Abraham Lincoln's Presidency

Start Free Trial

What are some similarties between Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson's Reconstruction plan?

Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson's Reconstruction plans were similar in that they both had similar requirements for former Confederate states to be reunited into the Union. This required ten percent of voters to take a loyalty oath and for the states to ratify the 13th Amendment. They also granted amnesty to most Confederates.

Expert Answers

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

The most fundamental similarity between the Reconstruction plans of Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson was their common insistence on the primacy of presidential power. Both men believed that the president should manage the process of Reconstruction. Congress had other ideas, though. One faction in Congress, the Radical Republicans, had strong convictions about Reconstruction. Congress always had the power to admit territories as states into the Union, so it claimed the right to manage the readmission of the states in the South, too. The Supreme Court also could play a role; it had passed the key Dred Scott decision before the war on the slavery question.

Neither Lincoln nor Johnson wanted vengeance. Their conciliatory policies welcomed rebels back into the united nation. This is unusual because defeated rebels were typically—according to historical precedents—put to death or imprisoned after failed rebellions.

Lincoln was assassinated in 1865 before he could implement much of his...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1074 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

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

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on