This is a paper I wrote in my third year of university for an African-American history class. It talks about a period of American history known as Reconstruction, which took place after the Civil War and led to the Jim Crow era in the South.

The period known as “Reconstruction,” beginning in 1865 and ending in 1877, immediately following the conclusion of the American Civil War, is a section of American history that is generally overlooked and ignored. The explanation for this is that the Reconstruction era highlights the political weakness of the United States. Reconstruction produced some of the most progressive laws concerning the civil rights of African-Americans the world had seen, but the lack of sustained interest in maintaining those rights is what places a black- eye on the American people of that time and American history. W.E.B. DuBois is quoted as saying, “The slave went free; stood a brief moment in the sun; then moved back toward slavery.” To understand what DuBois means by this quote, one must look into the causes of the Civil War, the Civil War itself and the result of the Civil War.