On December 18, 1865, Congress ratified the Thirteenth Amendment formally abolishing slavery. Abraham Lincoln was assassinated less than one week later.
Andrew Johnson, Lincoln's Vice President, briefly continued Lincoln's policies after Lincoln's assassination and in May 1865 announced his own plans for Reconstruction which included a vow of loyalty to the Nation and the abolition of slavery that Southern states were required to take before they could be readmitted to the Nation.
The Reconstruction was also considered to be unsuccessful due to the fact that the southern economy did not see the economic improvements that were wished when moving into the period of Reconstruction.
The Reconstruction occurred when the Southern States that had succeeded from the Union prior to the Civil War, were rejoining the Union, and this period of time was used to improve the southern economy and gain civil rights for the newly freed slaves.
The other reason that the Reconstruction did not seem to be successful was that the southern economy was still struggling, and not benefitting from the changes during the reconstruction. Conclusion The southern economy was also failing because of the cotton prices.
According to Eric Foner, the credit system in the south that was based on ? lead to overproduction of cotton and further lowering of prices, and also kept the economy of the south from improving.
The work ethic of the blacks had also changed during the reconstruction.
They were now able to work for their own good and for the good of their families.
The program was administered by the Department of War and was first headed by General Oliver Otis Howard who was appointed to the position on May 13, 1865 by President Abraham Lincoln.
Although Congress responded with legislation that led to the Civil Rights Act of 1866, States kept on the books laws that continued the legacy of the black codes and, therefore, second-class citizenship for the newly freed slaves.