A History Of The Civil Rights Act Of 1871

The time following the finish of the civil war need to have been 1 of celebration. A lengthy and painful conflict had ended, and the terrible crime of slavery had ultimately been stopped in the US. Lots of optimistic Americans dubbed this time period “the progressive era” and started pushing for equal rights for distinct disenfranchised groups.

Sadly, rather than progressing smoothly forward, the nation entered a volatile and generally violent period of transition. In numerous southern (and some northern) states, backlash against newly freed slaves came in the type of difficulty getting gainful employment, discriminatory state laws identified as “black codes,” and the sadistic hate group identified as the Ku Klux Klan.

Even though this activity was nominally illegal, the efforts of state government officials to cease them had been ineffective at ideal, nonexistent at worst. Some governors and other nearby politicians had been prepared to turn a blind eye to the brutality going on about some even participated in it. Politicians who attempted to address the challenges in their jurisdictions generally faced intense opposition. When North Carolina governor William Woods Holden deployed the state militia against the Klan in 1870, his constituents thanked him by impeaching him in 1871.

Clearly state governments had been failing to uphold the rights of their citizens. A single challenge was that there even though there had been federal laws guaranteeing specific rights, the enforcement of these laws was typically accomplished on a state level. Men and women who had been not getting helped by their state had tiny or no recourse.

Massachusetts Representative Benjamin Franklin Butler proposed the resolution in February of 1871. He introduced a new piece of federal legislation known as the Ku Klux Klan act, also normally referred to as the Civil Rights Act of 1871. This act gave the federal government the legal capacity to intervene anytime people’s federal rights had been getting violated by their state governments. It would also permit men and women to file suits against state politicians who practiced illegal types of discrimination.

The bill was controversial. Some politicians claimed not to be convinced that violence in the South was undesirable adequate to make the bill required. Two events swayed most congressmen to their selection to help the bills.

Initial, South Carolina formally requested federal troops to come to their state, claiming that their sources had been inadequate to address the challenges they had been obtaining. Then news reached the capital of a riot breaking out in Meridian, Mississippi. Reportedly a black state representative was driven from a courthouse and forced to hide in the forest to save his personal life.

Considering the fact that its passing, the Civil Rights Act of 1871 was strengthened civil rights across the US by defending rights for persons who are in the minority, creating it tricky for them to basically vote to modify discriminatory laws.