The Reconstruction Era (1865-1877) was a period in the history of the United States after the Civil War, during which the reintegration of the losing southern states into the United States and the abolition of the slave system throughout the country took place. Ways to return the rebellious states to the Union were discussed even before the end of the Civil War (History, 2018). It was necessary to determine the future of the states themselves, the fate of the fighters against the federal government, and the situation of the formerly enslaved people. A supporter of the nation’s unity, Lincoln insisted on generosity to the vanquished, offering to restore their political rights and help them integrate into the new economic conditions (History, 2018). The amnesty was supposed to extend to all those who abandoned their old beliefs. The President proposed to return all states in which at least 10% of voters called on the federal government and supported the abolition of slavery to the Union. He considered it possible to endow the black population who fought for democracy with all civil rights in stages.
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The southern states were divided into five military districts, in which the generals of the federal army exercised executive power. With the assistance of the local militia, the army, public bureaus, and organizations of the Republican Party, elections were prepared in which African Americans participated. In some local legislative assemblies, up to 50% of the black population was elected to the lower house (History, 2018). On March 30, 1870, the XV amendment of the Constitution prohibited the disenfranchisement of citizens on the grounds of belonging to another race, skin color, or previous stay in slavery (History, 2018). In 1877, the army’s participation in the administration in the South ceased. Slavery was not restored in the southern states, but democratic governments passed discriminatory laws called Jim Crow laws. As a result, African Americans became second-class citizens, and racist principles of white supremacy still dominated public opinion.
“Reconstruction.” 2022. History. Web.