Reconstruction was the time period after the Civil War had ended where the Northern states worked to reform and rebuild the Southern states both physically and socially. Black southerners welcomed the idea of Reconstruction because for them, it meant that they would no longer be slaves and would enjoy the benefits of being recognized American citizens with the ratification of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. One limit, however, is that only black men would have the right to vote under the 15th amendment whereas women would have to wait until the 1920s to earn the same right. Black southerners were happy to the idea of being protected as American citizens.
White southerns, on the other hand, were not thrilled with the plans of Reconstruction. Before the Civil War, the South's economy was primarily built up on the domestic slave trade and it heavily influenced the southern hierarchy. With the former Confederate States rejoining the Union, they had to abide by the new conditions where the slaves must be freed and recognized as American citizens. White southerners strongly opposed this idea because they benefited greatly from the slave population being given respect solely based on the fact they were white. As a response, White southerners formed the KKK to ensure that Black southerners would not vote in elections, try to find higher paying jobs, or even try to move away from their former masters. In addition, some White southern politicians created the black codes, which would later evolve into the Jim Crow Laws, that limited the amount of freedom Black southerns had. They also created the system of sharecropping, which was a new invention of slavery under a different name. The 13th amendment allowed the Southern Politicians to do this because it stated that slavery was illegal within American borders and territories unless it was used as punishment for prisoners. Sharecropping became a way for former slave masters to get their slaves back with white authorities arresting them for minor offenses such as loitering and homelessness. White southerners overall did not agree with Reconstruction and took drastic measures to reverse the work done.