Constitution of 1868
In 1867, the U.S. Congress wrested control of Reconstruction away from President Johnson and declared invalid the constitutions of most of the former Confederate states. Congress then required Alabama and other southern states to draft new constitutions. In an October 1867 election, the first in which African American men exercised the vote, Alabamians selected delegates to a new convention. Eighteen of the one hundred convention delegates were African American. The new constitution guaranteed the rights of all citizens, protected the property rights of married women, and instituted strong financial support for public education.
"The First Vote," drawn by A. R. Waud, was first published in Harper's Weekly on November 16, 1867.
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