The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln


Abraham Lincoln is remembered as the 16th President of the United States of America and the first president of the country ever to be murdered. As the history tells us, “he was mortally wounded by John Wilkes Booth, who was a famous actor and Confederate sympathizer, in the Presidential Box of Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C., while watching the comedy, Our American Cousin” (Burlingame 31). The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln has become an important historical event, which had its severe consequences. The chronicle of the American nation and the United States itself would be entirely different if the President lived.

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The post-war period and Andrew Johnson

When the Civil War ended, the American Society was proposed with two rather contrasting strategies for its rebuilding. The murder of the sixteenth president led to the change in the authority of the country, leaving Andrew Johnson for a new candidate for the President. He was a simple Southerner, had a history of slavery in his family, did not receive any development of knowledge and was rather defenseless and exposed by the time of Lincoln’s death. There were no expectations of him to follow and fulfill the ideas of the former president.

The post-war assembly was under the command of the Radical Republicans. Abraham Lincoln managed to regulate their actions; moreover, he had established a strategy for a reconstruction, where the Southern territories were viewed as a lost brother coming back. The Lincoln’s rebuilding was considered to be a potential healing of a country. The Radical Republicans, on the contrary, observed the rebuilding of a nation as an excuse to penalize the South for the civil war. “In 1866 Congress passed the Wade-Davis Bill which called for rather draconian Reconstruction measures. Lincoln vetoed the bill, but the debate raged” (“How Did the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln Affect Reconstruction?” par. 3).

The current president of a time, Andrew Johnson did not have both the ability and the opportunity to hold back the Radical Republicans the way Abraham Lincoln could. The death of the sixteenth president left a breach in the authority of the country. Moreover, as a Southerner, Andrew Johnson had suggested a strategy that was very much alike with the Lincoln’s plan for reconstruction. However, he lost the support of not only the Radical Republicans but the Congress as well.

The infringement of the rights of Blacks

Almost instantly after the Civil War, the Radical Republicans began to establish numerous laws, also called ‘the Black Codes’ that were diminishing the privileges of the black people. For example, in some states it was forbidden for a black man to marry a white woman; otherwise he would be punished with a death sentence. Moreover, many others laws established by the Congress led to enacting wide-ranging regulations within the time of Reconstruction. “Congressmen Charles Sumner and Thaddeus Stevens led the fight and first passed an act to establish the Freedmen’s Bureau. Its purpose was to provide education and training for Blacks in their transition from slavery to freedom” (“How Did the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln Affect Reconstruction?” par. 4).

The new President has made numerous attempts towards banning all regulations concerning the black people; however, a few critical codes were enacted. The Congress was able to act as its members were willing to, armed with the support of military Southerners. For the same reason, there had been a sufficient quantity of votes to abrogate the prohibitions of the current President, for example, as it happened in the case of the Civil Rights acts in 1866. The consequences of the Lincoln’s death did not end there, but they escalated into more serious issues.

Works Cited

Burlingame, Michael. Abraham Lincoln: A Life, Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. 2013. Print.

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How Did the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln Affect Reconstruction? 2014. Web.

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