What major challenges faced the federal government in reconstructing the South after the Civil War during the period from 1865 to 1877?

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The federal government had many challenges during Reconstruction. The most pressing issue was what to do with the newly freed slaves. The federal government established the Freedmen's Bureau in order to provide humanitarian aid, relocation services, and education to both the newly freed slaves and Southern whites who had been displaced by the war. The Freedmen's Bureau was never adequately funded for the massive task that it undertook, but it enjoyed some success until it was discontinued during the Johnson administration.

The federal government also sought to give the newly freed slaves some measure of legal standing with the Fourteenth Amendment, which gave citizenship to African Americans, and the Fifteenth Amendment—which gave African American (men) the right to vote. These laws were dependent on enforcement at the state and local levels; in many circumstances, local Southern leaders maintained their power through passing literacy tests and poll taxes. Additionally, the Ku Klux...

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