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The Reconstruction Era was the period from 1863 (the legal end of most slavery in the United States) or 1865 (the end of the Confederacy) to 1877. In the context of the history of the United States, the term has two applications: the first applies to the complete history of the entire country from 1865 to 1877 following the Civil War; the second, to the attempted transformation of the 11 ex-Confederate states from 1863 to 1877, as directed by Congress. Reconstruction ended the remnants of Confederate nationalism and of slavery, making the Freedmen citizens with civil rights apparently guaranteed by three new Constitutional amendments. Three visions of Civil War memory appeared during Reconstruction: the reconciliationist vision, which was rooted in coping with the death and devastation the war had brought; the white supremacist vision, which included terror and violence; and the emancipationist vision, which sought full freedom, citizenship, and Constitutional equality for African Americans.
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