Birth-Death: (1809 - 1865 ) Term: (1861-1865 )
Abraham Lincoln tried to preserve the Union and, when the war was over, he used his influence in Congress to readmit the states with low penalties.
Domestic Events of Abraham Lincoln
The war was the chief focus of the domestic policy of Abraham Lincoln. The Southern states seceded immediately after Lincoln won the election. Before he was inaugurated the seven deep South states had left, and between his inauguration and the first day of his presidency, four more states had left the Union and established the Confederate States of America.
Lincoln considered the Union unbroken, he felt the states had no right to secede and he was only putting down a rebellion. The "war" began after the Southern attack on Fort Sumpter and escalated quickly. An immediate blow to the Union army was the resignation of General Robert E. Lee because as he put it, "I have been unable to raise my hand against my native state, my children and my home."
After the first big Union victory at Antietam, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. It freed slaves in territories not occupied by the Union army. It had two goals: first to keep Great Britain from the assisting the South and to promote slave rebellions.
The war ended with General Lee's surrender at the Appomattox Courthouse in 1865. Immediately questions of reconstruction arose. Lincoln insisted that the states were in rebellion, and thus needed not to be readmitted into the Union. Under his 10% plan, once ten percent of all people took an oath of allegiance, the state would regain its representation in Congress. Lincoln, however, never saw his plan go into effect because he was shot and killed by John Wilkes Booth less than a week after Lee surrendered.
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