How Did Reconstruction Affect the North and South?

The reconstruction was a period of readjustment after the Civil War that was accompanied by violence and turmoil. The reconstruction had many important achievements including the establishment of black colleges such as Howard University and Fisk University. However, there was a proliferation of corruption in the newly established southern governments, and the task of rebuilding placed a heavy burden on northern economies.

After the Civil War ended, the United States faced the difficult task of reintegrating former slaves back into society. One of the biggest successes of the reconstruction was the 14th Amendment of Constitution. The amendment granted equal civil rights to African Americans, including the right to vote. One of the main goals of newly freed slaves was to acquire land in order to gain independence. Union General William T. Sherman promised 40 acres of land to the slaves who fought in the war. This promise was not kept, and many blacks worked as impoverished sharecroppers, in conditions similar to slavery.

There was also widespread violence in the South during the reconstruction. The Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1866 with political motivations. The founders sought to keep African Americans from voting through threats and acts of violence. The North lost interest in the reconstruction during the Long Depression that began in 1873. The reconstruction had depleted their money and resources so they began to withdraw their efforts until the Compromise of 1877, which marked the end of the reconstruction era.