Once the Civil War was over, Abraham Lincoln had planned to be lenient with the South so the country could heal. But Lincoln was assassinated shortly after Lee surrendered. Without Lincoln, Congress was harsh. They placed Southern governnments under military rule.

Around 200,000 troops were placed in the South to enforce military rule. Thousands of government officials were removed from office in the South and replaced with military commanders. Former slaves were placed in positions in government under military commanders. These slaves were not trained for their jobs in most cases. They knew nothing of government or of money.

Instead of healing the South, military control caused a great deal of hatred and discontent. Military rule in the South lasted until the Republican party agreed to return Southern states to home rule in exchange for their support of the Republican candidate for president, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1877. That was the end of reconstruction.

What happened after the Civil War for over?

Demobilization - Sending soldiers home

Johnson's Reconstruction, Andrew Johnson (Democrat) takes over after Lincoln is assassinated

Congressional Reconstruction

Formation of the Freedmen's Bureau, a temporary federal agency

Scalawags (White Southern Republicans) and Carpetbaggers (White Northern Republicans)

Birth of the Ku Klux Klan

14th Amendment (right of African Americans to citizenship), repeal of Black Codes

Ulysses S. Grant (Republican) Takes Over as President

15th Amendment (right of African American males to vote)

End of Reconstruction with election of President Rutherford Hayes, a former Union general

Educational Games and Activities for Kids about Reconstruction

For Teachers

The Battle Over Reconstruction

Free Presentations about Reconstruction

See Also: The Civil War for Kids,
Growth in the West, Overviews, American History Index

Plus ...

Free American History Presentations in PowerPoint format

Free American History Games (mrdonn)