Social Studies - 2018-19

VS.8a - Effects of Reconstruction

The student will demonstrate an understanding of the reconstruction of Virginia following the Civil War by

a) identifying the effects of Reconstruction on life in Virginia.

Adopted: 2015


  • Following destructive events, people need to rebuild.
  • There are many different types of rebuilding (reconstruction).
  • How or if people work together following a crisis, often determines the success of their work.


Virginians faced serious problems in rebuilding the state after the Civil War.


Term to know

  • Reconstruction: The period following the Civil War during which Congress passed laws designed to help rebuild the country and bring the southern states back into the Union

Problems faced by Virginians during Reconstruction

  • Hundreds of thousands of freed African Americans needed housing, education, clothing, food, and jobs.
  • Virginia’s economy was in ruins:
    • Money had no value.
    • Banks were closed.
    • Railroads, bridges, plantations, and crops were destroyed.
    • Businesses needed to be rebuilt.

Measures taken to resolve problems

  • The Freedmen’s Bureau was a federal government agency that provided food, public schools, and medical care for freed African Americans and others in Virginia.
  • Sharecropping was a system common in Virginia after the war in which freedmen and poor white farmers rented land from landowners by promising to pay the owners with a share of the crops.


Updated: May 18, 2018