Reconstruction Era 1865-1877

Let's bring the country back together!

Explanation of Reconstruction

There were many things that caused our country to go to war, but the main issue was slavery. The Civil War tore us apart and now we need to weld our country back together. This era is about bringing the country back together and binding the nation's wounds.


Presidential Reconstruction (Lincoln and Johnson's Plan)

  • This plan was lenient
  • In order to join, all Southern states have to ratify the 13th and 14th amendments
  • 10% of voters take an oath of allegiance

Congressional Reconstruction ("Radical Republicans")

  • Have to ratify the 13th amendment
  • States also had to ratify the 14th and 15th amendments
  • Federal troops were sent into the South
  • A majority of voters must take a loyalty oath to the Constitution
  • The Freedmen's Bureau was created to provide basic care and education to the "freedmen"
  • States had to rewrite their Constitutions and have them approved by Congress

Senator Hiram Rhodes Revels

Senator Hiram Rhodes Revels was the first African American to serve in the Senate (1870-71). He was a representative from Mississippi and he also fought for racial equality.,-Hiram-Rhodes-(R000166)/

Freedmen's Bureau

Many Northerners, especially former abolitionists, went to the South to help freed slaves with food, clothing, medical care, search for lost family members, and obtain their recently earned civil rights. They also opened schools for African Americans as well.


Sharecropping is an endless cycle of debt. This is called economic slavery because it was nearly impossible to get out of. Here's how the cycle works: A sharecropper receives land and seed and in exchange he promises the landowner half the crop. Then the sharecropper buys necessities such as food and clothing on credit from the landowner's store. Next, the sharecroppers plants the seeds and harvests the crops. After that, the sharecropper gives the land owner crops to sell, but the sharecropper gets half the earnings minus his debt throughout the year.