US History: Reconstruction Era

Timeline of important events during Reconstruction Era


The Civil War ends.
Republican President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated and Democrat Andrew Johnson becomes president.

Johnson creates his version of Reconstruction (pardons for the “traitors” and reserving of political power to whites).

White Southerners quickly restore Confederate leaders and Old South elite, with violence against freed people and northerners and the passing of Black Codes

13th Amendment to the Constitution passes.

Congress creates the Freedmen’s Bureau to help freed men and women transition from slavery.



Civil Rights Act of 1866 allows African Americans to own property and to be treated equally in court.


Radical Republicans take over the United States government (bitter midterm elections of 1866), They wanted racial equality, to remove Confederates from office, and redistribute land to freedmen.

Republicans are in direct opposition to Johnson, but they manage to pass the 14th Amendment in 1868.
First African American elected to United States Congress.

Radical Reconstruction:  They placed the South under federal military authority, called for new state elections so blacks could vote, and tried to remove Johnson from office.


Presidential election that had Republicans waving of “bloody shirt” and the Democrats race-baiting.
Ulysses S. Grant wins.


15th Amendment to the Constitution passes.


Congress passes the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 in response to reports of widespread violence in the South.



The Freedmen’s Bureau ends.


Democrats take control of the United States Congress and the Radical Republicans are no longer in power.


Rutherford B. Hayes is elected President and officially ends Reconstruction. Hayes pulls all remaining Northern troops out of the Southern states.

General Resources for Reconstruction

Digital History is a great site for reading history and for their timelines:
Timeline of Reconstruction:
All their resources for the Reconstruction Era:

SherpaLearning: a very concise summation of the time period, worth reading. I’m using these books as a resource, so I know it is trustworthy (AP history teacher).

Key People and Terms to Know

President Andrew Johnson

This is labelled as a opinion piece, remember to check who is writing a article!

More about why Congress wanted to impeach him:

From American Experience:


Documentary “Slavery by Another Name” from PBS:

A clickable map on PBS site:


The 14th Amendment

Article about the 14th Amendment on its 150th anniversary. Right click and open in a new tab to open article!

W.E.B. Du Bois

W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963) was an activist, scholar, and international spokesman for peace and the rights of oppressed people. His best-known published works include The Souls of Black Folk, The Philadelphia Negro, and the subject of this module, Black Reconstruction, a historical study of the role of African Americans in Reconstruction.

Du Bois wrote and researched Black Reconstruction at the height of the Great Depression, but the book analyses events set in motion sixty years earlier, when slavery was abolished and former slaves became citizens at the end of the Civil War As the finding aid [link] to Du Bois’ papers notes, Black Reconstruction “ran directly counter to the predominantly white historiography of the Reconstruction period by emphasizing the contributions of African Americans in the South during the years immediately after the Civil War.”

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Very cool miscellany that doesn’t fit elsewhere

How enslaved chefs shaped American cuisine

An exploration of one house and its place in African American history:

The true story behind “Free State of Jones:, a rebel community against the Confederacy in Mississippi and one of the great unsung guerrilla fighters in American history: