Triumph and Tragedy: U.S. Reconstruction, 1865-1877

Instructional Resource

Subjects
Civic Education
Grade Levels
Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 9 Grade 10 Grade 11 Grade 12
Related Resources

Triumph and Tragedy: U.S. Reconstruction, 1865-1877

Instructional Resource

This collection brings together Smithsonian and other federal resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day 2019, "Triumph and Tragedy in History." #NHD2019


These resources - including photographs, broadsides, political cartoons, publications, correspondence, ledger books, and government documents - explore the varying experiences, political arguments, and consequences of the period following the American Civil War, known as Reconstruction. Resources highlight the opposing ideas for and against Reconstruction policies - and their consequences - by the federal government and its citizens, including political leaders and activists. Also included are digital resources related to Constitutional Amendments passed during this era, supporting secondary resources, and various cartoons, broadsides, speeches, and imagery portraying the African American response to Reconstruction policies and the promises of citizenship and equal rights. Other primary source documents included provide a glimpse into how Reconstruction may have affected individual lives and businesses, and links to digitized collections (and corresponding transcriptions) of thousands of documents from the U.S. Bureau of Freedmen, Refugees, and Abandoned Lands. 

By no means is this collection comprehensive; instead, it provides a launching point for further research. 

Tags: Civil War, Reconstruction, U.S. Reconstruction, postwar, South, perspective, politics, southern democrats, Radical Republicans, African Americans, Freedmen's Bureau, Records of the Bureau of Freedmen, Refugees, and Abandoned Lands, art, photographs, political cartoons, military, 19th century, 1800s, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Hiram Revels, amendments, #NHD