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248. After the Civil War, African Americans gained equal rights as a result of the what Act of Congress which authorized the use of federal troops for its enforcement?
After the Civil War, African Americans gained equal rights as a result
of the what Act of Congress which authorized the use of federal troops for its
Act of 1866
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Letter regarding War of 1812 Widow Annuity.
To Wm. H Kemble
"Application having been made to me by Catherine Dedaker widow of Adam Dedaker of Philadelphia a soldier of the war of 1812, for the Gratuity and Annuity authorized by the act of March 30, 1866, entitled 'An Act to provide for the payment of Gratuities and Annuities to the soldiers of the war of 1812, I hereby certify, agreeably to the provisions of said act, that she has furnished satisfactory evidence to me that she is entitled to the benefits of said act, and the State Treasurer will please pay to her order Forty Dollars Gratuity, and Twenty Dollars Annuity, for six months, due July 14 1866."
Southern Homestead Act of 1866
United States federal law
enacted to break a cycle of debt during the
American Civil War
. Prior to this act,
and whites alike were having trouble buying land.
had become ways of life. This act attempted to solve this by selling land at low prices so that southerners could buy it. Many people, however, could still not participate because the low prices were still too high.
, the Southern Homestead Act opened up 46 million acres (190,000 km²) of public land for sale in 160-acre plots in the Southern states of
. The primary beneficiaries for the first six months were freedmen who were in desperate need of land to till. Before too much land was distributed, however, the law was repealed in June 1876.
Civil Rights Act Of 1866
is a piece of
legislation that gave further rights to the freed
after the end of the
American Civil War
This was the first of several pieces of legislation called the
Civil Rights Act
United States Congress
passed the act in March 1866, as a counterattack against the
in the southern United States. Included in these were the rights to: make contracts,
, witness in court and own private property. President
vetoed the bill, saying that blacks were not qualified for United States
and that the bill would "operate in favor of the colored and against the white race."
The Republicans in congress overrode the
on April 9, 1866. The act declared that all persons born in the
were citizens, without regard to race, color, or previous condition — excluding Indians not taxed. As citizens they could make and enforce contracts, sue and be sued, give evidence in court, and inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real estate and personal property. Persons who denied these rights to former slaves were guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction faced a fine not exceeding $1,000 and/or imprisonment not exceeding one year.
A far-reaching consequence of this act is that since 1866, it has been illegal to discriminate in housing based on
. However, federal solutions were not provided for, and remedies were left to the individuals involved. Because those being discriminated against had limited access to legal help, this left many victims of discrimination without recourse. Since the latter half of the 20th century, there have been an increasing number of remedies provided under this act, including the landmark
Jones v. Mayer
decision in 1968.
Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 was the first major anti-discrimination employment statute. This act prohibited employment discrimination based on race and color. This Act has been interpreted by the
and other groups.
Based on Shaare Tefila Congregation v. Cobb, 481 U.S. 615 (1987) 107 S.Ct. 2019, the Civil Rights Act of 1866 covers people of the
] (even though
is not a race) because at the time the act was passed, Jewish people were considered a distinct race. Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 protects from discrimination identifiable classes of persons who are subjected to intentional discrimination solely because of their ancestry or ethnic characteristics, including
. Although in the 2000s, some (but by no means all) consider Arabs
], in 1866 (when the Act was written), Arabs were generally considered a different race.
The Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 freed African Americans in rebel states, and after the Civil War, the Thirteenth Amendment emancipated all U.S. slaves wherever they were. As a result, the mass of Southern blacks now faced the difficulty Northern blacks had confronted--that of a free people surrounded by many hostile whites. One freedman, Houston Hartsfield Holloway, wrote, "For we colored people did not know how to be free and the white people did not know how to have a free colored person about them."
Even after the Emancipation Proclamation, two more years of war, service by African American troops, and the defeat of the Confederacy, the nation was still unprepared to deal with the question of full citizenship for its newly freed black population. The Reconstruction implemented by Congress, which lasted from 1866 to 1877, was aimed at reorganizing the Southern states after the Civil War, providing the means for readmitting them into the Union, and defining the means by which whites and blacks could live together in a nonslave society. The South, however, saw Reconstruction as a humiliating, even vengeful imposition and did not welcome it.
During the years after the war, black and white teachers from the North and South, missionary organizations, churches and schools worked tirelessly to give the emancipated population the opportunity to learn. Former slaves of every age took advantage of the opportunity to become literate. Grandfathers and their grandchildren sat together in classrooms seeking to obtain the tools of freedom.
After the Civil War, with the protection of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution and the Civil Rights Act of 1866, African Americans enjoyed a period when they were allowed to vote, actively participate in the political process, acquire the land of former owners, seek their own employment, and use public accommodations. Opponents of this progress, however, soon rallied against the former slaves' freedom and began to find means for eroding the gains for which many had shed their blood.
During Reconstruction freed slaves began to leave the South. One such group, originally from Kentucky, established the community of Nicodemus in 1877 in Graham County on the high, arid plains of northwestern Kansas. However, because of several crop failures and resentment from the county's white settlers, all but a few homesteaders abandoned their claims. A rising population of 500 in 1880 had declined to less than 200 by 1910.
The Civil Rights Act of 1866 passed by the Reconstruction Congress guaranteed property rights to all citizens regardless of race. Unfortunately, the nation's commitment to civil rights deteriorated quickly and the Act's guarantee of equal rights to all citizens turned out to be an empty promise. The courts only prohibited racial discrimination with regard to governmental discrimination, such as racial zoning or the court enforcement of racially restrictive covenants governing real property. Thus, the 1866 Act was ineffective in combating private discrimination.
In November 1962, President Kennedy signed an executive order entitled "Equal Opportunity in Housing" which prohibited discrimination in housing owned, operated or assisted by the federal government. The order required federal agencies to take action to prevent discrimination based upon race, color, creed or national origin. However, it had limited impact on the housing market.
The real change in fair housing did not come about until the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968) which represented the culmination of years of congressional consideration of housing discrimination legislation. Its legislative history spanned the urban riots of 1967, the release of the Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (the "Kerner Commission Report"), and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
On March 1, 1968, the Kerner Commission report was released, concluding that America was "moving toward two societies, one black, one white – separate and unequal." The report discussed the problems of residential segregation and the formation of racial slums as one of the underlying causes of the urban disorders of 1967. The report also pointed out the connection between racial segregation in housing and in schools. The Senate passed the amended version on March 11, 1968 with only minor amendments. The bill was then returned to the House where it was referred to the Rules committee for consideration. On April 4, Dr. King was assassinated and the Capitol was shaken again by civil disorders. Within days, the Rules committee concluded its hearings and on April 10 the House voted 250-172 to accept the Senate's amendments, including the fair housing title. The following day, President Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1968.
In June 1968, The U.S. Supreme Court rendered its decision in Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co., giving the Civil Rights Act of 1866 new life. Their decision held that the Act banned private, as well as government, racial discrimination in housing.
On September 13, 1988, President Reagan signed into law the Fair Housing Amendments Act which had been passed by overwhelming margins in the House and Senate during the summer of 1988. This amendment became effective March 12, 1989, making major changes to Title VIII, including adding two protected classes -- familial status and handicap -- strengthening the administrative and judicial enforcement process for HUD complaints and providing monetary penalties in cases where housing discrimination is found.
In 1998, we commemorated the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Fair Housing Act and the 10th anniversary of the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988.
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