The Challenges of Reconstruction


US History Reconstruction Era and the Western Frontier The Challenges of Reconstruction
Students learn about the social, economic, and political challenges of Reconstruction and the southern resistance to new Reconstruction policies. Then they learn about new forces in southern politics. Finally, students learn about the experiences of African American politicians who served during Reconstruction.

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Overview

In this experience, students learn about the social, economic, and political challenges of Reconstruction and the southern resistance to new Reconstruction policies. Then they learn about new forces in southern politics. Finally, students learn about the experiences of African American politicians who served during Reconstruction.

Objectives:

  • Analyze the economic, political, and social challenges facing Reconstruction governments.
  • Identify new forces in southern politics.
  • Describe how southern conservatives resisted Reconstruction.


The North celebrated the end of the Civil War with parades and parties. The South, on the other hand, mourned the loss of the war, the Confederacy, and their way of life. The Union, as a whole, was presented with the daunting problem of how to reconstruct the government to integrate the southern states and its slave population back into the Union.

Objectives:

  • Analyze the economic, political, and social challenges facing Reconstruction governments.
  • Identify new forces in southern politics.
  • Describe how southern conservatives resisted Reconstruction.




Cartoon Caption: Is this a republican form of government? Is this protecting life, liberty, or property? Is this the equal protection of the laws?


Take a close look at the cartoon above, created in 1876. How would you answer the caption questions?

A) Yes
B) No

In the late 1860s, the Republican Congress passed a series of Reconstruction laws in order to begin addressing the most important challenges facing the United States.


Recall one of the acts that was passed by Congress and what issue it addressed. If someone has already posted the act you remember, try to recall a different one.



Students’ answers may vary and might include:

  • Freedmen’s Bureau: helped to protect freed slaves in the South
  • Civil Rights Act of 1866: defined citizenship and its protections
  • Reconstruction Acts: established military rule over southern states; gave former male slaves the right to vote and hold public office
  • Tenure of Office Act: prevented the president from firing government officials
  • Fourteenth Amendment: provided formers slaves with citizenship
  • Fifteenth Amendment: granted African American men the right to vote


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