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Slavery and the Making of AmericaDramatic re-enactment of slaves being transported on a boat
Time and Place Slave Memories Resources The Slave Experience

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Reconstruction Reigns
Congress overrides Presidential vetoes to pass the first, second, and third Reconstruction Acts, ushering in the period known as "Radical Reconstruction," during which the governments of all Southern States, except Tennessee, are declared invalid and the states are broken up into military districts overseen by federal troops.

Congress gives blacks the right to vote in Washington, D.C.

Howard University, named after the head of the Freedmen's Bureau, is founded in Washington, D.C.

The fourteenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified. It gives all native born and naturalized persons citizenship and gives blacks equal protection under the law.

Congress passes a fourth Reconstruction Act.

President Johnson is impeached by the House of Representatives. He avoids removal from office by a narrow vote in the Senate.

South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia, followed by Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, and Louisiana, are readmitted to the Union and allowed representation in Congress.

In South Carolina the first and only American legislature made up of a black majority is elected. The ratio of black to white representatives is 87:40.

African-American representatives are expelled from the Georgia legislature. It takes them a year to gain readmittance.

In Louisiana, 200-300 African Americans are killed in the "Opelousas Massacre."

General Ulysses S. Grant is elected President. Although allied with the Radical Republicans in Congress, he proves a weak leader for Reconstruction.

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