31 May Reconstruction Era | From the Ashes of War | 1
In the spring of 1865, the United States celebrated the end of four years of Civil War. As American soldiers laid down their weapons, four million formerly enslaved Black people in the South grappled with the daunting task of building new lives as free citizens in a nation still deeply divided over race.
With the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the challenges of healing the nation unexpectedly fell to his successor: President Andrew Johnson. Soon, Johnson’s policies toward former Confederates would draw battle lines between those who saw Reconstruction as an opportunity for radical change, and those desperate to preserve the status quo.
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