"In this volume ten expert historians and legal scholars examine the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the first federal civil rights statute in American history. The act declared that all persons born in the United States were citizens without regard to race, color, or previous condition of slavery. Designed to give the Thirteenth Amendment practical effect as former slave states enacted laws limiting the rights of African Americans, this measure for the first time defined U.S. citizenship and the rights associated with it. Essays examine the history and legal ramifications of the act and highlight competing impulses within it, including the often-neglected Section 9, which allows the president to use the nation's military in its enforcement; an investigation of how the Thirteenth Amendment operated to overturn the Dred Scott case; and New England's role in the passage of the act. The act is analyzed as it operated in several states such as Kentucky, Missouri, and South Carolina during Reconstruction. There is also a consideration of the act and its interpretation by the Supreme Court in its first decades. Other essays include a discussion of the act in terms of contract rights and in the context of the post-World War II civil rights era as well as an analysis of the act's backward-looking and forward-looking nature." -- Publisher's website.
"This volume, which contains essays by both historians and legal scholars, examines various aspects of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the first federal civil rights statute in American history"--
"Membership of a nation, and nothing more"; the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the narrowing of citizenship in the Civil War era / Michael Les Benedict -- The other citizenship clause / Rebecca E. Zietlow -- The 1866 Civil Rights Act and the beginning of military reconstruction / Michael Vorenberg -- "In accordance with the spirit of the times"; African American citizenship and the Civil Rights Act of 1866 in New England law and politics / Millington Bergeson-Lockwood -- The Civil Rights Act of 1866 in Kentucky and Missouri / Aaron Astor -- The Civil Rights Act of 1866 in South Carolina / Jeff Strickland -- The Civil Rights Act of 1866 at the Supreme Court / R. Owen Williams -- The Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the right to contract / Richard L. Aynes -- The origins of arguments over affirmative action: lessons from the Civil Rights Act of 1866 / George Rutherglen -- The Janus of civil rights law / Darrell A.H. Miller -- Appendix: The Civil Rights Act of 1866