Essay: Denial of Voting Rights and Citizenship

Essay: Denial of Voting Rights and Citizenship

Following a growing discontent with the racist Black Codes occasioned by oppressive and prejudicial laws, denial of voting rights and citizenship among other things, there emerged fresh calls for equality under the auspices of the Civil Rights Act of 1866.

However, Johnson vetoed the Civil Rights bill after he broke decisively with congressional moderates on March 1866 subsequently preventing the bill from becoming law. Johnson’s reason for vetoing the bill was that “it conferred citizenship on the freedmen at a time when eleven out of thirty-six states were unrepresented and attempted to fix by Federal law “a perfect equality of the white and black races in every State of the Union.” (Barney, 1987 p 87) He also urged southern states not to ratify the 14th amendment.

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