Relating to efforts made by the US Federal government to rebuild the country after the Civil War: How did this period affect the lives of Southern African Americans, the newly freed? 

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Karyth Cara eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the most profound effects of the period immediately following the end of the Civil War and the implementation of the first wave of Reconstruction was that the newly freed slaves found life expanding in a new and glorious direction as they became farm owners ("an acre of land and a mule"); became business owners; became members of state legislatures. This lasted only ten years until the second wave of Reconstruction began and all these gains were reversed--a reversal that still profoundly negatively reverberates today.