Reconstruction

Reconstruction is often defined as the period of American history between the end of the Civil War (in 1865) and 1877. It was a controversial time when the federal government controlled the states of the former Confederacy. Certain new rights were granted to African Americans on a national level, but restrictive state laws codified discriminatory practices.

Explore the topics below to learn more about this period through newspaper articles and clippings.

US Supreme Court justice John Marshall Harlan, sole dissenter in Plessy v. Ferguson decision

Plessy v. Ferguson

Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896), was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court issued in 1896. It upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation laws for public facilities as long as the segregated facilities were equal in quality – a doctrine that came to be known as “separate but equal”. This legitimized the …Read More