Q:

When did The Reconstruction Era end?

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Quick Answer

The Reconstruction Era, which occurred after the U.S. Civil War, officially ended after President Rutherford B. Hayes took office on March 4, 1877. Though the hold of Reconstruction policies had been waning for years, as the Republican party's attention turned away from the South, the presidential election of 1876 provided a way to end those policies for good.

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Full Answer

Reconstruction was a set of policies intended to rebuild the South physically and politically after the North's victory in the Civil War. Southern Democrats, however, fought against these policies in statehouses, in Congress and in the streets. These determined Southerners were finally successful in ending Reconstruction completely after the election of 1876. To solve a contested presidential election, the Democrats agreed to allow the Republican candidate, Rutherford B. Hayes, to become president on the condition that he remove federal troops from the South and end Reconstruction. The Republicans complied, bringing the Reconstruction Era to a close. However, the lingering effects of Reconstruction were still felt for decades after its official end.

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