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radical republicans

wanted to democratize the South, establish public education, and ensure the rights or free people; strongly promoted free blacks and black suffrage

civil rights bill of 1866

first statutory definition of rights of American citizens; was to counteract black codes; would force southern courts to practice equality before the law by allowing federal judges to remove from state courts cases in which blacks were treated unfairly; pocket vetoed by Johnson

14th Amendment

gave citizenship to freedmen, prohibited states from interfering with constitutional rights, declared Confederate war debt null and void, barred Confederate leaders from holding state and federal office, and punished and state that restricted black voting rights

Thaddeus Stevens

leader of the Radical Republicans; proposed plan to confiscate and redistribute lands from the former Confederate states but it failed to win support

Tenure of Office Act

stated Senate must approve all presidential appointees who are non-elected as well as approving the firing of officials; violated tradition of a president controlling his cabinet

15th Amendment

prohibited denying right to vote based on race, color, or servitude; provided suffrage for blacks but not women; couldn't deny but doesn't allow

Southern Conservatives

opposed Reconstruction; spread myth of Negro Rule, saying the south was being controlled by black freedmen

"Negro Rule"

belief spread by southern conservatives that the south was becoming dominated by blacks; was false but it threatened the north


northern republicans who moved to the south seeking economic opportunity; name derived from suitcase made of carpet material


poor white southerners who became republicans because they were interested in economic development to raise their own status

Klu Klux Klan

began as a social club in TN but evolved into a terrorist organization; intimidated African Americans and sympathetic whites so that they became silent and submissive

Enforcement Acts

passed to counteract KKK violence; made actions of individuals against the civil and political rights of blacks a federal criminal offense; were enforced selectively

Amnesty Act of 1872

Congress offered amnesty to most remaining former Confeds.; pardoned most revels and left only 500 barred from political officeholding

Civil Rights Act of 1875

passed legislation that guaranteed access to transportation and hotels for all blacks; repealed blacks codes and removed restrictions on workers; prohibited racial discrimination in jury selection; became a watered down bill that the Supreme Court eventually struck down

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