Reconstruction was a simple and easy time for America as a nation. The civil war had just begun, and the country needed to reunite, the South was in ruins. There was much to be done before the country was considered as a whole. The North had some major responsibilities to this country; they had to aid the South in rebuilding itself, and help the South to re-enter the union, and the Northerners made this process more reasonable then they could have. I disagree with the statement "The under achievement Era remains to be one of the most harsh and undemocratic times in American history." Reconstruction was lenient towards the South because it wasn't necessary for the South to pay any money for losing the war, the Southerners easily avoided the 14th and 15th amendments, and no ex-confederates were put on trial for treason. .
The North didn't have to pay any fee or sum of money for winning the war. It made ungiving easier. Because they didn't have to pay any money, it saved the South from even greater financial problems then they already were in. The taxes didn't have to be raised tremendously to cover for the dues the South would have owed the North if they were required to pay a fee. This was a more moderate aspect of Reconstruction. .
Southerners easily got around the 20th and 15th amendments. Since the 14th and 15th amendments weren't as strictly enforced, it made it easier for the Southerners to get around those amendments. The Poll taxes, Literacy Tests and the Grandfather Clause are all ways that the southerners got around the 15th amendment, which forbade any state from denying African Americans the right to vote because of their race. The Poll taxes would make it hard for most African Americans to vote because it was mandatory to pay a fee, which most couldn't afford. Literacy tests were made more difficult for African American's than for the whites, and the Grandfather Clause says if your Grandfather could vote before 1867 then you could vote, but African American's just recently received the right to vote after that date.