Civil Rights Act of 1871

During the reconstruction period after the civil war was resolved, there was still turmoil in the south. Many white southerners were unwilling to accept the new government for reasons such as rise in taxes to improve the construction of railroads and schools but the chief reason of discontent in the south is that the southerners could not tolerate the civil rights act of 1866 which allowed males to vote despite their previous background. In response to the civil rights act of 1866, white southerners who opposed the ideas of the new government formed a secret organization known as the Ku Klux Klan. The main goal of the Ku Klux Klan was to prevent blacks from voting by harassing the blacks in their community and often time’s murdering them in order to cause a scare.

            In order to counter the actions of the Ku Klux Klan, the Civil Rights act of 1871 was enacted by President Ulysses Grant. With this act in power, federal troops were sent to the south to protect blacks from being harassed or assaulted by secret organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan. During this time many members of the Ku Klux Klan were arrested and were put on trial for the atrocities they have committed.


Fifteenth Amendment: Voting Rights(1870)


                     Above picture is the primary document of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, in which it prohibits any state and federal governments from denying any citizen the right to vote based on their “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” According to the textbook “Give Me Liberty”, this amendment was first approved  in February 1869.  It was ratified on February 3, 1870. Fifteenth Amendment not only gives every citizen in the United States a right to vote but also it ended the segregation of blacks. “With the Fifteenth Amendment, the American Anti-Slavery Society disbanded, its work, its members believed, now complete.” (Give Me Liberty: 540)

                        However, this amendment did not give the voting rights to women, it only granted African American the right to vote. Fifteenth Amendment is the third of the Reconstruction Amendments. It contains two sections:

Section 1.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude–

Section 2.
The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.