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As to means by which to achieve these goals, Lincoln was also flexible. When Union armies advanced into the South, he appointed military governors for the states that were conquered. Most notable of these was the military governor of Tennessee, Andrew JOHNSON, who became Lincoln's running mate in 1864. In December 1863, Lincoln enunciated a comprehensive reconstruc tion program, pledging pardon and amnesty to Confederates who were prepared to swear loyalty to the Union and promising to turn back control of local governments to the civil authorities in the South when as few as 10% of the 1860 voting population participated in the elections. Governments operating under this 10% plan were set up in Louisiana and Arkansas and soon were petitioning for readmission to Congress.

Inevitably Lincoln's program ran into opposition, both because it represented a gigantic expansion of presidential powers and because it appeared not to give adequate guarantees to the freedmen. Defeating an attempt to seat the senators from the new government in Arkansas, Radical Republicans in Congress in July 1864 set forth their own terms for restoration in the far harsher Wade-Davis Bill. When Lincoln pocket-vetoed this measure, declaring that he was "unprepared to be inflexibly committed to any single plan of reconstruction," Radicals accused him of "dictatorial usurpation."

The stage was set for further conflict over reconstruction when Congress reassembled in December 1864, just after Lincoln's reelection. Assisted by the Democrats, the Radicals forced Lincoln's supporters to drop the bill to readmit Louisiana. Lincoln was deeply saddened by the defeat. "Concede that the new government of Louisiana is only to what it should be as the egg is to the fowl," he said, "shall we sooner have the fowl by hatching the egg than by smashing it?" On April 11, 1865, in his last public address, the President defended his reconstruction policy.


Three days later, the President was shot by the actor John Wilkes Booth while attending a performance at Ford's Theater in Washington. He died at 7:22 the following morning, April 15, 1865. After lying in state in the Capitol, his body was taken to Springfield, Ill., where he was buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery.

Benjamin P. Thomas, Author of "Abraham Lincoln: A Biography" and David Herbert Donald Harry C. Black Professor of History and Director of the Institute of Southern History, The Johns Hopkins University

Реферат опубликован: 9/09/2007