Who were the significant people or groups of Reconstruction and what were their goals?
A lot of groups were critical, but it was mainly the politicians of the day. Republicans mainly in the anti-slavery north, and Democrats mainly in the pro-slavery south. (Important note: these two parties then are not the same like they are now, the Democrats switch platforms in the early 1900s and become more progressive. Republicans begin to attract certain demographics like the born-again christians and the far right. Read about "The Southern Strategy Nixon" online.) Anyway, the liberal Republicans in the north began pushing for these reforms during Lincoln incumbency. When he was assassinated, the more pro-slavery VP Andrew Johnson took over the Oval Office. He stopped many attempts at getting rid of the anti-black rhetoric that were being pushed by the Northerners and resisted by the Southerners. Re-building the South was successful in terms of infrastructure. Not very reconstructed by racial terms. Mainly because of Andrew Johnson.