- 1. the action or process of reconstructing or being reconstructed: "the economic reconstruction of Russia"
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Reconstruction definition, the act of reconstructing, rebuilding, or reassembling, or the state of being reconstructed: the gigantic task of reconstruction after a fire. See more.
Definition of reconstruction. 1 a : the action of reconstructing : the state of being reconstructed. b often capitalized : the reorganization and reestablishment of the seceded states in the Union after the American Civil War. 2 : something reconstructed.
Sep 10, 2020 · Reconstruction, in U.S. history, the period (1865–77) that followed the American Civil War and during which attempts were made to redress the inequities of slavery and its political, social, and economic legacy and to solve the problems arising from the readmission to the Union of the 11 states that had seceded at or before the outbreak of war.
re·con·struc·tion 1. The act or result of reconstructing. 2. Reconstruction The period (1865-1877) during which the states that had seceded to the Confederacy were controlled by...
Reconstruction Reconstruction, the era following the U.S. Civil War, was an effort to reunify the divided nation and integrate African Americans into society. The controversial steps taken gave...
Reconstruct definition, to construct again; rebuild; make over. See more.
Reconstruct definition is - to construct again: such as. How to use reconstruct in a sentence.
- Reconstruction After the Civil War. As a Union victory became more of certainty, America’s struggle with Reconstruction began before the end of the Civil War.
- Presidential Reconstruction. Taking office in April 1865, following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, President Andrew Johnson ushered in a two-year-long period known as Presidential Reconstruction.
- Radical Republicans. Arising around 1854, before the Civil War, the Radical Republicans were a faction within the Republican Party who demanded the immediate, complete and permanent eradication of slavery.
- Civil Rights Bill of 1866 and Freedmen’s Bureau. Enacted by Congress on April 9, 1866, over President Johnson’s veto, the Civil Rights Bill of 1866 became America’s first civil rights legislation.
The Union victory in the Civil War in 1865 may have given some 4 million slaves their freedom, but the process of rebuilding the South during the Reconstruction period (1865-1877) introduced a new set of significant challenges. Under the administration of President Andrew Johnson in 1865 and 1866, new southern state legislatures passed restrictive black codes to control the labor and behavior of former slaves and other African Americans. Outrage in the North over these codes eroded support for the approach known as Presidential Reconstruction and led to the triumph of the more radical wing of the Republican Party. During Radical Reconstruction, which began in 1867, newly enfranchised blacks gained a voice in government for the first time in American history, winning election to southern state legislatures and even to the U.S. Congress. In less than a decade, however, reactionary forcesincluding the Ku Klux Klanwould reverse the changes wrought by Radical Reconstruction in a violent backlash that restored white supremacy in the South.
Emancipation changed the stakes of the Civil War, ensuring that a Union victory would mean large-scale social revolution in the South. It was still very unclear, however, what form this revolution would take. Over the next several years, Lincoln considered ideas about how to welcome the devastated South back into the Union, but as the war drew to a close in early 1865 he still had no clear plan. In a speech delivered on April 11, while referring to plans for Reconstruction in Louisiana, Lincoln proposed that some blacksincluding free blacks and those who had enlisted in the militarydeserved the right to vote. He was assassinated three days later, however, and it would fall to his successor to put plans for Reconstruction in place. At the end of May 1865, President Andrew Johnson announced his plans for Reconstruction, which reflected both his staunch Unionism and his firm belief in states rights. In Johnsons view, the southern states had never given up their right to govern themselves, and the federal government had no right to determine voting requirements or other questions at the state level. Under Johnsons Presidential Reconstruction, all land that had been confiscated by the Union Army and distributed to the freed slaves by the army or the Freedmens Bureau (established by Congress in 1865) reverted to its prewar owners. Apart from being required to uphold the abolition of slavery (in compliance with the 13th Amendment to the Constitution), swear loyalty to the Union and pay off war debt, southern state governments were given free reign to rebuild themselves. When Democrats waged a campaign of violence to take control of Mississippi in 1875, Grant refused to send federal troops, marking the end of federal support for Reconstruction-era state governments in the South. By 1876, only Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina were still in Republican hands. In the contested presidential election that year, Republican candidate Rutherford B. Hayes reached a compromise with Democrats in Congress: In exchange for certification of his election, he acknowledged Democratic control of the entire South. The Compromise of 1876 marked the end of Reconstruction as a distinct period, but the struggle to deal with the revolution ushered in by slaverys eradication would continue in the South and elsewhere long after that date. A century later, the legacy of Reconstruction would be revived during the civil rights movement of the 1960s, as African Americans fought for the political, economic and social equality that had long been denied them.
As a result of Johnsons leniency, many southern states in 1865 and 1866 successfully enacted a series of laws known as the black codes, which were designed to restrict freed blacks activity and ensure their availability as a labor force. These repressive codes enraged many in the North, including numerous members of Congress, which refused to seat congressmen and senators elected from the southern states. In early 1866, Congress passed the Freedmens Bureau and Civil Rights Bills and sent them to Johnson for his signature. The first bill extended the life of the bureau, originally established as a temporary organization charged with assisting refugees and freed slaves, while the second defined all persons born in the United States as national citizens who were to enjoy equality before the law. After Johnson vetoed the billscausing a permanent rupture in his relationship with Congress that would culminate in his impeachment in 1868the Civil Rights Act became the first major bill to become law over presidential veto. After northern voters rejected Johnsons policies in the congressional elections in late 1866, Republicans in Congress took firm hold of Reconstruction in the South. The following March, again over Johnsons veto, Congress passed the Reconstruction Act of 1867, which temporarily divided the South into five military districts and outlined how governments based on universal (male) suffrage were to be organized. The law also required southern states to ratify the 14th Amendment, which broadened the definition of citizenship, granting equal protection of the Constitution to former slaves, before they could rejoin the Union. In February 1869, Congress approved the 15th Amendment (adopted in 1870), which guaranteed that a citizens right to vote would not be denied on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
By 1870, all of the former Confederate states had been admitted to the Union, and the state constitutions during the years of Radical Reconstruction were the most progressive in the regions history. African-American participation in southern public life after 1867 would be by far the most radical development of Reconstruction, which was essentially a large-scale experiment in interracial democracy unlike that of any other society following the abolition of slavery. Blacks won election to southern state governments and even to the U.S. Congress during this period. Among the other achievements of Reconstruction were the Souths first state-funded public school systems, more equitable taxation legislation, laws against racial discrimination in public transport and accommodations and ambitious economic development programs (including aid to railroads and other enterprises).
The Reconstruction era was the period in American history that lasted from 1863 to 1877 following the American Civil War (1861–65) and is a significant chapter in the history of American civil rights.