They introduced various reconstruction programs including: funding public schools, establishing charitable institutions, raising taxes, and funding public improvements such as improved railroad transportation and shipping.Conservative opponents called the Republican regimes corrupt and instigated violence toward freedmen and whites who supported Reconstruction.A Republican coalition came to power in nearly all the southern states and set out to transform the society by setting up a free labor economy, using the U. Thousands of Northerners came south as missionaries, teachers, businessmen and politicians.
In early 1866, Congress passed the Freedmen’s Bureau and Civil Rights Bills and sent them to Johnson for his signature.
The first bill extended the life of the bureau, originally established as a temporary organization charged with assisting refugees and freed slaves, while the second defined all persons born in the United States as national citizens with equality before the law.
Johnson broke with the Republicans after vetoing two key bills that supported the Freedmen's Bureau and provided federal civil rights to the freedmen.
The 1866 Congressional elections turned on the issue of Reconstruction, producing a sweeping Republican victory in the North, and providing the Radical Republicans with sufficient control of Congress to override Johnson's vetoes and commence their own "Radical Reconstruction" in 1867.
After Johnson vetoed the bills, Congress overrode his veto, making the Civil Rights Act the first major bill in the history of the United States to become law through an override of a presidential veto.
The Radicals in the House of Representatives, frustrated by Johnson's opposition to Congressional Reconstruction, filed impeachment charges. The new national reconstruction laws – in particular laws requiring suffrage (the right to vote) for freedmen – incensed white supremacists in the south, giving rise to the Ku Klux Klan. Grant supported Congressional Reconstruction and enforced the protection of African Americans in the South through the use of the Enforcement Acts passed by Congress.
Reconstruction ended the remnants of Confederate nationalism and of slavery, making the Freedmen citizens with civil rights apparently guaranteed by three new Constitutional amendments.
Three visions of Civil War memory appeared during Reconstruction: the reconciliationist vision, which was rooted in coping with the death and devastation the war had brought; the white supremacist vision, which included terror and violence; and the emancipationist vision, which sought full freedom, citizenship, and Constitutional equality for African Americans.
As Confederate states came back under control of the U. Army, President Abraham Lincoln set up reconstructed governments in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana during the war.
He experimented by giving land to blacks in South Carolina.