The Reconstruction

Kortney Kirking

The Reconstruction Era

The Reconstruction era happened during the years of 1865 to 1877. This was created by President Lincoln in hope to create equal treatment to African Americans and to make the southern states rejoin the Union. The era ended with the Compromise of 1877.

Civil Rights Amendments

  • The 13th amendment was ratified in December of 1865. It was made to abolish slavery.
  • The 14th amendment was ratified in 1868. It granted citizenship and equal protection to all freed men.
  • The 15th amendment was ratified in 1870. It guaranteed all freed men to federal voting.


President Lincoln's plan was called the 10% plan. He issued a proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction. He wanted to pardon all of the confederates except the highest ranking military and civilian confederate officers. He also wanted to replace the majority voting rule with the "loyal rule" in the south. This plan was to get the southern states back in to rejoin the union.

President Johnson's plan was called the 10% plus plan. He offered amnesty upon simple oath to all except confederate civil and military officers, and those with property worth over $20,000. He said in the new constitutions that they must accept minimum conditions. They must also abandon slavery, secession, and state debts. His plan was to also put governors in charge of watching over constitutional conventions.

Congress's plan was to grant citizenship and equal protection for all men (14th amendment). Also, they wanted all black men to be given the right to vote or the south would be punished.

The Black Codes

The purpose of the black codes were to still guarantee a stable labor supply for the whites. The black codes were really no different from slavery. African Americans had been guaranteed freedom, but still didn't have stable jobs. Without stable jobs they were forced to become sharecroppers to make a living. Sharecropping was a way for the tenant farmer (African Americans and poor whites) to rent land, so they could grow crops and share the crops with the owner to pay for rent. Most always the tenant farmer would get into debt because a lot of the times they were not able to pay off the owner of the land right away. Sometimes they would have a drought, so the crops wouldn't grow to the fullest.

Discrimination Against African Americans

Even though the 14th amendment guaranteed citizenship and equal protection rights to all men, African Americans didn't receive the same treatment. To vote African Americans had to take reading tests, and lots of them didn't even have the knowledge to right their own names. This made it so it was very hard for them to vote. The Ku Klux Klan was also a group that discriminated against African Americans. They protested with violence against the Republican Party to keep African Americans from voting. They also tried to frighten the African American political leaders, so they would back down from their rankings. African Americans tried to protect their new found rights by being involved in the government. They also built businesses and created schools.

The End of the Reconstruction

The purpose of the Reconstruction was to unite the nation as a whole again and to abolish slavery.The Reconstruction Era ended with the Compromise of 1877. The Democrats accepted Hayes as president and in return the Republicans agreed to withdraw all troops from the South. This led to the last of the Reconstruction governments to fall.

The Affects of the Reconstruction Era

We are still affected by some of the government policies of the Reconstruction Era today. Currently the 13th,14th, and 15th amendment are still in effect. Today everyone can vote and have equal rights. Schools, parks, businesses, and many other places are desegregated and have equal opportunities.

Works Cited