Ok, now you're pretty clear on the Reconstruction Amendments. So let's see if you can apply the knowledge that you've gained. We're going to look at some primary source documents. Primary source documents are documents that give a first-hand account of an event. They may also be a writer or author's opinion about how an event took place or how it affected the rest of the nation at the time. Examples of primary sources may be newspapers, political cartoons, diaries, letters, drawings, contracts, as well as a host of other resources that come from the time period. Two of the pictures below are primary source documents. Which pictures do you think are primary sources?

Look at the pictures. Each of the pictures represents one of the Reconstruction Amendments.

Interactive exercise. Assistance may be required. Drag the box containing the name of the amendment into the box next to the picture that goes with it.

People don't like doing something that they don't want to do. This was true of the South after the Civil War. Southerners were forced to follow the federal laws established by the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments, but they didn't have to like it. All of a sudden, people who were once considered "property" were citizens and, according to the new amendments, had the same rights as their former "owners." You can imagine how difficult it would be for many white southerners.

As a result of the Reconstruction Amendments, millions of African-American men were now able to vote and serve in government. Between 1870 and 1877, sixteen African Americans served in the United States Congress. For a brief period, the state legislature of South Carolina was controlled by a black majority. The state legislatures of Mississippi and South Carolina had black Speakers of the House.

This terrified many white people in the South, and so they did something to make sure that the former slaves couldn't gain control of their states. They began passing laws known as "Jim Crow" laws.

Sources of images used for this section as they appear, top to bottom: