What were the
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
Act of 1866 had been
passed to protect ex-slaves (Freedmen) from legislation in the
Southern States such as the infamous
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
Amendment to the Constitution, passed in 1865, which abolished
14th Amendment to the Constitution, passed in 1868 which related to
citizenship rights and the
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?
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
What was the Purpose of 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?
were also called the 1871 Civil Rights Act or the Ku Klux Klan Act.
What was the Effect of 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.
Enforcement Acts for kids - Racial Discrimination and
For additional facts
about racial discrimination and segregation refer to
detailed information on
and for brief, fast
facts refer to the
Segregation History Timeline.
History for kids: Important People and Events
For visitors interested in African American History
Black History - People and Events.
A useful resource for
teachers, kids, schools and colleges undertaking
projects for the Black History Month.
Enforcement Acts for kids - President Ulysses Grant Video
The article on the Enforcement Acts provides an overview of one of the Important issues
and events of his presidential term in office. The following
Ulysses Grant video will
give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 18th American President whose presidency spanned from March 4, 1869 to March 4, 1877.
Interesting Facts about the Enforcement Acts for kids and schools
Definition of the Enforcement Acts in US history
Facts about the Enforcement Acts
Ulysses Grant Presidency from March 4, 1869 to March 4, 1877
Fast, fun facts about the Enforcement Acts
and the Ku Klux Klan Act
policies of President Ulysses Grant
● Ulysses Grant Presidency and
the Enforcement Acts and the Ku Klux Klan Act for schools,
homework, kids and children