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We Will Be Satisfied With Nothing LessThe African American Struggle for Equal Rights in the North during Reconstruction$
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Hugh Davis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450099

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450099.001.0001

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Toward the Fifteenth Amendment

Toward the Fifteenth Amendment

(p.40) 2 Toward the Fifteenth Amendment
We Will Be Satisfied With Nothing Less

Hugh Davis

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on northern African Americans' struggle to attain manhood suffrage rights. It investigates the varied arguments and tactics they marshaled on behalf of the franchise and their complex and often problematic interaction with northern white Republicans. In making their case for suffrage rights, they were perhaps most determined to challenge the accusation that political equality would lead to demands for social equality. This charge was repeatedly leveled by the Democrats, but many Republicans held similar views. African Americans were especially intent on allaying the fears of Republicans, who were at least open to the possibility of enacting equal rights legislation. With ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment, northern black activists finally achieved what they considered the salient element of the equal rights agenda.

Keywords:   northern African Americans, manhood suffrage rights, citizenship rights, white Republicans, equal rights, Fifteenth Amendment

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