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Civil War and Reconstruction

Abraham Lincoln was against slavery ideals. He saw the Civil War as an emancipation for black persons. During the war, most enslaved people fled into the Union areas. It was an opportunity for Lincoln to contain rebellion from the Confederacy states. When Lincoln took over the presidency, the nation had a tense moment. The Southern States felt threatened by Lincoln’s antislavery ideals (Scofield, 2022). Lincoln attempts to convince the Southern states against succession. He pleads with them to stay, and he will allow them to continue with their slave practice. Abraham Lincoln avoided making the Civil War about slavery since it was a diving factor between the Northern and Southern states. The border states that did not succeed, such as Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri and Delaware, were an important asset to the Union. Lincoln appreciated their loyalty, which amounted to troops, factories and money, which have the Union an advantage over the Confederacy.

Slave states knew Abraham Lincoln’s presidency was a threat to their operations. The enslaved people were a major income earner for the Southern States. The Slave states cashed in through cheap labour in the massively productive cotton estates. Abraham Lincoln’s antislavery ideals greatly threatened their primary income generation. Abolitionists were against the slave trade and demanded its immediate end. Lincoln was, however, not an abolitionist. He opposed the slave trade but acknowledged that eliminating it was difficult due to its roots in the constitution (Cooper et al., 2022). The abolitionists were against any efforts by Lincoln to partner with the Southern States since it would jeopardize their abolitionist efforts. Peace Democrats, on the other hand, viewed Lincoln’s antislavery ideals as a spark to a potential civil war. They also condemned Lincoln’s attacks on the Southern States since they greatly destroyed their infrastructure and led to massive loss of lives. Republicans opposed Lincoln’s reconciliatory moves with the Southern States. They were displeased that he agreed with them on many matters except the slave trade. The Republicans also felt that a 10% population swear was too lenient. They demanded that most of the State population swear allegiance to the Union before they could be accepted back.

The Emancipation Proclamation was a strategy to win the areas where the federal government was powerless. It did not apply to the Union States and the loyal border states. The Emancipation Proclamation aimed at freeing enslaved Black people in the Confederacy states. It won the enslaved Black people in the Confederate regions who agreed to join the Union army. The abolitionist agreed with the Emancipation Proclamation since it was a war for freedom (Mathisen, 2018). Most enslaved Black people achieved their freedom through the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil War. The Southern States were strictly against the Emancipation Proclamation and condemned the act because it would result in slave rebellion and migration of slave groups to the Northern States.

Ulysses Grant was a unique commander from his predecessors. Ulysses Grant, unlike his predecessor, did not have in-depth knowledge of military art and science (Sacco, 2022). He was, however, a very local right-hand man to president Abraham Lincoln. He was ruthless in his military conquests and pursued the enemy even when they retreated. His aggressive warfare approach earned him the title “Butcher”. Grant mostly relied on strong faith for victory and common sense to fight his battles. He was courageous, quick to synthesize information and sufficiently delegated duties. His utmost submission to his superiors also contributed to his victories, and he rose through the ranks. The 1864-1865 battle victories were significant in ending the Confederate rebellion.

President Andrew Johnson held to Abraham Lincoln’s reconstruction views after taking over. He viewed the Confederate states as part of the Union and demanded a 10% plea of allegiance from the succeeding states to rejoin the Union. He also requested the succeeding states to elect their leaders in the 1860 election and send them to Washington (Dominique, 2019). They were, however, required to end slavery, clear their war debt and approve the 14th Amendment. Congressional reconstruction was, however, meaner. It divided the five ex-confederate states into military districts, which Union military generals governed. The Congressional reconstruction also denied the Southern States voting rights. Radical reconstruction, on the other hand, fought for blacks’ equality in terms of voting rights. Radical reconstruction mainly punished the Southern States and advocated for the equality of white and blacks.

The 1877 compromise marked an end to the Reconstruction era. It provided an agreement for the election results between the Republican and Democrat citizens. The Democrats negotiated to accept the Rutherford Hayes win if the Federal troops were retrieved from their states. This compromise promised to uphold black rights on the ballot. The Southern States had initially violated black rights by violently barring them from participation (Ashland, 2020). This compromise led to the withdrawal of federal troops. The compromise, however, led to an increase in the mistreatment of black persons. When the federal government attempted to intervene, the Southern states scaled up their disregard for black voters. This era led to the rise of Jim Crow. Southern states passed the Jim Crow laws to push for the segregation of Blacks. The whites and blacks had different schools, worship places and parks. The 1877 compromise resulted in increased racism in the Southern states.


Ashland, A. J. (2020). The documentary turn: US literature in the Age of Compromise, 1850-1877 (Doctoral dissertation, University of Iowa).

Cooper, C. A., Hood III, M. V., Huffmon, S., Kidd, Q., Knotts, H. G., & McKee, S. C. (2022). Switching sides but still fighting the Civil War in southern politics. Politics, Groups, and Identities10(1), 100-116.

Dominique, C. N. (2019). The Repercussions of Presidential Perceptions: US Reconstruction and President Andrew Johnson. Line by Line: A Journal of Beginning Student Writing6(1), 4.

Mathisen, E. (2018). The second slavery, capitalism, and emancipation in Civil War America. journal of the civil war era8(4), 677-699.

Sacco, N. W. (2022). Unraveling the Mystery of Ulysses S. Grant through the National Park Service. Ohio Valley History22(2), 24-33.

Scofield, A. (2022). Abraham Lincoln: Thoughts on Slavery and Racial Equality. OUR Journal: ODU Undergraduate Research Journal9(1), 8.


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