What if President Abraham Lincoln had lived? Essay
What if President Abraham Lincoln had lived?
Since late 1863, President Abraham Lincoln had already made plans for the Reconstruction and getting the South back into the Union. With the South in disarray and tensions growing against the North, Lincoln knew how to handle the situation. However before the war even ended, in 1865 he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, a loyal Southerner. With the South in cheers for his death, they fail to realize that he was their only hope for a better Reconstruction. If he had lived, he would had been so much lenient towards the South, unlike the Radicals, and the states would have complied almost immediately.
As a wise man as he is, he knows what to say and what not to say. Getting the South back into the Union was the biggest and most sensitive issue he had to deal with. Lincoln could had handled it well. Starting by creating a general amnesty that would be granted to all who would take an oath of loyalty to the United States and pledge to obey all federal laws pertaining to slavery. It was easier for the South to comply without creating any violence or tension. Top Confederate officials and military leaders were to be temporarily excluded from the process which will eliminate further tension they’ll create if they lead each state against the North politically. Notice how he wants them temporarily excluded which if he was to permanently carried out, Southerners would automatically be mad. As he made that wise move, he would have called another plan in restoring government. The plan called for one-tenth of the number of voters who had participated in the 1860 election had taken the oath within a particular state, then that state could launch a new government and elect representatives to Congress. Such lenient terms already had the states of Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee complying,
Regardless whether if Congress opposed his terms, Lincoln would have vetoed or pocket vetoed their terms offered to him. Even if they overwrite them, its likely that Lincoln will go to extreme means or rather illegal means to carry out his plans. Unlike Johnson, the Radicals who currently run Congress, would not have the thought of impeaching Lincoln. The Republicans were the one who chose him, they wouldn’t take the risk to take him out. Lincoln did so well during the war, they know they’ll be losing a great politician. In fact the Radicals wanted to keep their Republican power in the North and South. Lincoln was the only man they know who could keep it together leaving both sides satisfied with little or any tension.