Cover image for Reconstruction
Ferrell, Claudine L., 1950-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xix, 220 pages, 7 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E668 .F39 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Few periods in American history have aroused as much debate as the years immediately after the Civil War, those commonly referred to simply as Reconstruction. The victorious North had to determine how to treat the vanquished South and how to make a nation whole once again. The divisive issues of freedom and civil rights became even more complex than before the War and dominated national politics. Also at stake was the balance of power among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. Before it was all over, a president was impeached (though not convicted), and a rigorous plan for Reconstruction was enacted, then allowed to fade as white Southerners regained power and instituted repressive Jim Crow governments. This resource provides an overview essay on the period, six essays on various aspects of Reconstruction, a section of biographies of important players, and selected and introduced primary documents.

What was Lincoln's view of the South and his plan for its postwar fate? How did Southern whites perceive their return to the Union? What motivated the Radical Republicans? Why did they impeach Johnson? What did the Reconstruction Amendments accomplish? How did former Confederates return to power, and so quickly? These questions and more are addressed in this handy reference source. It is the perfect starting place for student and general reader research and provides a well-rounded introduction to this critical period in American history.

Author Notes

CLAUDINE L. FERRELL is Associate Professor, History and American Studies, at Mary Washington College.

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5 Up-Study of Civil War America does not end with Lee's surrender to Grant at Appomattox Court House in April 1865. Economic and social issues that divided the nation in 1861 continued unanswered. Victory on the military front created belief and assurance that the Republican-dominated North would dictate terms of rebuilding to the defeated, vanquished South. Contention and disagreement emerged when President Lincoln issued his 10 Percent Plan, Congress countered with the Wade-Davis Bill, and passions exploded when President Andrew Johnson challenged Congress over control of Reconstruction. Historians and laypersons alike continue to debate these issues and others including when Reconstruction began; if the Southern states were conquered territories; and which form of government was supreme, state or federal. Following a historical overview, this volume explains and discusses these contentious and varying opinions. "The Personalities of Reconstruction" gives information about the men who debated the issues of the day, and "Primary Documents of Reconstruction" presents speeches, proclamations, diary entries, and letters that offer a starting place for students' debates on the issues. With its long, complex sentences, this book will be best used by sophisticated readers.-Patricia Ann Owens, Wabash Valley College, Mt. Carmel, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.