The goals of Radical Reconstruction were incredibly ambitious and only half realized due to political opposition and an eventually loss of support amongst Republicans in the north.
After the Civil War, Radical Republicans in congress made it their mission to try and support he newly freed slaves of the south. Andrew Johnson, then president of the United States, had little interest in helping slaves and did not include any sort of support mechanism in his own Reconstruction plans. Eventually, his inaction on that and other issues would lead to his near impeachment and the Republican Congress taking over Reconstruction.
Republican wanted to help African Americans in the south improve their lot through political and social program, so it could be said that the goals of Reconstruction were autonomy and equality for former slaves and poor whites. They passed several acts at the state and national level to accomplish these goals. The Freedman’s Bureau Act created a new department of the government, which helped support freed slaves (freedman) through education, wage bargaining, and civil rights. Schools were built for both whites and blacks in the south. Infrastructure such as transportation and medical care were repaired and rebuilt. The U.S. army, who were sent south with the Military Reconstruction Act, protected African Americans.
By 1870, things were beginning to improve. African Americans held 20% of all elected offices in the south. Literacy for blacks and whites rose sharply. Racially motivated hate crimes began to fall when President Grant passed the Enforcement Act and the Klan Act to target white terrorist groups. It looked like Reconstruction was beginning to work, at least from a northern/Republican point of view.
However, by the mid-1870’s many whites in the north were getting sick and tired of Reconstruction. Corruption in the Grant administration, the amount of money being spent and the growing crisis on the Great Plains all contributed to the Democrats gaining power in key northern states since they promised to wrap up Reconstruction by removing federal oversight.
After the disputed presidential election of 1876, the Republican party agreed to turn over Reconstruction to the southern states if the Democrats supported the Republican candidate.
What followed was a total reversal of all the gains that Reconstruction succeeded in accomplishing. Voting rights for African Americans were curtailed, Jim Crow laws were passed, and segregation became the order of the day. This is why Reconstruction could be seen as a failed endeavor.