Reconstruction

The Fourteenth Amendment - Part II

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After years of radical republicans in Congress working to ensure the protection of the blacks in the South to gain education, buy property, marry, run for office, and vote, white Southerners as well as Northerners tired of Reconstruction. This shift in attitude was acknowledged and echoed by all but one justice on the Supreme Court in their decision in 1883 to render in instances of violation of civil liberties that “individual behaviors do not offend the Constitution. This decision marked the end of federal protections for individuals in states and the beginning of Jim Crow segregation. In the second of two video segments from The Supreme Court, learn how this momentous decision evolved. To learn more, see "The Fourteenth Amendment - Part I."

The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow | Booker T. Washington: An Education

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After Reconstruction ended in the South and the difficulties of transitioning from slavery to emancipation became painfully clear, many southern blacks turned to education, especially for their children, as a way to prevail in a system of white dominance and violence. This video from The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow focuses on Booker T. Washington, a powerful political leader and educator who led a campaign to educate blacks throughout the South. Washington was born into slavery but learned to read and write. Later, as a freedman, he attended Hampton Institute and became a teacher. By the early 1880s, he was invited to be the principal of a new school in Alabama, the Tuskegee Institute.

The Realities of Separate But Equal

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The video from The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross describes the efforts of Charles Hamilton Houston and Victor Hugo Green, both of whom fought for equality for African Americans.

The Complicated History of the Confederate Flag | The Good Stuff: Time Capsule

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In this video from The Good Stuff: Time Capsule, learn about the Confederate flag, its origins on the Civil War battlefield, and what it means to citizens today. Utilizing video, discussion questions and teaching tips, students can explore the history of the flag, what it symbolizes and why it’s such a divisive symbol.

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The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow | Blacks and Whites in the New South

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The years immediately following the Civil War were rife with change for both whites and blacks in the new South. While some blacks were unable to throw off the chains of servitude and continued to do hard, ill-paid, subservient work, others, despite many obstacles, managed to enter into professions that led to the creation of a new black middle-class. For the most part, whites responded with fear to the attitudes of pride and assertion they observed in blacks, who they had previously considered inferior, and sought to make a legal separation between the races.

Freedom of Religion | Crash Course Government and Politics

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In this episode, we discuss the first amendment and an individual's right to the freedom of religion. We'll examine some significant supreme court decisions and talk about how they've affected our interpretations of the law with respect to stuff like animal sacrifice and prayer in schools.

Basil Biggs: True American Hero

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In this media gallery from Finding Your Roots, learn about the extraordinary life of Anna Deavere Smith’s ancestor Basil Biggs, a free man of color and a veterinarian who played major roles in the Battle of Gettysburg and the Underground Railroad.

Election Basics | Crash Course Government and Politics

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There are a lot of people in the U.S, and holding individual issues up to a public vote doesn't seem particularly plausible. To deal with this complexity, we vote for people, not policies, that represent our best interests. But as you'll see, this process was not thoroughly addressed in the Constitution, so there have been a number of amendments and laws at the state level implemented to create the election system we all know and (maybe) love today.

Resenting Prosperity and Equality | The African Americans

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This video from The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross describes how white people’s resentment of African Americans’ prosperity and their alleged achievement of equality bred violence.

Pap Singleton: To Kansas!

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In this video segment, learn about Benjamin “Pap” Singleton, a former slave who in 1874 led a group of 300 African Americans--the first of many groups--out of the South to the state of Kansas in search of a better life. Singleton began his call for an exodus that year and in a few years time, migrating blacks built over 20 towns. Singleton and many of his followers found the civil and economic independence they were looking for in Kansas. But for many freedmen, the trip itself was too arduous and numerous individuals lost their lives along the journey.

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