Second Founding | Newberry

Second Founding

Reconstruction and the Right to Vote
Tuesday, March 1, 2016

9:30 am to 12:30 pm

Led by Kate Masur, Northwestern University
Newberry Teachers' Consortium

This seminar will explore Reconstruction as a crucial moment in the long and complicated history of the right to vote in the United States. We will look at Congress’s 1867 Reconstruction Acts, the first measures to enfranchise African American men in the former Confederacy. We will also explore the creation and adoption of the 15th Amendment, designed by Republican legislators as the capstone of their Reconstruction program. We will look at roads not taken—alternatives that might have done more to secure the voting rights of poor people, African Americans, and women. Central to all these topics is the matter of federalism: how Americans have understood the balance of power between the states and the federal government. Finally, we will examine how the nation so quickly gave up on the promises of the 15th Amendment and why the amendment—and the history of the right to vote after the Civil War—remain significant today.

Cost and Registration Information 

Newberry Teachers’ Consortium members may register for this seminar through their designated membership contact as space permits. Non-member educators may register for this seminar by purchasing an individual membership at the time of registration. Registration for all NTC seminars opens Wednesday, September 2, 2015. For more information about NTC membership, please contact Charlotte Ross, Teacher Programs Manager, at

The seminar will be followed by a catered lunch. Registrants should RSVP for lunch to assist Teacher Programs staff in reducing waste.

A link to the assigned pre-readings for this seminar will be distributed to participants via email.

If you believe you are registered for this seminar but have not received an email confirmation or reminder, please contact Teacher Programs staff.

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