Archive | 15th Amendment

The End of Reconstruction and the Arrival of the Exodusters

For African-Americans in the former slave states, the promise of the 15th Amendment quickly proved hollow. As the searing experience of the Civil War receded, white America began to focus on reconciliation. This slow and difficult process required a shared narrative of the heroism—white heroism—that had strengthened the bonds of the Union.  The newly freed […]

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Citizens at Last: Winning the Fifteenth Amendment

Nobody “gave” African-Americans the right to vote.  They won it for themselves, largely through the tireless advocacy of the black veterans who had helped to win the Civil War for the Union. This is the central argument of Christian Samito’s book, Becoming Americans Under Fire.  Samito traces their slow progress towards full citizenship, and the […]

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