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Between 1865 and 1900, assess the degree to which
Reconstruction brought significant social and political
changes to the lives of African Americans.

In no particular order.

From Harpers Weekly, First Vote,


Dissenting Decision, Plessy v.

Ferguson, Justice Harlan
In respect of civil rights common to all citizens, the Constitution of
the United States does not, I think, permit any public authority to
know the race of those entitled to be protected in the enjoyment of
such rights. Every true man has pride of race, and, under
appropriate circumstances, when the rights of others, his equals
before the law, are not to be affected, it is his privilege to express
such pride and to take such action based upon it as to him seems
proper. But I deny that any legislative body or judicial tribunal may
have regard to the race of citizens when the civil rights of those
citizens are involved. Indeed, such legislation as that here in
question is inconsistent not only with that equality of rights which
pertains to citizenship, National and State, but with the personal
liberty enjoyed by everyone within the United States.

Amendment XIII
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude,
except as a punishment for crime whereof the party
shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the
United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Amendment XIV
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the
United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,
are citizens of the United States and of the State
wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any
law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of
citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive
any person of life, liberty, or property, without due
process of law; nor deny to any person within its
jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Amendment XV
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to
vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United
States or by any State on account of race, color, or
previous condition of servitude.

From the Civil Rights Act of 1875

Therefore, Be it enacted by the Senate and House of
Representatives of the United States of America in
Congress assembled, That all persons within the
jurisdiction of the United States shall be entitled to the
full and equal and enjoyment of the accommodations,
advantages, facilities, and privileges of inns, public
conveyances on land or water, theaters, and other
places of public amusement; subject only to the
conditions and limitations established by law, and
applicable alike to citizens of every race and color,
regardless of any previous condition of servitude.

From the Atlanta Compromise

Speech, Booker T. Washington,

The wisest among my race understand that the

agitation of questions of social equality is the extremest
[sic] folly, and that progress in the enjoyment of all the
privileges that will come to us must be the result of
severe and constant struggle rather than of artificial
forcing. No race that has anything to contribute to the
markets of the world is long in any degree ostracized. It
is important and right that all privileges of the law be
ours, but it is vastly more important that we be
prepared for the exercise of these privileges. The
opportunity to earn a dollar in a factory just now is
worth infinitely more than the opportunity to spend a
dollar in an opera-house.

From Harpers Weekly, 1868