The period of reconstruction

Reconstruction Phase (1965 - 1877)

Reconstruction took place between 1965 and 1877. The reconstruction phase has been judged to have been successful.

Reuniting North and South

Following the Civil War's division of the South's 11 states, the North and South were brought back together during the rebuilding era. The United States' peace was restored after the unity was brought back together. Along with North Carolina, 11 former Confederate states were admitted back into the Union in 1868, including Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Alabama. Texas, Mississippi, Georgia, and Virginia were effectively reunited in 1877 as well. (Schefelton et al, 2014)

The Establishment of the "Freedmen's Bureau agency"

Notably, the reunification was one of the biggest projects at the time. Furthermore, there was the establishment of the "Freedmen's Bureau agency" (Stroud & Schomp, 2007). This agency provided food, medical services, and shelter to people who needed it after the civil war. The agency established approximately 3,000 schools, including colleges, for the African Americans who were freed from slavery.

Legal Support for Equality

The success is also largely attributed to the laws and bills that were passed to give the blacks equal rights. The fourteen and the fifteen amendments were also passed in this period.

Thirteenth Amendment and Voting Rights

The enforcement of the thirteenth amendment in 1870 was also a key factor. This "banned the use of terror, force, or bribery to prevent people from voting because of their race" (Burton et al., 2011). The fourteenth amendment stipulated that "the first section prohibits the states from abridging the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States, or unlawfully depriving them of life, liberty, or property, or denying to any person within their jurisdiction the 'equal' protection of the laws" (Burton et al., 2011). This amendment thus called for racial equality and provided the African Americans with the right to vote. People who supported the rights of the blacks called Radical Republicans stipulated that the fourteen amendments allowed the Congress to correct any unjust legislation in the states and thus realizing equality for all. Benjamin Wade, a Radical Republican, endorsed the women rights and labor unions which were also significantly attained in the period (Stroud & Schomp, 2007).

Challenges and Failures

The aftermath of the civil war left the United States and particularly the South in critical ruin and crippled. The south needed assistance to rebuild its economy and hence it had to rely on the government. There was also the expansion of the northern and southern economy after a hard time of economic turmoil. However, this period made the south and the northern to collaborate in making United States a better place (Stroud & Schomp, 2007).

The Black Codes, White Supremacy, and Discrimination

However, the enforcement of the black codes and establishment of the white supremacy are perhaps crucial factors that make the reconstruction period a failure. Taxes also skyrocketed in attempts to build the South. The Jim Crow Laws also led to discrimination and segregation of the African Americans. Again, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) group also emerged during the reconstruction period. KKK launched attacks on the blacks and put their houses on fire (Schefelton et al, 2014). They propagated many kinds of racial attitude. The reconstruction period is also highly associated with corruption. The high taxes paid were used by some people to enrich themselves. Despite these failures, in essence, the reconstruction period was a success. It managed to restore unity in the region by bringing together the north and the south states, and the blacks were given the rights to vote.




Burton, O., Podair, J., & Weber, J. (2011). The struggle for equality. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.

Schefelton Kirsten , Amanda Kolpin, Susan S. Wittman. (2014). Reconstruction: Outcomes of the Civil War. New York. Capstone

Stroud, B., & Schomp, V. (2007). The Reconstruction era. New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark.

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