Go to the homepage...

1865 // 1866 // 1867 - 1868
January 1867

Ratification Process:
The Fourteenth Amendment was ratified by Ohio on January 4; New York on January 10; Kansas on January 11; Illinois on January 15; West Virginia, Michigan, and Minnesota on January 16; Maine on January 19; Nevada on January 22; Indiana on January 23, and Missouri on January 25.

February 1867

Ratification Process:
The Fourteenth Amendment was ratified by Rhode Island and Wisconsin on February 7 and by Pennsylvania on February 12.

March 1867

First Reconstruction Act:
The legislation divided the former Confederate states (except Tennessee) into five military districts under the authority of federal military officers, troops, and courts.  Black men and loyal white men selected delegates to state conventions, which were to draft new state constitutions giving black men the right to vote.  A state could regain representation in Congress only after (1) it ratified the Fourteenth Amendment and (2) the Fourteenth Amendment became part of the U.S. Constitution.  The First Reconstruction Act was passed by the Senate on February 17 and the House on February 20.  On March 2, President Johnson vetoed the bill, but Congress overrode his veto on the same day.

Tenure of Office Act:
Congress enacted the legislation on March 2 by overriding President Johnson’s veto.  The Tenure of Office Act required the president to get Senate approval before he could remove from office any high-ranking official whose appointment required Senate approval (such as cabinet officers).  In 1868, Johnson’s violation of the Tenure of Office Act became the major charge leading to his impeachment.  The law was repealed in 1887. 

Second Reconstruction Act:
Congress enacted the legislation on March 23 over President Johnson’s veto.  It gave directions to federal military commanders in the South for holding state constitutional conventions as authorized by the First Reconstruction Act.

Ratification Process:
Massachusetts ratified the Fourteenth Amendment on March 20.


June 1867

Ratification Process:
Nebraska ratified the Fourteenth Amendment on June 15.

July 1867

Third Reconstruction Act:
Congress enacted the legislation on July 19 over President Johnson’s veto.  The law specified the authority of district military commanders, including the power to remove state officials from office.

February 1868

Impeachment of President Johnson:
On February 21, President Andrew Johnson removed Secretary of War Edwin Stanton from office without Senate approval, thereby violating the Tenure of Office Act.  Stanton had irritated the president by cooperating with Congress on the implementation of its Reconstruction policy.  On February 24, the House impeached Johnson on eleven counts.  On May 16, the Senate failed to remove the president from office when the vote fell one short of the necessary two-thirds majority.  (For more information, visit HarpWeek’s website on “The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson.”)

March 1868

Fourth Reconstruction Act:
The legislation amended the Second Reconstruction Act by clarifying that only a majority of voters was necessary to ratify state constitutions.  It also approved holding elections for Congress and state offices at the same time as the vote to approve the state constitution.  Congress enacted the Fourth Reconstruction Act on March 11 over President Johnson’s veto.

Ratification Process:
Iowa ratified the Fourteenth Amendment on March 16.

April 1868

Ratification Process:
Arkansas ratified the Fourteenth Amendment on April 6.


June 1868


Ratification Process:
Florida ratified the Fourteenth Amendment on June 9.

States Readmitted:
Over President Johnson’s vetoes, Congress passed legislation to readmit former Confederate states on a full and equal status in the Union upon ratification of the Fourteen Amendment.  Readmission bills were enacted through veto overrides on June 22 for Arkansas and June 25 for North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana.

July 1868

Ratification Process:
The Fourteenth Amendment was ratified by North Carolina on July 4 and by Louisiana and South Carolina on July 9, at which time the constitutionally necessary approval by three-quarters of the states (28 of 37) was reached.  Secretary of State William Henry Seward certified on July 28 that the Fourteenth Amendment had become part of the U.S. Constitution.


Go to the homepage...

1865 // 1866 // 1867 - 1868





Website design © 2001-2005 HarpWeek, LLC & Caesar Chaves Design
All Content © 1998-2005 HarpWeek, LLC
Please submit questions to