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African American Voting Rights : The 15th Amendment Reconstruction Era

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African American Voting Rights : The 15th Amendment Reconstruction Era. The First Vote. What might the African American man be thinking about as he cast his first ballot?. What legislation gives him the right to do so?.

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african american voting rights the 15th amendment reconstruction era

African American Voting Rights :The 15th Amendment Reconstruction Era


The First Vote

  • What might the African American man be thinking about as he cast his first ballot?
  • What legislation gives him the
  • right to do so?
  • What might the white registar
  • be thinking as he watches this
  • man cast his ballot?

lesson objectives students will learn
Lesson Objectives Students will learn:
  • Citizenship rights in the U.S. include the right to vote and the 15 Amendment eliminated race as a factor in voting eligibility.
  • The voting rights of African American males were protected on paper, in practice these new political reforms were undermined by violence and intimidation from the remnants of the slave regime in the South.

Radical Members of the First Legislature after the War, South Carolina 1878.

lesson overview two 50 minute class periods
Lesson Overview……..(Two 50 minute class periods)


KWL - of what students know about African Americans rights to vote

JournalWrite - a dialog between the men in the photo of “The First Vote”

Discuss - the conversation in reference to emancipation and voting law

Vocabulary - distribute a list of all the terms discussed in this unit


Groups - review/discuss the 14-15 Amendments, chart of African American Congress, ex-Confederate harassment during Reconstruction

Students will state the purpose of each document

Pairs - students pairs will read “A Klan Victim Testifies” and compile a list of why African American’s might not exercise their right to vote

Discussion - of the group list’s, make inferences or reach conclusions


Internet – Electronic worksheet, complete selected assignments at

www.,, and

Writing - dialogue entry , disfranchisement, reconstruction

electronic worksheet
Electronic Worksheet
  • Group Members: ________________________
  • ________________________
  • ________________________
  • ________________________
  • Period: ________________________
  • Date: ________________________
  • African American Voting Rights
  • California State Standard:
      • SS: 8.11 Section.5 - Understand the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution and analyze their connection to Reconstruction
  • SS: 11. 10 Section 6 - Analyze the passage and effects of civil rights and voting rights legislation.
  • Task One: Examine the following articles on the Reconstruction Period and look ( for statements about what took place during the this period.
  • 1. Why was the Reconstruction period important for both blacks and white?
  • 2. What was the goal of Reconstruction?
  • 3. In 1862 what did president Lincoln do?
  • Task Two: Examine the following articles “African America Voting Rights: (
  • and look for statements about how African Americans benefited from the Voting Rights Act.
15 th amendment
15th Amendment

Elective Franchise - The rights of Citizens to vote in public elections.

  • Article 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— Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

The First Colored Senator and Representatives, in the 41st and 42nd Congress of the United States.Washington: Currier & Ives, 1872.


15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

African American’s Right to Vote

TOP: The photo of the doucment:


reconstruction era

Reconstruction Era
  • Reconstruction generally refers to the period in U.S. History immediately following the Civil War (1865 – 1877) Reconstruction, also known as Radical Reconstruction. During this time the South was in political, social, and economic turmoil, after the Confederate states had seceded. In response, the Union attempted to regain order in the Confederate states.

voter discrimination during reconstruction
Voter Discrimination During Reconstruction

Grandfather Clause

Literacy Test

intimidation and death
Intimidation and death
  • After Reconstruction white supremacist did everything possible to prevent Blacks from voting.

Copyright 1997 State Historical Society of Wisconsin


Jim Crow, Intimidation and Fear


White Supremacy

what does this image make you think
What Does This Image Make You Think?
  • This is a 19th-century drawing. What are your impressions about the character being portrayed? What other thoughts and emotions does this image inspire in you? (For Student Journal Response)

differentiated instruction an overview of sdaie eld ell strategies
Differentiated Instruction an Overviewof SDAIE, ELD & ELL Strategies

 Graphic Organizer - K-W-L Chart

 Visual Enrichment - Understand/interpret visual art in relation to history

 Explicit Instruction - Talk slow and avoid jargon (ELL)

 Multimedia - Microsoft® Encarta Africana CD-ROM

Relia – photographs, artifacts, documents (ELL)

 Internet Technology –,

electronic sheet

 Scaffold Material - Open ended questions,

 Journal Writing – write journal responses

one vote
One Vote

"How important is one voter?

In 1645, one vote gave Oliver Cromwell control of England.

In 1694, one voter caused Charles I of England to be executed.

In 1776, one vote game America the English language instead of German.

In 1845 one vote brought Texas into the Union.

In 1868, one vote saved President Andrew Johnson from impeachment.

In 1875, one vote changed France from a monarchy to a republic.

In 1876, one vote gave Rutherford B. Hayes the presidency of the United States.

In 1923, one vote gave Adolf Hitler leadership of the Nazi Party.

In 1941, one vote saved Selective Service -- just weeks before

Pearl Harbor was attacked."

Yes one vote makes a difference. It matters.