If the South were to fall back into Democratic hands, these programs would suffer. This threat brought many Republicans around to supporting the vote for blacks (15th Amendment). Grateful freedmen voting Republican would help to maintain the status quo.
The postwar Congress pushed through a number of measures designed to assist the freedmen, but also demonstrate the supremacy of Congress over the president. These measures included the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the 14th Amendment, the Tenure of Office Act and the Army Appropriations Act.
The culmination of this process occurred in 1867 and 1868, when Congress passed a series of Reconstruction Acts; these measures were implemented and constituted the final restoration program for the South. The Radical Republicans in Congress, however, were not satisfied until they dealt with their chief tormenter in the impeachment of Andrew Johnson.
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