AP U.S. History Diagnostic 12

AP U.S. History Diagnostic 12. How did the Reconstruction Acts open up political opportunities for former slaves?

APAP U.S. History
AP U.S. HistoryExam
LanguageEnglish Language
ReconstructionThe 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments
Test PrepAP U.S. History
U.S. HistoryAP U.S. History

Transcript

00:16

[ mumbling continues ]

00:21

[ further mumbling ] 1867.

00:24

All right, and now the question:

00:26

How did the Reconstruction Acts

00:28

open up political opportunities for former slaves?

00:31

And here are your potential answers.

00:33

[ buzzing ] [ mumbling ]

00:36

[ mumbling continues ] All right.

00:39

Well, after Lincoln's assassination, a group of radical Republicans

00:42

grabbed the reigns of Reconstruction,

00:44

laying in place some pretty,

00:46

well, radical ideas about how a country would rebuild itself.

00:50

So let's see which answer best describes how the

00:52

newly restored Union got its act together.

00:55

Did the Reconstruction Acts open up

00:57

political opportunities for former slaves

01:00

A - by offering former slaves equal representation in Congress?

01:05

Hmm.

01:07

Well, the 13th Amendment - the one that abolished slavery -

01:10

that's what gave former slaves equal representation in Congress,

01:14

not the Reconstruction Acts.

01:16

And while we're on the subject, the 15th Amendment

01:19

granted slaves the right to vote, so that knocks out both A and D.

01:23

Could the Reconstruction Acts have opened up

01:25

political opportunities for former slaves

01:27

B - by requiring states in the South

01:30

to write new state constitutions?

01:33

Well, the Reconstruction Acts did, in fact, require

01:35

Southern states to write new state constitutions,

01:38

but this had more of an indirect effect on the political options

01:41

of former slaves. So it's not B, either.

01:45

That means the Reconstruction Acts

01:47

opened up political opportunities for former slaves

01:50

C - by requiring Southern states

01:53

to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment.

01:55

That's right. A major requirement for rejoining the Union

01:58

was that Southern states ratify the 14th Amendment,

02:01

which gave citizenship, and thus political opportunities,

02:05

to former slaves. So the answer is C.

02:08

In general, Southern leaders weren't huge fans of the Reconstruction Acts,

02:11

but when you lose a war, well, you don't really have much of a choice.

02:14

[ fan blows ]