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Reconstruction Acts of 1867-1868

Nearly two years following the end of the Civil War, Congress finally forged a complete plan for reconstruction. Three measures were passed in 1867 as well as additional legislation the following year. The measures' main points included:

  • Creation of five military districts in the seceded states (not including Tennessee, which had ratified the 14th Amendment and was readmitted to the Union)
  • Each district was to be headed by a military official empowered to appoint and remove state officials
  • Voters were to be registered; all freedmen were to be included as well as those white men who took an extended loyalty oath
  • State constitutional conventions, comprising elected delegates, were to draft new governing documents providing for black male suffrage
  • States were required to ratify the 14th Amendment prior to readmission.
Johnson’s vetoes of these measures were overridden by Congress, repeating a familiar pattern.

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