Social Studies - 2018-19

VUS.7d - Reconstruction

The student will apply social science skills to understand the Civil War and Reconstruction Era and their significance as major turning points in American history by

d) evaluating postwar Reconstruction plans presented by key leaders of the Civil War;

Adopted: 2015


Unit Themes

Unit Essential Questions


Is there one American Experience?

Economic Systems

To what extent does the American economy shape the American experience?

Reform Movements

How do people affect change in their society?


The differing objectives of key leaders of the Civil War led to the development of competing plans for Reconstruction.


10 Percent Plan 

 Lincoln believed that since secession was illegal, Confederate governments in the Southern states were illegitimate and the states had never really left the Union. He believed that Reconstruction was a matter of quickly restoring legitimate Southern state governments once 10 percent of the registered voters of that state in 1860 pledged loyalty to the United States government. 

 Lincoln also believed that to reunify the nation, the federal government should not punish the South, but act “with malice towards none, with charity for all…to bind up the nation’s wounds….” 

 The assassination of Lincoln just a few days after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox enabled Radical Republicans to influence the process of Reconstruction in a manner much more punitive towards the former Confederate states.

Johnson’s Reconstruction plan 

 Andrew Johnson, Lincoln’s successor as president, adopted much of Lincoln’s Reconstruction plan but offered pardons to high-ranking military and political Confederate leaders who personally requested them. 

 Johnson’s authority in leading the Reconstruction of the South was challenged by congressional leaders who were angered by the South’s enactment of Black Codes and the election of high-ranking former Southern leaders to Congress.

Radical Republicans 

 The secessionist states would not be allowed back into the Union immediately, but were put under military occupation. 

 Radical Republicans also believed in aggressively guaranteeing voting and other civil rights to African Americans. They clashed repeatedly with Andrew Johnson over the issue of civil rights for freed slaves, eventually impeaching him but failing to remove him from office.


Terms & Events


Civil War Amendments:

  • 13th Amendment
  • 14th Amendment
  • 15th Amendment


“Jim Crow Era”



Election of 1876

Compromise of 1877





Andrew Johnson

Frederick Douglass

Robert E. Lee

Ulysses S. Grant

Southern Democrats

Radical Republicans

Updated: May 18, 2018