Slavery in the United States

649 Words Feb 18th, 2018 3 Pages
Being treated as property, African Americans had no rights and dealt with racial discrimination upon generations. But a sign of change started during the final years of the Civil War and the Reconstruction Era when the anti-slavery President Abraham Lincoln, with Congress, debated that African American citizens had the right for individual liberty. When President Andrew Johnson took Lincoln’s place, the Thirteenth Amendment was enacted by congress in 1865 which abolished slavery. Then the Civil Rights Act of 1866 was proposed by Congress in 1865 as well, which was intended to protect African American’s civil rights, but was then vetoed by Johnson. Even though Johnson vetoed the Act again when Congress passed the bill in 1866, two thirds of the majority in each house were able to neglect the veto and thus the bill became an official law. The South, being a pro-slavery region, was not happy about giving African Americans any rights and showed discontent through acts of protests and cases. This brought Congress into concerns about its power to enact and enforce the law thus, the Fourteenth Amendment, which was greatly contested by the Southern states, was ratified on July 9, 1868. The sole purpose of the Amendment was to grant full citizenship to everyone who was born or naturalized in the United States which also included newly freed former slaves. It also guaranteed equal protection and due process…

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