Describe the impact of Abraham Lincolns's death on the North and the South.

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It is very difficult to say what the impact of Lincoln's death was, because he left few clues as to how he planned to conduct the aftermath of the war. We can be fairly certain that he did not plan to pursue a program of retribution against Southern leaders, a position which alienated him from some Republicans, but whether he would have pursued a vigorous program to achieve civil rights for African-American freedmen in the South is another question. The issue was not mentioned in his early "Ten Percent" plan for Reconstruction, issued rather early in the war, but he did indicate at the war's end that he would favor voting rights for some black men that served during the war. He gave a speech to that effect, in fact, shortly before he died. It is also impossible to know how Lincoln would have managed the growing faction of Republicans who demanded federal action to ensure equality for African-Americans. So many of the problems that occurred under Reconstruction were exacerbated by the behavior of Andrew Johnson, Lincoln's successor, that it is almost impossible to make an educated guess as to how Lincoln would have dealt with the South after the war. As for the North, much of the postwar economic development that occurred was more or less the culmination of Lincoln's vision as both a Whig and a Republican, so it is doubtful that much would have been different with him in office. In short, Lincoln was a wartime president, and imagining how he would have dealt with a very difficult peace (though he was admittedly a very skillful politician) is difficult to even speculate about.

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