Essay On Lincoln's Goals During Reconstruction

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During Reconstruction, Lincoln’s fundamental goal was to reunify the North with the South through forgiveness and rehabilitation, not condemnation and disdain towards one another. Through these goals of reunification came the problem of slavery, which, initially, Lincoln hoped to only contain, but now, as Lincoln was changed by the Civil War, that goal evolved into total abolition. This goal was realized through the passing of the Emancipation Proclamation, which was cause for many Northern abolitionists to rejoice, including the famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass, whose main goal for most of his life was to see an end to slavery within the nation. However, the American government, and many of its population, agreed time and time again …show more content…

Finally, he came to a conclusion, and Lincoln, in his last speech in 1865, proclaimed that African-Americans in the United States, and its claimed Confederate territory, deserved the right to vote. This plan was put into place to support Lincoln’s Ten Percent plan which relied heavily on the support of Southern political supporters. This speech sparked anger in the hearts of loyal Southerners, so much so that only three days later, Lincoln was assassinated due to his remarks in his speech. Now, with Lincoln’s ideals stapled into the minds of the nation, the job was left to President Johnson to pull the nation through the pains of reconstruction. Johnson fulfilled Lincoln’s goals of forgiveness by pardoning every Confederate soldier, except the highest ranking leaders of the rebellion, and pardoning wealthy plantation owners. This forgiveness was further extended through allowing the South to manage themselves through rehabilitation with the aid of the North, making sure not to coddle them or extremely punish them in the process. This forgiveness was put in place to make sure that the Southern states would not retaliate again due to the abolition of slavery in its entirety, which the South was immensely economically dependent on. The abolition of slavery, however, was not just the goal of President Lincoln, but many major Northern Abolitionists, including, most notably, Frederick

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