American History – Reconstruction Part 4       

The Civil rights Bill

The congress was not able to override the veto by Johnson and it immediately put forth “Civil rights bill” by which

  1. Full rights to Negros were given.
  2. All cases under the act were declared within the jurisdiction of federal courts.
  3. Equality of treatment before the law.
  4. The moderated in the congress urged the president to sign the bill to avoid complete break down between executives and legislature but Johnson refused.
  5. He argued that it invaded state rights and would revive rebellion.
  6. Johnson returned the bill with his veto and the congress passed the bill over his veto brining about a complete break down between the president and the congress.

The fourteenth amendment

The quarrel grew more violent with President Johnson. Radical republicans insisted upon political punishment on ex confederates. An amendment was brought by them and it was approved by the congress in 1866.

This is a long and important one.

  1. Citizenship was conferred on every person naturalized in the United States (to include Negros).
  2. State laws abridging civil rights were prohibited.
  3. States which deprived negro ballot were to suffer reduction of representation.
  4. Ex confederates were debarred from holding national and state offices.
  5. The confederate debt was repudiated and validity of US debts was affirmed.
  6. Tennessee quickly ratified the amendment and was readmitted to the union in 1866.
  7. All other states rejected the amendment under the notice of Johnson considering it unconstitutional.
  8. Through the 14th amendment congress offered the southern states to get re-admitted into the union.
  9. If the southern states and president accepted this offer, reconstruction would have ended there.


Congressional election 1866

  1. President Johnson and radical republicans fought for control of congress.
  2. Friends of Johnson’s administration denounced the 14th amendment and urged adoption of conciliatory policy towards southern states.
  3. The radical republicans stated that they would carry out their programme of reconstruction of the south.
  4. The president’s campaign indirectly helped the radicals.