The Reconstruction era was the period after the American Civil War from 1865 to 1877, during which the United States grappled with two major challenges: reintegrating into the Union the Southern states that had seceded and determining the legal status of 4 million newly freed African Americans.
In the wake of the Civil War, Americans were faced with rebuilding a society that had been divided by slavery and the political upheaval of war. Small wonder that Reconstruction is often called the country’s Second Founding. To this day the outcomes of the vast political and social changes of the Reconstruction era remain visible across the landscape.
Dr. Hylander will probe in depth the background and the course of this complex and tumultuous period, focusing this time on the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which formally abolished slavery and set forth the rights of formerly enslaved people.