It is true that through the use of Congressional Reconstruction, the Republicans were in a position to seek for the political and social equality of the African Americans that were based in the south. In 1866, the Republicans were saddened by the killings of the ex-slaves and the implementation of black codes that were restrictive making it hard for the slaves and the African Americans to live in a normal way. The Congress managed to deny the representatives who were from the former Confederate states their seats in the house, played a key role in the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and they enacted the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. The issue enabled the African Americans to enjoy their rights and ensured that they received equal protection by the law just like the whites. The 14th amendment stated that the Southern states that were denying the African Americans their rights would be deprived of the seats that they held in the Congress. In the year 1870, the United States took a major step in making ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment ensuring that the black men were allowed to vote, and this led to the proposal that had been put forward for the plantation confiscation to fail.
The Congress managed to override a presidential veto that enabled it to pass an act that triggered the division of South region into what would be described as military districts. The former Confederate states started to exercise the martial law as they waited for the constitution adoption that would have guaranteed the former slaves the liberty to be free. The Reconstruction Act that was enacted in 1867 allowed the African American men in the South region to vote even before there was the 15th Amendment ratification (Berkin, 2012). There was a rise in the number of freedmen in the legislature and Senate an indication that the Congressional Reconstruction was critical in leading to the African Americans becoming free and having their rights observed after they were released from slavery.
Some of the southerners and freemen who were elected to the state legislatures played a crucial role in ensuring that the African Americans continued to enjoy their freedom. Hiram Revels is one of the freedmen who had joined the Senate, and the leader worked hard to ensure that laws were not violated and the blacks were allowed to exercise their rights according to the stipulations made in the constitution of the United States. However, President Johnson was engaging in activities that seemed to undermine the efforts being made under the Congressional Reconstruction programs, and this led the Congress to have laws that were intended to restrict the powers placed upon the president. It is often stated that Johnson forbade the Army to engage in violations of the federal laws and it was argued that such activities were being done with the desire to thwart the work of the Congress. President Johnson's appointment of the Supreme Court judges was removed, and his powers over the Army were limited meaning that he had little influence on what he could order them to accomplish. The president could no longer remove the office holders without seeking the approval of the Senate especially if they had been appointed with the Senate's consent. Therefore, even the president's powers were restricted on the effect the leader had on the African American rights meaning that the reconstruction process was significant in seeking their political and social equality.
Berkin, C. (2012). Making America: A history of the United States. Boston: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
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