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Louisiana was a huge centerpiece of the North's reconstruction agenda. It was home to New Orleans, the entrance to the Mississippi, and some of the richest soil in the south. It was also one of the most troubled states in the south.
When elections were held in 1865, the state legislature was almost entirely Democratic, and they began enacting reactionary laws such as Black Codes. When Republican sympathizers tried to rally in support of universal voting rights the Riot of 1866 broke out. There was widespread violence targeting blacks and northern supporters.
This paved the way for the first of four Republican sponsered reconstruction acts. Louisiana was placed under martial law and was forced to draft a new state constitution under the watchful eye of a Union general. It was hard for the white population of Louisiana to suffer. Louisiana's white men fought back by forming the Knights of the White Camilia wh used force to try and swing elections in the favor of Democratic voters.
Violence continued between the army and the Kights long after violence had subsided in other states.
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