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List of Benchmarks for United States History

Standard 15.Understands how various reconstruction plans succeeded or failed
  Level II (Grade 5-6)
   1. Understands military, political, and social factors affecting the post Civil War period (e.g., the basic provisions of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments, and the political and social forces that opposed and supported them, how the lives of African Americans were changed by these amendments; demobilization of the Union and Confederate armies; how the leadership of Presidents Lincoln and Johnson affected reconstruction)
   2. Understands changes in social relations in the South during Reconstruction (e.g., the role of the Freedmen’s Bureau, the impact of emancipation in the South, how former slaves improved their position in society, how people from the North traveled to aid in Reconstruction)
   3. Understands the lives of African Americans during the Reconstruction era (e.g., the progress of "Black Reconstruction" and the impact of legislative reform programs, contributions of individual African Americans who served as teachers and political leaders, why some abolition leaders voiced opposition to the 15th amendment)
   4. Understands the impact of the Reconstruction period on politics in the South (e.g., the increase in corruption in the post-Civil War period, the importance of political cartoonists in drawing attention to corruption)
   5. Understands how economic conditions and family life in the North and South changed over the war years
  Level III (Grade 7-8)
   1. Understands the effect of differing Reconstruction policies and how they were perceived (e.g., plans advocated by President Lincoln, Congressional leaders, and President Johnson; the Compromise of 1877; different perspectives on the effectiveness of the Reconstruction amendments)
   2. Understands the reasons for and consequences of President Johnson's impeachment and trial (e.g., the escalating conflict between Johnson and Congress, Johnson's resistance to Congressional authority, the Tenure of Office Act )
   3. Understands the economic and social problems facing the South and their impact on different groups of people at the close of the Civil War
   4. Understands attempts to improve African American lives during Reconstruction (e.g., African American attempts to improve their economic position, their quest for land ownership; how the Freedmen’s Bureau proposed to deal with abandoned lands in the South)
   5. Understands changes in the political and social structure in different regions during Reconstruction (e.g., changes in political and economic positions of African Americans in the North; changes in gender roles and status in the North, South and West; contributions of African Americans who served in state and national offices; personal challenges to Freedmen)
  Level IV (Grade 9-12)
   1. Understands the elements of different plans for Reconstruction (e.g., how each plan viewed secession, amnesty, pardon, and procedure for readmission to the Union; the influence of the issue of Federalism on the debate over Reconstruction policy; the motives of the Radical Republicans)
   2. Understands the 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution (e.g., how citizenship was included, why the clauses of "equal protection of the laws" and "due process" were included, why women were excluded in the 15th amendment)
   3. Understands events leading to the formation of the Compromise of 1877 (e.g., the role of violence and tactics of the "redeemers" in bringing about the Compromise, the consequences in the South)
   4. Understands factors that inhibited and fostered African American attempts to improve their lives during Reconstruction (e.g., how foundations were laid for modern black communities, how traditional values inhibited the role of the Freedmen's Bureau, the struggle between former masters and former slaves, the role of black churches and schools in providing self-help within the African American community)
   5. Understands social and economic factors during and toward the end of Reconstruction (e.g., how economic expansion and development in the North and South were influenced by Reconstruction, the impact of fraud and violence on the end of Reconstruction)
   6. Understands different perspectives of Reconstruction (e.g., Reconstruction as an expression of social democratization and perfectionism, Reconstruction as a revolution)
   7. Understands the extent to which social and political issues were influenced by the Civil War and Reconstruction (e.g., why women's rights leaders felt betrayed by Reconstruction, the extent to which crooked business deals encouraged corruption in the government)