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Reconstruction (1866-1877)

Mt. McKinley and the Alaska RangeAfter the North defeated the South in the Civil War, politicians faced the task of putting the divided country back together. There was great debate about how severely the former Confederate states should be punished for leaving the Union. 

With the assassination of President Lincoln in 1865, it was up to President Andrew Johnson to try to reunite former enemies.  The Reconstruction Acts of 1867 laid out the process for readmitting Southern states into the Union.  The Fourteenth Amendment (1868) provided former slaves with national citizenship, and the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) granted black men the right to vote. 

These were only the first steps, however, toward reconstructing the fragmented nation.

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