Who was involved in Reconstruction?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Reconstruction involved huge numbers of people.  It involved famous people like presidents and senators, but it also involved all of the people who lived in the South from 1865 to 1877.

The most famous people involved in Reconstruction were the political leaders.  There was President Lincoln, who proposed a Reconstruction plan but who was killed before his plan went anywhere.  There was President Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln and tried to implement a plan similar to Lincoln’s.  There were the Radical Republicans, the most famous of whom were Thaddeus Stevens and Charles Sumner.  They were the ones who wanted to really crack down on the South.  They opposed Johnson’s plan and implemented “Radical Reconstruction.”  President Ulysses S. Grant was also involved in Reconstruction.  There were African Americans, the best known of whom might have been Hiram Revels and Blanche Bruce, who were US senators. 

Among less famous people, there were a few groups.  There were the “carpetbaggers” who came from the North to work in Reconstruction.  There were the “scalawags” who were Southerners who supported the Republicans and Reconstruction.  Then there were the “redeemers” who opposed Reconstruction and tried to fight (sometimes, as with the KKK, through violence) to end Reconstruction.

These are some of the most important people and groups who were involved in Reconstruction.