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President Abraham Lincoln introduces his ten percent plan. Ten percent of a state's voters must swore an oath of loyalty to the United States. The voters could then start to organize a new state government. That government would have to declare slavery to an end. Lincoln would also include amnesty to former confederates who took the loyalty oath.
Six months later, Congress passed a much stricter plan for reconstruction called the Wade -Davis Bill. Under that bill, fifty percent of voters would have to sign a loyalty oath before a state could return to the Union. Moreover, anyone who voluntarily fought for the confederacy would be barred from voting for delegates to a convention to write a new state constitution.
Congress creates the Freedmen's Bureau, their first duty was to provide emergency relief to people displaced by the war. The Freedmen's Bureau set up schools to teach freedmen to read and write and they helped freedmen find jobs, they also solved disputes between whites and blacks.
President Lincoln hoped for a peaceful reconstruction. But he had no chance to put it in action because he was shot dead. A confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth slipped up behind Lincoln and he was shot in his head while watching a play.
Vice President Andrew Johnson becomes President.
The 14th amendment is approved, after the Radicals took control over Reconstruction. The amendment says that all people born or naturalized in the United States are citizens, nor can a state " deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of the law ; nor deny the to any person the equal protection of the laws.
Congress approved a constitutional amendment that abolished slavery throughout the nation. It was ratified later that year, the amendment abolished slavery and forced labor.
Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, it provides citizenship rights for African Americans and guaranteed civil rights to all people except Native Americans. Congress did this because in a series of public hearing, they heard testimony about black codes, were new laws used by southern states to control African Americans, the laws were like near slavery. But President Johnson vetoed it and another extending the life of the Freedmen's Bureau. But Congress overturned the vetoed with a two-thirds vote.
Like Lincoln, Johnson issued a broad amnesty for former confederates. Johnson allowed southern states to organize new governments and elect representatives to Congress. Each state, though, had to ratify the 13th amendment , by late fall most of the states met Johnson's requirements.
The Radical Republicans had won enough support from moderates to begin a " hard " Reconstruction. This period was known as Radical Reconstruction.
General Ulysses S. Grant becomes President. 500,000 African Americans voted, mainly for Republicans.
President Johnson is impeached, in the end the votes went 35 and 19 against Johnson. This was one vote short of the required two-thirds majority.
Congress approves the 15th amendment. It barred all states from denying African Americans the right to vote " on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. " The amendment took effect in 1870, after three fourths of the states gave their approval.
The Ku Klux Klan Acts of 1870 and 1871 barred the use of force against voters.
Many people in the north and south were calling for the withdrawal of federal troops and full amnesty for former confederates. This was the end of Reconstruction.
Rutherford B. Hayes of Ohio for the Republicans and Samuel J. Tilden of New York for the Democrats, were the candidates for the presidential election. Hayes wins by one electoral vote after Congress decides the winner. Later the South passes laws that deny the right to vote for African Americans.
Thurgood Marshall is appointed to Supreme Court. He was the first African American to sit on America's highest court.
Marthin Luther King jr. deliver his " I have a dream " speech at the Lincoln memorial. That later ended segregation after Martin Luther King jr.'s death.
W.E.B. Du Bois founded the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Colin Powell is appointed the U.S. Secretary of State. He is the first African American to be appointed in the U.S. Secretary of State.
Mary McLeod Bethune becomes the director of the Division of Negro Affair of the Nation Youth Administration.
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