||It has been suggested that this article be merged with Enforcement Acts. (Discuss) Proposed since November 2012.|
Andrew Jackson's Tariff Enforcement (1833)
Congress put a heavy tariff on imports and raw materials, an act aimed at promoting domestic manufacturing. South Carolina declared federal protective tariffs void and therefore tried to prohibit duty collection. The Act gave the president the authority to use military power to enforce revenue laws. Fortunately, he never had to; instead, a compromise tariff was proposed by Henry Clay—one which John C. Calhoun and other South Carolinians eventually accepted.
Acts after the Civil War
The Force Acts passed by the Congress of the United States shortly after the American Civil War helped protect the voting rights of African-Americans. The Civil Rights Act of 1875 is sometimes included with the three Acts passed in 1870–71 when referring to the Force Acts.
The Force Acts were mainly aimed at limiting the activities of the Ku Klux Klan. Through the acts, actions committed with the intent to influence voters, prevent them from voting, or conspiring to deprive them of civil rights, including life, were made federal offenses. Thus the federal government had the power to prosecute the offenses, including calling federal juries to hear the cases.
The KKK became powerful during early Reconstruction in the 1860s as hatred for African-Americans increased. The Klan was one of several secret vigilante organizations that tried to keep African-Americans from using their civil rights and that targeted African American leaders for intimidation and murder.
The KKK was founded in Pulaski, Tennessee, in 1865 as a social club for veteran soldiers. However, it very quickly changed into a force of terror, as insurgents tried to reassert white supremacy. Members dressed in white robes and hoods so no one would recognize them. They rode and attacked usually at night, intimidating blacks with physical attacks, murders and the destruction of their houses and property. White schoolteachers and Republicans were also attacked.
By 1868, The KKK was active in Georgia. It tried to disfranchise blacks or keep them from participating in the government. The Klan became so powerful in the South that Congress passed laws to stop them.
Enforcement Act of 1870
The Enforcement Act of 1870 (Formally, "An Act to enforce the Right of Citizens of the United States to vote in the several States of this Union, and for other Purposes," 41st Congress, Sess. 2, ch. 114, 16 Stat. 140, enacted May 31, 1870, effective 1871) was an act that restricted the first wave of the groups that made up the Klan. In this act, the government banned the use of terror, force or bribery to prevent people from voting because of their race. Other laws banned the KKK entirely. Hundreds of KKK members were arrested and tried as common criminals and terrorists. The first Klan was all but eradicated within a year of federal prosecution.
In 1964 the US Justice Department charged eighteen individuals under the 1870 US Force Act, with conspiring to deprive Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman of their civil rights by murder because Mississippi officials refused to prosecute their killers for murder, a state crime.
Enforcement Act of 1871
The Enforcement Act of 1871 (formally, "an Act to enforce the rights of citizens of the United States to vote in the several states of this union"), permitted federal oversight of local and state elections if any two citizens in a town with more than twenty thousand inhabitants desired it.
Enforcement Act of 1871 (Ku Klux Klan Act)
The Enforcement Act of 1871, the third Enforcement Act passed by Congress and also known as the Ku Klux Klan Act (formally, "An Act to enforce the Provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and for other Purposes"), made state officials liable in federal court for depriving anyone of their civil rights or the equal protection of the laws. It further made a number of the KKK's intimidation tactics into federal offenses, authorized the president to call out the militia to suppress conspiracies against the operation of the federal government, and prohibited those suspected of complicity in such conspiracies to serve on juries related to the Klan's activities. The Act also authorized the president to suspend the writ of habeas corpus if violence rendered efforts to suppress the Klan ineffective.
- "Nullification Proclamation". Primary Documents in American History. Library of Congress. 2006-03-07. Retrieved 2007-02-24.
- "Statutes at Large, 22nd Congress, 2nd Session, page 632". A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 - 1875. Library of Congress. 1833-03-02. Retrieved 2007-02-24.
- The Force Acts of 1870-1871.
- The Patriot Act: issues and controversies, Cary Stacy Smith, Li-Ching Hung, pg. 224
- Ross Rosenfeld. "Major Acts of Congress: Force Act of 1871". eNotes. Retrieved 7 July 2011.