In 1861, Arkansas seceded with eleven other southern states and formed an independent republic called the Confederate States of America. Secession precipitated a crisis, leading to the outbreak of civil war. More than fifty thousand Arkansans fought on the side of the Confederacy, and around fifteen thousand fought with the Union. Arkansas' capitol was occupied after 1863 by federal troops, and the Confederate capitol was removed to Washington in Hempstead County, Arkansas.
Constitution of 1868
Arkansas was readmitted to the United States of America under An Act to Admit the State of Arkansas to Representation in Congress passed by the 39th U.S. Congress in 1868. Arkansas admitted under the following condition: "That the constitution of Arkansas shall never be so amended or changed as to deprive any citizen or class of citizens of the United States of the right to vote who are entitled to vote by the constitution herein recognized, except as a punishment for such crimes as are now felonies at common law, whereof they shall have been duly convicted, under laws equally applicable to all the inhabitants of said State."
Reconstruction is said to have ended in Arkansas at the conclusion of the Brooks-Baxter War of 1874.
Constitution of 1874
- An Act to Admit the State of Arkansas to Representation in Congress (39th U.S. Congress, 1868).