Essay on Compromise of 1877

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Compromise of 1877 African-Americans may sometimes wonder at the contradictory facts about their history presented in many standard history texts. These texts state that blacks were given the right to vote in 1870, yet the same texts will acknowledge that this right did not really exist for African-Americans until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
Similarly, the first public accommodation law was passed in 1875, but history shows that it took 91 years before it was acknowledged and African-Americans were allowed to the full benefits of citizenship.1

It is common knowledge that the American Civil War provided freedom and certain civil rights, including to right to vote, to the African-American population of the
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By statute, African-Americans received the basic civil rights to make and enforce contracts; to acquire, hold, and dispose of property; and to equal applications of criminal laws in 1866. These rights were constitutionalized in 1868. African-Americans did not acquire the right to vote till 1870.7

There was enormous resistance from forces in the South throughout these years, these reforms were not easily instituted; yet, the movement toward real equality ended in 1870. In that year, Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts introduced a bill which, had it been passed unchanged, would have abolished racial discrimination and segregation in “public schools, cemeteries, railroads...inns..and the exclusion of citizens from jury service on the basis of race.” Unfortunately, this final triumph of the Reconstruction met with defeat.8

This was because the country, as a whole, not just the South, was tired of the ongoing crusade for civil rights. A representative from Delaware, on the floor of the Senate, even questioned if the Fourteenth Amendment had any illegal or binding force in law. This same representative then made a
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