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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
PERIOD OF RECONSTRUCTION,
(FROM APRIL 15, 1865, To JULY 15, 1870,)
CLASSIFIED SUMMARY OF THE LEGISLATION OF THE THIRTY.
TOGETHER WITH THE
ACTION, CONGRESSIONAL AND STATE, ON THE FOURTEENTH AND FIF.
AnD THE OTHER
IMPORTANT EXECUTIVE, LEGISLATIVE, POLITICO-MILITARY, AND
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by EDWARD Mo PHER SON,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the District of Columbia. ~ % /~2
gTEREory pro by McGILL & WITHEROW, washington, D.C.
This volume is a reprint of my Political Manuals, issued in 1866, 1867, 1868, 1869, and 1870, with revision and corrections to date and with some additions, and includes the political facts of the most momentous legislative period in the history of our country—that between April 15, 1865, and July 15, 1870. During it occurred the great controversy between President Johnson and the Thirty-ninth and Fortieth Congresses, which resulted, among many minor features of significance and importance, in the enactment of the Civil Rights act and the Tenure-of-Office act; the overthrow of the Presidential plan of Reconstruction; the remission to military rule of the lately insurrectionary States, except Tennessee; the prescription by Congress of the terms of their restoration; and the adoption, by Congress and the requisite number of State Legislatures, of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which distinctly defines citizenship and places it under constitutional protection, and of the Fifteenth Amendment, which settles upon a new basis the question of suffrage in the United States, and modifies the relations of the States to it—all which measures indicate the era referred to as unquestionably the most remarkable in our legislative history.
It has been my effort to preserve in these pages the record of the various
steps by which these ends have been reached, so that it may be entirely prac
ticable for the student of them to trace their development from the first suggestion to the final shape. A glance at the Table of Contents and the Index will indicate the scope of the work, and the thoroughness and detail which characterize it; and a close examination of its pages will, I trust, leave no room to doubt that it has been prepared in a spirit of fairness and impartiality, and that it may be accepted as an actual contribution to the political history of our times. The general plan of the work is the same as that of the Political History of the United States during the Rebellion, but differs from it chiefly in its having been arranged in annual parts. The advantage in this is, that it exhibits more clearly the growth of legislation and of public sentiment on each question, year
by year. The disadvantage is, a small increase in the labor of investigation.