from the disorganized situation in southern states.

Ku Klux Klan

A secret society created by white southerners in 1866 that used terror and violence to keep African Americans from obtaining their civil rights.

Force Acts

Banned the use of terror, force or bribery to prevent someone from voting because of their race. Also banned the KKK entirely and brought forth military help to enforce these laws.

Tenure of Office Act

Passed in 1867 to limited the President's power by prohibiting the President from removing civil officers without the Senate's consent. Prevented Johnson from firing Secretary of War Stanton.

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