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Enforcement Acts including
the Ku Klux Klan Act

Ulysses Grant

Enforcement Acts including Ku Klux Klan Act: Ulysses Grant was the 18th American President who served in office from March 4, 1869 to March 4, 1877. One of the important events during his presidency was the Enforcement Acts.

Definition and Summary of the Enforcement Acts including Ku Klux Klan Act


Summary and definition:
The 1871 Enforcement Acts consisted of several important Civil Rights Acts passed by Congress during the Reconstruction Era.

The purpose of the Enforcement Acts was to implement and extend the fundamental guarantees of the Constitution to all citizens and protect African Americans from violence perpetrated by the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). The Enforcements Acts are therefore also referred to as the 1871 Civil Rights Act or the Ku Klux Klan Act.

What were the Enforcement Acts?
What were the Enforcement Acts? The Enforcement Acts were a series of three sets of laws that prohibited the use of violence or intimidation to prevent the freedmen from voting and denying them their Civil Rights.

Why did Congress pass the Enforcement Acts?
The
Civil Rights Act of 1866 had been passed to protect ex-slaves (Freedmen) from legislation in the Southern States such as the infamous Black Codes but this had led to the emergence of white, militant secret societies such as Ku Klux Klan. Congress passed the Enforcement Acts to ensure the implementation and extend the fundamental guarantees of the Constitution especially in respect of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, passed in 1865, which abolished slavery, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, passed in 1868 which related to citizenship rights and the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, passed in 1870,  that declared the voting rights of of black male citizens. 

What did the Enforcement Acts do?
What did the Enforcement Acts do?

  • The Enforcement Act of 1870 was enacted May 31, 1870, and became effective in 1871, was officially entitled "An Act to enforce the Right of Citizens of the United States to vote in the several States of this Union, and for other Purposes".  The Enforcement Act of 1870 restricted the activities of the Ku Klan Klan by banning the use of terror, force or bribery to prevent people from voting because of their race

  • The second law was the Enforcement Act of 1871 which extended the first act by imposing harsher penalties and punishments in terms of fines and prison sentences

  • The third part of the Enforcements Acts was the Ku Klux Klan Act and was officially entitled "An Act to enforce the Provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and for other Purposes". This further restricted intimidation activities of the Ku Klux Klan making night-riding a crime, empowered the president to use federal troops to put down conspirators by force and provided criminal and civil penalties for state officials convicted of conspiracies with the intention of denying others equal protection of the law or their civil rights

What was the Purpose of the Enforcement Acts?
The purpose of the Enforcement Acts was to implement and extend the fundamental guarantees of the Constitution to all American citizens and protect ex-slaves (Freedmen) from violence carried out by the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).

Enforcement Acts for kids: What were the Enforcement Acts also called?
The Enforcement Acts
were also called the 1871 Civil Rights Act or the Ku Klux Klan Act.

What was the Effect of the Enforcement Acts?
The effect of the Enforcement Acts was that many white Southerners were prosecuted and punished under the new laws. The Ku Klux Klan was considerably weakened by the new laws and by 1872 the violence in the South had declined. President Ulysses
Grant used the power of the Enforcement Acts to declare a state of lawlessness in nine counties in South Carolina and sent federal troops to occupy the area.

US American History
1866-1881: Reconstruction Era
Black Segregation History

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