View synonyms for reconstruction


[ ree-kuhn-struhk-shuhn ]


  1. the act of reconstructing, rebuilding, or reassembling, or the state of being reconstructed:

    the gigantic task of reconstruction after a fire.

  2. something reconstructed, rebuilt, or reassembled:

    a reconstruction of the sequence of events leading to his death; accurate reconstructions of ancient Greek buildings.

  3. (initial capital letter) U.S. History.
    1. the process by which the states that had seceded were reorganized as part of the Union after the Civil War.
    2. the period during which this took place, 1865–77.


/ ˌriːkənˈstrʌkʃən /


  1. history the period after the Civil War when the South was reorganized and reintegrated into the Union (1865–77)


  1. The period after the Civil War in which the states formerly part of the Confederacy were brought back into the United States. During Reconstruction, the South was divided into military districts for the supervision of elections to set up new state governments. These governments often included carpetbaggers , as former officials of the Confederacy were not allowed to serve in them. The new state governments approved three amendments to the Constitution : the Thirteenth Amendment, which outlawed slavery; the Fourteenth Amendment , which had a provision keeping some former supporters of the Confederacy out of public office until Congress allowed them to serve; and the Fifteenth Amendment, which guaranteed voting rights for black men. Once a state approved the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments, it was to be readmitted to the United States and again represented in Congress. The official end of Reconstruction came in 1877, when the last troops were withdrawn from the South.

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The program established for Reconstruction, largely the work of Republicans in the North, was far more severe than what President Abraham Lincoln had proposed before his assassination. Large numbers of white southerners resented being kept out of the “healing” of the nation that Lincoln had called for and were unwilling to give up their former authority. Ill feeling by former Confederates during Reconstruction led to the formation of the Ku Klux Klan and a long-standing hatred among southerners for the Republican party .

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Other Words From

  • recon·struction·al recon·struction·ary adjective
  • pre-Re·con·struction noun adjective
  • self-recon·struction noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of reconstruction1

First recorded in 1785–95; re- + construction

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Example Sentences

The project will close the Addison Road and Arlington Cemetery stations for platform reconstruction, part of Metro’s multiyear, $431 million project to replace and upgrade deteriorating platforms at 20 stations.

Even harder, he’ll have to do that personal reconstruction while making his debut appearance on Broadway.

The problem, called the Holocene warming conundrum, is that previous reconstructions of the historical climate showed a warm period from 6,000 to 10,000 years ago, followed by a period of cooling.

Their design was based on a historic reconstruction of the Stonehenge of 4,200 years ago.

I think probably a lot of people didn’t realize exactly what compromises would be necessary to deliver on these promises of reconstruction.

Excerpted from Capitol Men: The Epic Story of Reconstruction Through the Lives of the First Black Congressmen by Philip Dray.

Ed Brooke, the first African-American Senator since Reconstruction, embraced fights with the left and right.

Congress created SIGAR to provide oversight of relief and reconstruction projects in Afghanistan.

The 1950s, observed C. Vann Woodward, resembled the era of Reconstruction in many ways.

One case in particular became the focus of Stuart Bowen, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.

He stepped gladly into the building and the door shut with the familiar thunder that completed the reconstruction of the past.

Any change for good among such would be to their dissolution and reconstruction on principles which they do not now hold.

Correct views of a vow, as altogether wrong, should lead to its abandonment, or a total reconstruction of it.

In these methods there is needed no reconstruction of previous images, no piecing together of a number of fragments.

There would follow, I calculated, a period of profound reconstruction in method and policy alike.


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reconstructReconstruction Acts