Graphic of part of the Emancipation Proclamation
Rights and POwer: The POlitics of Reconstruction
Link to Part 1 of Section 4: Presidential Reconstruction Link to Part 2 of Section 4: Congress and Civil Rights Link to Part 3 of Section 4: The National Debate Over Reconstruction; IMpeachment; and the Election of Grant Link to Part 4 of Section 4: Reconstruction Government in the South Link to Biographies in Section 4

"Electioneering at the South," Harper's Weekly, July 25, 1868.

"Electioneering at the South,"
Harper's Weekly, July 25, 1868.

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Black suffrage was the most radical element of Congressional Reconstruction. In March 1867 - three years before the ratification of the 15th Amendment - Congress passed the Reconstruction Act of 1867, which extended the vote to black men.

It stated that the the states of the former Confederacy would only be readmitted to Congress after they ratified the 14th Amendment and accepted black suffrage. Richard Yates, a senator from Illinois, announced: "the ballot is the freedman's Moses."

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he Meaning of Freedom: Black and White Responses to Slavery From Free Labor to Slave Labor Rights and Power: The Politics of Reconstruction The Ending of Reconstruction Epilogue: The Unfinished Revolution Additional Resources Credits for this Exhibit Link to return to Digital History Home Link to return to Reconstruction Home Introduction