Visit Website Did you know? During Reconstruction, the Republican Party in the South represented a coalition of blacks who made up the overwhelming majority of Republican voters in the region along with "carpetbaggers" and "scalawags," as white Republicans from the North and South, respectively, were known. Emancipation changed the stakes of the Civil War, ensuring that a Union victory would mean large-scale social revolution in the South.
As a reward, the pro-war Southern Democrat was appointed as military governor of Tennessee, and later asked to join Abraham Lincoln's ticket as vice-presidential candidate.
Reconstruction refers to the period following the Civil War of rebuilding the United States. It was a time of great pain and endless questions. On what terms would the Confederacy be allowed back into the Union?
Who would establish the terms, Congress or the President? What was to be the place of freed blacks in the South? Did Abolition mean that black men would now enjoy the same status as white men?
What was to be done with the Confederate leaders, who were seen as traitors by many in the North? Although the military conflict had ended, Reconstruction was in many ways still a war. This important struggle was waged by radical northerners who wanted to punish the South and Southerners who desperately wanted to preserve their way of life.
Library of Congress LC-USZ This drawing of African American soldiers returning to their families in Little Rock, Arkansas, after the war captures the exhuberant spirit of many former slaves upon gaining their freedom. They were soon to find out that freedom did not necessarily mean equality.
Slavery, in practical terms, died with the end of the Civil War. Three Constitutional amendments altered the nature of African-American rights. The Thirteenth Amendment formally abolished slavery in all states and territories.
The Fourteenth Amendment prohibited states from depriving any male citizen of equal protection under the law, regardless of race. The Fifteenth Amendment granted the right to vote to African-American males.
Ratification of these amendments became a requirement for Southern states to be readmitted into the Union. Although these measures were positive steps toward racial equality, their enforcement proved extremely difficult. The period of Presidential Reconstruction lasted from to Andrew Johnson, as Lincoln's successor, proposed a very lenient policy toward the South.
He pardoned most Southern whites, appointed provisional governors and outlined steps for the creation of new state governments. Johnson felt that each state government could best decide how they wanted blacks to be treated.
Many in the North were infuriated that the South would be returning their former Confederate leaders to power. They were also alarmed by Southern adoption of Black Codes that sought to maintain white supremacy. Recently freed blacks found the postwar South very similar to the prewar South.
He later tried to disband the group when they became too violent. The Congressional elections of brought Radical Republicans to power. They wanted to punish the South, and to prevent the ruling class from continuing in power.
They passed the Military Reconstruction Acts ofwhich divided the South into five military districts and outlined how the new governments would be designed. Under federal bayonets, blacks, including those who had recently been freed, received the right to vote, hold political offices, and become judges and police chiefs.
They held positions that formerly belonged to Southern Democrats. Many in the South were aghast. President Johnson vetoed all the Radical initiatives, but Congress overrode him each time. It was the Radical Republicans who impeached President Johnson in The Senate, by a single vote, failed to convict him, but his power to hinder radical reform was diminished.
Not all supported the Radical Republicans. Many Southern whites could not accept the idea that former slaves could not only vote but hold office. It was in this era that the Ku Klux Klan was born. A reign of terror was aimed both at local Republican leaders as well as at blacks seeking to assert their new political rights.
Beatings, lynchings, and massacres, were all in a night's work for the clandestine Klan.In the history of the United States, the term Reconstruction Era has two senses: the first covers the complete history of the entire U.S.
from – following the Civil War; the second sense focuses on the transformation of the Southern United States from to , as directed by. The Reconstruction era, the historic period in which the United States grappled with the question of how to integrate millions of newly freed African Americans into social, political,economic, and labor systems, was a time of significant transformation.
The period after the Civil War, - , was called the Reconstruction period. Abraham Lincoln started planning for the reconstruction of the South during the Civil War as Union soldiers occupied huge areas of the South. He wanted to bring the Nation back together as quickly as possible and in.
In the United States’ history, the Reconstruction Era had two senses. From to was the first, which involved the post Civil War action. The second sense, focused on the transformation of the Southern United States from to with the Congress directing the issue of reconstruction of state and society (“Reconstruction Era”).
The first African Americans to serve in the United States Congress were Republicans elected during the Reconstruction Era.
After slaves were emancipated and granted citizenship rights, freedmen gained political representation in the Southern United States for the first time. Reconstruction was the post-Civil War effort to integrate African Americans into a reunified United States.
Learn about the Reconstruction era, the Ku Klux Klan and more.