How did our country become united after the Civil War ended?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After the Civil War ended, it was necessary to bring the southern states that had seceded back into the country again so it could be united. This was accomplished through a process called Reconstruction.

There were many plans of Reconstruction proposed. The plan that was used was the one developed by the Radical Republicans in Congress. The Radical Republicans gave more power to the Freedmen’s Bureau. This allowed the Freedmen’s Bureau to prosecute people who violated the rights of African-Americans. They passed the Civil Rights Bill of 1866 that gave citizenship to African-Americans. The Radical Republicans required the states that had seceded to write new constitutions that ratified the 13th amendment, which ended slavery, and the 14th amendment, which said that people who were born in the United States were citizens of this country.

There were other parts to the Radical Republican reconstruction plan. The Reconstruction Act of 1867 divided the South into five military districts. Here, the military was in charge of the process of rebuilding the South. African-American males voted in state elections. The 15th amendment was ratified that prevented the denial of voting rights based on race or on being a former slave. New industries were developed in the South.

While many white southerners resented the Radical Republican reconstruction plan, this plan did help to unite the country and helped it move forward after the Civil War ended.

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