President Abraham Lincoln passed away after being shot by John Wilkes Booth the previous evening at Ford's Theater in Washington D.C., the first assassination of an American President, and one of the saddest days in our nation's history, leading to a long period of mourning among many Americans of the time.
Lincoln was not always popular during his Presidency, but the assassination turned him into a martyr and one of the most popular American legends ever.
Though some Confederates remained in the field for a few more weeks, the main fighting of the Civil War had ended and a new period was about to begin, but Lincoln's murder certainly changed how Reconstruction unfolded. Maybe things would not have changed too much had he lived, but it's hard to imagine him not being more effective than Andrew Johnson was, particularly as the victorious President of such a major war.
I'm not really sure how to approach this idea that popped into my head today, but it seems like a good idea or question to mention here ...
On this anniversary of perhaps the most famous and most often memorized speech in American history, I was thinking about the Gettysburg Addr...
Having completed the two essays in Why the Civil War Came that deal with what they called the failure of the American political system, I h...