The Reconstruction period in the United States followed the Civil War. Reconstruction also refers to us as the rebuilding of the South after the Civil War. Reconstruction lasted from 1865 till 1877 and was and still is the most controversial periods in the nation's history. Scholars still debate over its legacy, successes, and failure of this time period.
There is much to say about the positive affects the Reconstruction brought to both the North and South. In May 1865, Johnson announced his own Reconstruction plan. It offered pardons to all Southern whites except the main Confederate leaders and wealthy Confederate supports. If you think about it, this plan is like a "pay-back” to the white Southerners who had money and help the confederate. Since the North won, they are going to get their "pay-back” by having this plan. Early in 1866, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, which guaranteed various legal rights to former slaves. Also in June 1866, Congress proposed the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which gave citizenship to blacks. The Amendment also guaranteed that all federal and state laws would apply equally to blacks and whites. Election boards in each state would register as voters all adult black males and all qualified adult white males.
By 1870, all the former Confederate states had been readmitted to the Union. Blacks formed the largest group of Southern Republicans. Thousands of blacks voted in the elections to form the new Reconstruction governments. These voters helped the Republicans win power throughout the South. The Reconstruction governments established the first public, tax-supported school systems in most states of the South. The states took over the schools established by the Freedmen's Bureau and built many more. Blacks, both young and old, flocked to these schools. The Reconstruction governments opened the political process to Southern blacks.