After the Civil War, the country needed to be fixed and rebuilt. A period of Reconstruction followed the war. However, with so many people gaining instant citizenship and for nowhere for them to go, it is easy to see that the rebuilding of the country was a failure.
In the mid-1800's, the major source of income for the south was obviously cotton. This was done on small farms, but mostly on large plantations. The physical labor was done by slaves in many instances, and each slave was worth thousands and thousands of dollars. When the war ended and all the slaves were technically free, the southern economy went down the drain. Some of the slaves stayed on their own farms and were sharecroppers, but a lot of the farms and plantations lost all their workers, and were unable to make a living. This brought the South to an economic low that they had never seen with slavery.
Also, during Reconstruction racism was not only increased, it was enforced as law. The Black Codes and the Jim Crow Laws really showed how, even though people wanted Blacks to be free, they didn't want them around and just didn't like them. Also, it was at this time that the Ku Klux Klan was formed. While African-Americans weren't very disliked as slaves, as soon as they became real citizens and real humans, there was no one that liked them. During Reconstruction, the social behavior towards the blacks was horrible.
While the country was recuperating from the war and starting a new system of government in the south, the social and economic life of the south was in turmoil. What the president should have done regarding the south is initially stopped racism and introduced the Freemen as an equal, not a second class citizen.