1872 – The Amnesty Act restored civil rights to Southerners … reconstruction

On May 22, 1872 (140 years ago today) President Ulysses S. Grant signed into law the Amnesty Act, a federal law that removed voting restrictions and office-holding disqualification against most of the secessionists who joined the rebel cause during the Civil War, except for some 500 military leaders of the Confederacy.

Following the end of the Civil War, in May of 1866 Congress passed a law removing these rights from supporters of the Confederacy. Gradually, states that had seceeded were let back into the union. Texas was readmitted on March, 30, 1870, Mississippi was readmitted February 23, 1870, and Virginia on January 26, 1870. Georgia became the last Confederate state to be readmitted into the Union on July 15, 1870. All members for the House of Representatives and Senate were seated from the 10 Confederate states who seceded.

To ease tensions, Grant signed the Amnesty Act. It gave amnesty to former Confederates. This act allowed most former Confederates, to hold elected public office. Only 500 former Confederates remained unpardoned and therefore forbidden to hold elected public office. The Act affected over 150,000 former Confederate troops who had taken part in the American Civil War.



By 1872, most Northerners were losing interest in Reconstruction. Proof of this changing opinion was evidenced in 1872, when Congress passed the Amnesty Act of 1872. Amnesty means forgiveness of past offenses. The Amnesty Act allowed most former Confederates to vote again. The effects of the Amnesty Acts were almost immediate. By 1876, Democrats had regained control of all but three states in the South. Republicans clung to power in South Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida, but only with the help of federal troops.

Resource: southernreconstruction.weebly.com

sorry… i just couldn’t put that flag up – Nativegrl77