In the late nineteenth century, Indian policy began to place a growing emphasis on erasing a distinctive American Indian identity. To weaken the authority of tribal leaders, Congress passed the Indian Appropriation Act, which ended the practice of treating tribes as independent, sovereign nations.
The Civil Rights Act of 1875 is passed, outlawing racial discrimination in public transportation and business open to the public, as well as in jury selection. The act was overturned by the Supreme Court in 1883.
In 1870, Hiram Revels became the first African American to serve in Congress. As an African American, he was not alone in serving in government during Reconstruction. Between 1865 and 1877, many African Americans served in state and local politics. Fourteen black men served in the House of Representatives between 1869 and 1877, six served as lieutenant governors, and more than 600 served in southern state legislatures. Reconstruction’s end in 1877, however, allowed white southerners to push African Americans out of government.