Reconstruction era

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Timeline of the Confederate States, 1860 – 1870.

The Reconstruction era in the United States was the period from 1865 to 1877, the name referring to reconstruction after the American Civil War.

After the war, initiatives such as the Southern Homestead Act, Sherman's field orders, and Reconstruction-era legislation aimed to strip the land, assets, and voting rights of Southerners believed to have supported the Confederates during the war. The Reconstruction laws of 1867 disenfranchised the majority of Southern White voters as they could not take the Ironclad oath, which required they had never served in Confederate armed forces or held any political office under the state or Confederate governments.

According to an earlier common and less politically correct view, the Reconstruction era was a tragic era during which vindictive and radical victors imposed harsh military rule on a vanquished South and supported corrupt state governments dominated by unscrupulous carpetbaggers (pro-reconstruction Southerners), scalawags (pro-reconstruction Northerners in the South), and uneducated Black freedmen.

More recent and politically correct views dispute this.

By 1877, reports of failures of the reconstruction policies had reduced Northern support and the Northern troops had been removed from the capitals of the Southern states.

Gradually, payment of a poll tax, passing of a literacy test, and/or other requirements were implemented in many Southern states. This effectively barred most Blacks and many poor Whites from voting and other forms of government participation. Segregation was implemented. Such measures ended in association with the Civil Rights Movement.

Argued anti-Southern tariffs and associated economic exploitation of the South, argued to be among the primary causes of the war as described in the article on Confederate revisionism, were continued for almost eighty years after the war.

See also