Reconstruction Amendments

After the end of the Civil War, Radical Republican leaders in Congress worked to protect rights granted to ex-slaves, but also worked to find ways to punish the South for the war. In order to make sure that the freedmen were getting their rights, three new Constitutional Amendments were added. In this assignment, you will read about those amendments.

Answer the questions on your own paper using complete sentences.

AMENDMENT XIII
Passed by Congress January 31, 1865. Ratified December 6, 1865.

Section 1.
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

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

1. What else besides "slavery" was abolished by the 13th Amendment?

2. What exception was made in the 13th Amendment where slavery might be allowed?

AMENDMENT XIV
Passed by Congress June 13, 1866. Ratified July 9, 1868.

Section 1.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2.
Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States,
Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age,* and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

Section 3.
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4.
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5.
The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

3. In Section 1 of the 14th Amendment, who is considered a citizen of the United States?

4. What can states not deprive a person of?

5. What does "due process of law" mean?

6. How did the provisions of the 14th Amendment punish the former Confederate states? Give three examples.

AMENDMENT XV
Passed by Congress February 26, 1869. Ratified February 3, 1870.

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. [slavery]

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

7. According to the text of the amendment, under what conditions were the states and federal government not allowed to deny a person the right to vote?

Radical Reconstruction

After the Civil War ended in 1865, the nation was faced with the difficult task of how to reunite the North and South. Several radical members of the Republican Party felt that Southern states should be punished for their actions that caused the war.

The struggle between radicals and moderates [people who were more reasonable] would continue throughout the rest of the 1860's into the 1870's. Not just Congress debated this issue. The newspapers of the day also got into it.

Click on Various opinions and views on the Reconstruction

Scroll down until you see the quote from Benjamin Wade.

8. Look at the quote from Benjamin Wade (Quote #1). Would Wade have been considered a radical or a moderate?

9. Look at Quote # 5 by Robert E. Lee. What did Lee think about giving blacks the right to vote?

Click on Democratic Majority

10. What type of source is this?

11. Based on what you can see in the source, what are the two crimes that the KKK has been charged with?

12. Based on what is visible in the source, how is the Ku Klux Klan represented?

13. According the the source, how does the Klan enforce or execute its will or practice?

14. What is the caption at the bottom of the source?

15. What do you think the cartoonist is saying about the Democratic Party in this cartoon?