Radical Reconstruction brought about revolutionary changes to the nature of democracy and the structure of American society, especially in the South. Centered on Part Four of Facing History’s video series about Reconstruction, and enhanced with activities and readings, this lesson will help students explore the consequences of Radical Reconstruction. Students will reflect on how the ground-breaking changes that occurred because of the new laws in the late 1860s and early 1870s affected the strength of American democracy.
This lesson is part of Facing History’s work on the Reconstruction era, and part of a series of video-based web lessons. Use this lesson to engage students in a conversation about the period of interracial democracy that occurred during Radical Reconstruction. In addition to the suggestions below, see Lesson 8 in The Reconstruction Era and the Fragility of Democracy for more resources and background information.