Q:

When did Reconstruction end?

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Quick Answer

The Reconstruction of the American South ended with the 1876 election cycle. During these disputed elections, Republican Rutherford B. Hayes became president and most of the South became Democratic.

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Full Answer

Reconstruction was an effort to rehabilitate the South and ensure former black slaves had a fair voice in politics. To this end, the former Confederate states were required to sign off on the 14th and 15th Amendments, while former slaves were to receive property and be protected from their former owners. However, blacks elected to political office with the help of corrupt officials were often unqualified, and corruption and graft became the norm. Whites in states that had signed off on the two new amendments were quick to vote out any black or Republican in office.

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