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Ch 7: American Civil War & Reconstruction

About This Chapter

Use the following video lessons and quizzes to learn about the American Civil War and the period of reconstruction that followed. Find out about the major events of the war and see its impact.

U.S. History and Government: American Civil War and Reconstruction

The lessons in this chapter examine the Civil War and its aftermath. You'll get an overview of the Northern and Southern positions and see which side had the advantage when the war started. Another lesson examines the Emancipation Proclamation. It looks at when and why President Abraham Lincoln created the proclamation and what it actually accomplished. You'll also examine its legacy.

Other lessons cover important happenings in the field. There is a lesson on turning points in the war, including the battles at Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Vicksburg. Two campaigns that led to the end of the fighting, Gen. William T. Sherman's March to Sea and Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's March on Richmond, are examined in detail. You'll learn the terms of Gen. Robert E. Lee's surrender to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse.

Lincoln's assassination is covered, and you'll find out about his plans for reconstruction of the union and how his successor, President Andrew Johnson, unsuccessfully tried to continue Lincoln's ideas. One lesson covers the conflict between Congress and the president, which led to Johnson's impeachment.

The election of Grant as president is examined, as are the adoption of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution. You'll learn about the end of the reconstruction period with the election of 1876. A look at the successes and failures of reconstruction policies is offered as well.

Other lessons show how life changed for Southerners after the war, and another focuses on the huge political, economic and social changes for African Americans. Other changes explored in this chapter include the construction of the transcontinental railroad, the women's suffrage movement and the Homestead Act.

By the time you've completed these concise video lessons, you should have solid knowledge of the Civil War and the reconstruction period. You can test what you've learned with the multiple-choice questions at the end of each lesson. These quizzes include links to the video that allow you to easily find key topics and review them.

16 Lessons in Chapter 7: American Civil War & Reconstruction
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Civil War Begins: Northern and Southern Advantages Compared

1. Civil War Begins: Northern and Southern Advantages Compared

At the outbreak of the American Civil War, both the North and South believed the conflict would be over quickly. But advantages for both the Confederacy and the Union meant a prolonged war between the states. In this lesson, discover some of the advantages that the North and South had.

The Emancipation Proclamation: Creation, Context and Legacy

2. The Emancipation Proclamation: Creation, Context and Legacy

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation went into effect. More than three million slaves in the South were freed, but the move was not without its critics, both then and now.

Civil War Turning Points: Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Vicksburg

3. Civil War Turning Points: Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Vicksburg

In 1863, three events proved to be turning points for the American Civil War: the Battle of Chancellorsville, the Battle of Gettysburg and the Siege of Vicksburg. Learn about these Civil War turning points in this lesson.

End of the Civil War: General Grant Begins the March Toward Richmond

4. End of the Civil War: General Grant Begins the March Toward Richmond

President Lincoln took a gamble and named Ulysses S. Grant as General-in-Chief of the Union army. They devised a plan to finally take Richmond and win the war in 1864. In this lesson, learn about General Grant's controversial tactics.

Sherman's March to the Sea

5. Sherman's March to the Sea

In 1864, General William T. Sherman began his Atlanta campaign. His success assured Lincoln's re-election in 1864. Sherman then began his destructive March to the Sea in order to capture Savannah.

Lincoln's Assassination and Lee's Surrender at Appomattox Courthouse

6. Lincoln's Assassination and Lee's Surrender at Appomattox Courthouse

Two of the most eventful weeks in American history took place between April 1 and April 15, 1865, during which Richmond (the capital of the Confederacy) fell, General Lee surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse and President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.

President Lincoln's Legacy: Plans for a Reconstructed Union

7. President Lincoln's Legacy: Plans for a Reconstructed Union

Before the guns of the American Civil War fell silent, President Abraham Lincoln was making plans for the reconstruction of the South. In this lesson, learn what his plans involved and the controversy surrounding them.

President Andrew Johnson: Attempts to Continue Lincoln's Reconstruction Plan

8. President Andrew Johnson: Attempts to Continue Lincoln's Reconstruction Plan

When President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, the task of Reconstruction fell to President Andrew Johnson. He was soon at odds with many different factions in the nation. While Johnson was not successful in domestic policy, his administration had a few foreign successes.

The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson: Conflict Between President and Congress

9. The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson: Conflict Between President and Congress

Congressional Reconstruction, guided by Radical Republicans, aggressively pursued political equality for African Americans as defined by several pieces of legislation and the 14th Amendment. Conflict between Congress and President Andrew Johnson escalated until he was impeached.

President Ulysses S. Grant: Election, Successes and Corruption

10. President Ulysses S. Grant: Election, Successes and Corruption

Ulysses S. Grant, the Union hero of the Civil War, was elected in 1868, the last U.S. president to have been a slave owner. Despite his popularity, the nation faced social, economic and political difficulties, and his administration was shrouded in corruption.

The Reconstruction Amendments: The 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments

11. The Reconstruction Amendments: The 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments

Between 1865 and 1870, during the historical era known as Reconstruction, the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution were ratified to establish political equality for all Americans. Together, they are known as the Reconstruction Amendments.

Reconstruction's Effects on African Americans: Politics, Education and Economy

12. Reconstruction's Effects on African Americans: Politics, Education and Economy

The era in U.S. history known as Reconstruction presented many new opportunities to African Americans, especially in the South. For the first time, freedmen were free to pursue economic independence, education, religion and politics. These pursuits are embodied in the accomplishments of four men: Alonzo Herndon, Booker T. Washington, Jonathan Gibbs and Hiram Revels.

Life in the South After the Civil War

13. Life in the South After the Civil War

Following the Civil War, the era of Reconstruction was a difficult time for Southerners. Their land was destroyed, their political institutions were overrun by outsiders, the economy was in transition and their society was in upheaval. It was in this climate that the Ku Klux Klan was born and the Redeemers sought to reestablish the Old South.

Transcontinental Railroad, Homestead Act and Women's Suffrage

14. Transcontinental Railroad, Homestead Act and Women's Suffrage

In light of slavery and the issues related to it, several consequential events are often overlooked in the mid- to late-1800s: the Homestead Act, completion of the the transcontinental railroad and the push for women's suffrage.

The End of Reconstruction and the Election of 1876

15. The End of Reconstruction and the Election of 1876

Since the end of the Civil War in 1865, Republicans had tried to Reconstruct the South and secure equal rights for African American men. But a series of factors convened to bring Reconstruction to an end in 1877.

Reconstruction Period: Goals, Success and Failures

16. Reconstruction Period: Goals, Success and Failures

Reconstruction of the South following the American Civil War lasted from 1865-1877 under three presidents. It wasn't welcomed by Southerners, and there were many problems throughout this process. But, was it successful?

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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