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History of Negro Citizenship
			
          HISTORY OF NEGRO CITIZENSHIP.            707

Amendment, adopted some years later, was the logical
corollary of Reconstruction; that it simply gave consti-
tutional form to what was already a statutory enact-
ment.
  Thus under the policy of this Bill, the South entered
upon the final stage of reconstruction. The Fourteenth
Amendment was ratified; the new State Constitutions
were based upon universal liberty, and the recognition
of universal manhood suffrage.    The ratification of the
14th Amendment was proclaimed July 28, 1868, and of
the 15th Amendment, March 30, 1870.
  This closes the Constitutional history of Negro citi-
zenship, including the right to the elective franchise.
The 13th Amendment, so far as the law could accomp-
lish the object, made all men free; the 14th and 15th
made them all equal. In this connection belong's
Sumner's Civil Rights Bill whose aim was to give prac-
tical effect to the principle of civil equality. In theory,
at least, Jefferson's declaration that all men were cre-
ated free and equal had at last become acknowledged.
  It will conduce to clearness to give a resume of the
successive stages of the great process by which the
freedmen were clothed with the dignity of American
citizenship and armed with the citizen's sacred weapon of
self-defense--the ballot.  President Lincoln led the way
with a flexible plan in which, with rare magnanimity,
he invited the South itself, under certain restrictions,
to assay the task of reconstruction with the principle of
universal liberty and in a private way, disclosed his
wish and expectation that the South would adopt a
policy of justice toward the colored man, and upon cer-
tain conditions give him the right to vote.
  Upon his accession to the Presidency Andrew John-
son accepted the theory of his illustrious predecessor's
plan, but modified it in allowing the South a larger
scope of action.  Under this form the Southern leaders
re established the machinery of civil government in all
the States, and by a series of oppressive laws remanded




			
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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 15, Num. 3

History of Negro Citizenship

W.

Volume:  15
Issue Number:  03
Page Number:  689
Date:  01/1899


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