How would history have been different if Lincoln had not been assassinated?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

We can only speculate how history would have been different if President Lincoln wasn’t assassinated. One difference might have been in the Reconstruction plan that was eventually enacted. When the Civil War ended, President Lincoln knew he had to heal the country. The terms of the agreement at Appomattox Court...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

We can only speculate how history would have been different if President Lincoln wasn’t assassinated. One difference might have been in the Reconstruction plan that was eventually enacted. When the Civil War ended, President Lincoln knew he had to heal the country. The terms of the agreement at Appomattox Court House, ending the Civil War, were very easy on the South. President Lincoln believed this would start the healing process and help with the reunification of the country.

President Lincoln had proposed a plan of Reconstruction. His plan called for having states write new constitutions that would ban slavery when ten percent of the voters in the state pledged to be loyal to the United States. He also offered amnesty or forgiveness to southerners, except for the leaders of the Confederacy. It is possible that, if Lincoln’s plan was accepted, there might have been less resistance and opposition in the South to Reconstruction. President Lincoln was a very skilled leader, so it is reasonable to assume that he might have been able to persuade Congress to adopt his plan, or one that was less harsh, over the plan that was eventually enacted by the Radical Republicans. It's reasonable to assume that President Lincoln would have continued to work to help heal the wounds from the Civil War.

While it might be a stretch to say that race relations might have been better in the South, if there was less opposition to Reconstruction, African Americans might not have faced as much resistance as they faced after Reconstruction ended.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team