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  • March 1867 was the Massacres of African-Americans it was the bloodless battles over how to repair a country split in two . March 2, 1867, Congress passed what historian Heather Richardson calls “one of the most important pieces of legislation in history”: the Military Reconstruction Act.
  • Leading up to the 1866 legislative elections, Nast harnessed the broad readership of Harper’s Weekly to skewer Johnson’s policies and convince voters to elect Republicans.
  • The Reconstruction Act of 1867 was a long, painful slog. The renowned illustrator Thomas Nast from September 1866. The precursor to violence in the early Reconstruction era was, of course, the Civil War itself and Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Following Lincoln’s death, vice president Andrew Johnson ascended to the presidency in the spring of 1865.
  • In the late fall of 1866 , elections were held for the Senate and House of Representatives. Republicans won a supermajority, and with their numbers were able to pass the Military Reconstruction Act. A number of Reconstruction Acts continued to be passed, forcing the southern states to ratify the 14th Amendment
  • Johnson began implementing a version of Reconstruction consistent with his political ideologies as a Democrat from Tennessee, but counter to those of Lincoln and the Republicans. Johnson offered general amnesty to all southerners who took an oath of future loyalty, demanded that high-ranking Confederate officials and required the southern states to ratify the 13th amendment, abolishing slaver
  • African-Americans the rights to property, contracts and legal access that white male Americans took for granted. But Johnson vetoed both, further angering the Republicans. Then came massacres in Memphis and New Orleans in the summer of 1866, resulting in the deaths of dozens of African-Americans. Republicans began arguing that they needed a military presence in the South to protect the newly made citizens.
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