In recent decades most historians follow Foner in dating the Reconstruction of the south as starting in with Emancipation and the Port Royal experiment rather than
History of black representation[ edit ] Reconstruction and Redemption[ edit ] First black Senator and Representatives: The Thirteenth Amendment ratified December 6,abolished slavery.
The Fourteenth Amendment ratified July 9, made all people born or naturalized in the United States citizens.
The Fifteenth Amendment ratified February 3, forbade the denial or abridgment of the right to vote on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, and gave Congress the power to enforce the law by appropriate legislation.
InCongress passed the Civil Rights Act and the four Reconstruction Actswhich dissolved all governments in the former Confederate states with the exception of Tennessee. It divided the South into five military districts, where the military through the Freedmen's Bureau helped protect the rights and safety of newly freed blacks.
The act required that the former Confederate states ratify their constitutions conferring citizenship rights on blacks or forfeit their representation in Congress. As a result of these measures, blacks acquired the right to vote across the Southern states.
In several states notably Mississippi and South Carolinablacks were the majority of the population. By forming coalitions with pro-Union whites, Republicans took control of the state legislatures.
At the time, state legislatures elected the members of the US Senate. During Reconstruction, only the state legislature of Mississippi elected any black senators. On February 25,Hiram Rhodes Revels was seated as the first black member of the Senatewhile Blanche Brucealso of Mississippi, seated inwas the second.
Revels was the first black member of the Congress overall. House of Representativesbecoming the first directly elected black member of Congress to be seated. All of these Reconstruction era black senators and representatives were members of the Republican Party.
The Republicans represented the party of Abraham Lincoln and of emancipation. The Democrats represented the party of planters, slavery and secession. Fromsouthern elections were accompanied by increasing violence, especially in Louisiana, Mississippi and the Carolinas, in an effort by Democrats to suppress black voting and regain power.
In the mids, paramilitary groups such as the White League and Red Shirts worked openly to turn Republicans out of office and intimidate blacks from voting. This followed the earlier years of secret vigilante action by the Ku Klux Klan against freedmen and allied whites.
After the disputed Presidential election of between Democratic Samuel J. Hayesgovernor of Ohioa national agreement between Democratic and Republican factions was negotiated, resulting in the Compromise of Under the compromise, Democrats conceded the election to Hayes and promised to acknowledge the political rights of blacks; Republicans agreed to withdraw federal troops from the South and promised to appropriate a portion of federal monies toward Southern projects.
Disfranchisement[ edit ] With the Southern states " redeemed ", Democrats gradually regained control of Southern legislatures. They proceeded to restrict the rights of the majority of blacks and many poor whites to vote by imposing new requirements for poll taxessubjective literacy testsmore strict residency requirements and other elements difficult for laborers to satisfy.
By the s, legislators increased restrictions on black voters through voter registration and election rules. Congress as the first African American from Virginia and the last for nearly a century after the state passed a disenfranchising constitution at the turn of the century, excluding blacks from politics for decades.
These changes effectively prevented most blacks and many poor whites from voting.
Many whites who were also illiterate were exempted from such requirements as literacy tests by such strategies as the grandfather clausebasing eligibility on an ancestor's voting status as offor instance.
Southern state and local legislatures also passed Jim Crow laws that segregated transportation, public facilities and daily life. Finally, racial violence in the form of lynchings and race riots increased in frequency, reaching a peak in the last decade of the 19th century.
The last black congressman elected from the South in the 19th century was George Henry White of North Carolinaelected in and re-elected in His term expired inthe same year that William McKinleywho was the last president to have fought in the Civil War, died. No blacks served in Congress for the next 28 years, and none represented any Southern state for the next 72 years.
The modern era[ edit ] Map of congressional districts currently represented by African-Americans. From tothe Great Migration of blacks from the rural south to northern cities such as New YorkPhiladelphiaChicagoDetroitand Cleveland began to produce black-majority Congressional districts in the North.
Blacks could exercise their right to vote. In the two waves of the Great Migration throughmore than six and a half million blacks moved north and west and became highly urbanized.The first African Americans to serve in the United States Congress were Republicans elected during the Reconstruction urbanagricultureinitiative.com slaves were emancipated and granted citizenship rights, freedmen gained political representation in the Southern United States for the first time.
White Democrats regained political power in state legislatures across the South and worked to restore white supremacy. The Reconstruction era was the period from to in American history. The term has two applications: the first applies to the complete history of the entire country from to following the American Civil War ; the second, to the attempted transformation of the 11 ex- Confederate states from to , as directed by .
- From to , the United States underwent an era of political complexity and social turbulence known as Reconstruction (Tindell). This period of American history generated extensive implications for life of Americans (Tindell).
Encyclopaedia of United States History for Kids: Eras, Events, Dates United States History for Kids has been divided into specific historical eras according to the dates of the events together with the president of the era.
Reconstruction Era Links. Books; Encyclopedia Articles; Freedmen's Bureau; Journal Articles; Media; Websites; Reconstruction. The period after the Civil War, - , was called the Reconstruction period. Abraham Lincoln started planning for the reconstruction of the South during the Civil War as Union soldiers occupied huge .
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