What Is the Time Period in American History From 1865 to 1877 Called?

After the Civil War, America went through a period of significant change. This period is known as the Reconstruction Era and spans from 1865 to 1877. The Reconstruction Era was a time of rebuilding and reforming the United States after the Civil War.

What Led to the Reconstruction Era?

The Reconstruction Era was brought about by several factors, including Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which declared all slaves in Confederate-held areas free. The war ended in 1865 with the Union victory, and this led to the need for rebuilding the South.

The Goals of Reconstruction

The primary goals of Reconstruction were to rebuild and reunite the country, ensure equal rights for African Americans, and bring the former Confederacy back into the Union.

The Three Phases of Reconstruction

Reconstruction is often divided into three phases: Presidential Reconstruction (1865-1866), Congressional Reconstruction (1866-1873), and Redemption (1874-1877).

Presidential Reconstruction

During Presidential Reconstruction, which lasted from 1865 to 1866, President Andrew Johnson pardoned most Confederate leaders and allowed them to return to political positions of power. He also vetoed several attempts by Congress to extend civil rights protections to African Americans.

Congressional Reconstruction

Congressional Reconstruction began in earnest in 1866 when Republicans gained control of Congress. They passed several important pieces of legislation that aimed at protecting civil rights for African Americans. These included the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.


The final phase of Reconstruction is known as Redemption. During this time, Democrats regained control of Southern states and began rolling back many of the civil rights gains made during Congressional Reconstruction.

The Legacy of Reconstruction

Despite the many gains made during Reconstruction, it ultimately failed to achieve its primary goals. African Americans continued to face discrimination and violence in the South for many years after Reconstruction ended. It wasn’t until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s that significant progress was made towards achieving true equality for all Americans.


The Reconstruction Era was a tumultuous time in American history that saw significant progress towards civil rights for African Americans, but also many setbacks. Understanding this period is essential to understanding the ongoing struggle for equality and justice in America today.