Most of us have heard about the Reconstruction Era, but quite a few people know very little about it. So, one of our bloggers put together a quick primer to make sure that you and your child know the basics of this period, which took place right after the Civil War.
The goal of Reconstruction was to bring the country back together after a violent war had just torn the country apart. But many people consider it to be a failure, since it left the south devastated, and whites also regained their superiority over blacks. But here are seven things that you and your children should know about Reconstruction:
- The reconstruction era lasted for 14 years, 2 months and 30 days. It ended with the Compromise of 1877.
- The protection of African Americans in the South was guaranteed by the Force Acts, passed during the President Ulysses S. Grant Administration. The Force Acts, which was passed by Congress, worked to support the Radical Reconstruction which believed that blacks were entitled to the same opportunities and political rights as whites.
- The reconstruction era was designed to address how the eleven states would rejoin the nation and be reseated within Congress. It also represented what the civil status of former Confederate leaders would be, the legal/Constitutional status of freedmen, and especially the right to vote.
- About 150 blacks were killed across South Carolina in the weeks before the 1876 election. The Reconstruction Era is also connected in the rise of the Ku Klux Klan.
- Northern missionaries established many private colleges and academies for freedmen (African Americans) which helped educate African-American children.
- With the election of President Grant in 1869, Reconstruction began by admitting Virginia, Mississippi and Texas back into the union. These states would only be readmitted if the constituents protected all citizens’ right to vote. But most southern states did not.
- President Grant signed the Civil Rights Act of 1875. This act worked to ensure that anyone would be allowed access to public facilities despite the color of their skin. But the Jim Crow era led to the creation of Whites Only bathrooms all throughout the South.