“In Whom Is the Right of Suffrage?” The Reconstruction Acts as Sources of Constitutional Meaning

The Civil War ended in the spring of 1865 and attention promptly turned to escalating the process of reconstructing the South. Reconstruction, which involved dismantling the planter-dominated slaveocracies and turning these political communities into multiracial, egalitarian societies centered around civil and political rights, fundamentally changed the nature of our system of federalism, as well as the universe of rights to which individuals were now entitled.

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