Reconstruction of the South After the Civil War
A historical analysis of the post-Civil War Reconstruction of the South and the differences between the different stages of Reconstruction.
“Although the American Civil War effectively ended in April, 1865 with the surrenders of Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Albert S. Johnston in Virginia and North Carolina, respectively, the fight for the peace, that is, reconstruction, had merely begun. Reconstruction involved federal control of Southern state governments and the South’s reincorporation into the union, its political reconstruction. Reconstruction began at the end of the Civil War, under the presidency of Andrew Johnson. Presidential reconstruction was essentially conservative. However, Congressional reconstruction, which effectively superceded the Reconstruction efforts of the politically enfeebled Johnson, was radical in nature. Radical reconstruction was intended to be both punitive, and to amend Southern society.”