Course Details

914: Reconstruction and Its Legacies: the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments

February 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
11:45 AM - 1:15 PM

We will examine the era of Reconstruction, from the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 to the withdrawal of Federal troops after the election of Rutherford Hayes in 1877. In this period, America tried to abolish slavery, renovate the citizenship and voting rights of freed African Americans, and reintegrate the 11 secessionist states and former Confederate soldiers and people. Reconstruction was largely overthrown in the 70 years of Black codes, Jim Crow laws, and segregation that followed; however, the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution rank among the enduring legacies of the era. We will focus on how these amendments were understood when they were adopted and how they came to be interpreted today.

Class Format: Lecture and Discussion

Hours of Reading: No reading

Study Group Leader(s):

David Pomerantz
David Pomerantz taught political philosophy at SUNY Stony Brook in the early 1980s. He then worked for the House of Representatives for over 30 years, for the House Rules Committee, and then House Appropriations.