The America Reconstruction was a period of turmoil following the Civil War. President Lincoln planned reunification of the southern states as soon as possible, but was faced with resentment from Southerners in reaction to Union control and equality. Along with desperate economic conditions and a culture of white supremacy, a backlash of violence targeting freed slaves and supporters contributed to the failure of Reconstruction.
Discussion Questions: Consider the political, economic, and social environment of the South following the Civil War. What laws were enacted, amendments ratified, and organizations created to support freed slaves? In your opinion, were these effective? How did the “Invisible Empire of the South,” consisting of organizations like the Ku Klux Klan, thwart Reconstruction efforts? What effect did the presidency of Andrew Johnson have on Reconstruction?