The Reconstruction Period
The aftermath of the Civil War
The period after the war, 1865-1877, was called the reconstruction period. Abraham Lincoln started planning for the reconstruction of the South during the civil war. He wanted to bring the Nation together as quickly as possible, and in December 1863, he offered his plan for Reconstruction which required that the States new constitutions prohibit slavery.
On December 18th, 1865, congress gratified the Thirteenth Amendment formally abolishing slavery.
After Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, Andrew Johnson continued his wishes in reconstructing America by making the former seceded southern states pledge their loyalty to the Union.
"Black Codes" were made by midwestern states that regulated the amount of free African Americans. The Southern States had extreme black codes to make themselves feel as though they had the same power over African Americans as they did prior to the war.
In 1866, congress passed the "Civil Rights Act" which emphasized some of our country's foundation, saying all citizens of America should be treated equally with the right to make contracts and to buy and sell property. This act was created to support the 13th amendment that abolished slavery, making African Americans under safe protection of the law.
In 1867, the fourteenth amendment was passed by congress which stated that all black men would be given the right to vote. This amendment was designed to give newly freed slaves a sense of citizenship and reassurance of their civil liberties.
The Reconstruction was, overall, a very effective way to bring together the nation after the bloodiest war fought in American history. It not only reunited the southern states with the rest of the country, but gave African Americans the rights they deserved as well. The effects of the Reconstruction Period are still visible in our modern world, and hopefully will stay for a very long time.