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View Diary: I Saw "Lincoln" And Wept (297 comments)

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  •  Lincoln in film and reality (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayBat, Upper West, mamamedusa, fhcec, zett, IreGyre

        I agree with the commenters who have praised Thaddeus Stevens and blasted Johnson. And I have deeply admired Lincoln for a great many years. But I am not at all sure that had Lincoln lived that Reconstruction would have been more successful in the sense of bringing about racial equality long before the 20th century. Lincoln, a former Whig, never quite gave up the hope of attracting Southern Whigs turned democrats and Southern unionists into a party of moderate Republicans in which men like Stevens, Sumner, and Wade would have been marginalized. It was Johnson's open racism and willingness to tolerate slavery in all but name that led an angry electorate to vote in a huge Republican majority in 1866, one which did not have to wrestle with a master politician as president. It was that Congress which made possible the passage of the 14th and 15th amendments, the constitutional foundation for racial (and eventually gender) equality in America. Had Lincoln lived, neither amendment might have been passed. There is an odd parallel to the role Kennedy's death played in making the Civil Rights Act of 1964 possible 9under a very different Johnson).

    "Something has gone very wrong with America, not just its economy, but its ability to function as a democratic nation. And it’s hard to see when or how that wrongness will get fixed." Paul Krugman and Robin Wells

    by Reston history guy on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 03:40:24 PM PST

    •  Very interesting points (0+ / 0-)

      and I've thought of that analogy between the two Johnson successors.  Of course, Andrew was the antithesis of Lyndon.

      Isn't it likely there would have also been a large Republican majority in 1866 as a result of Lincoln's huge popularity in winning the war?

      The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

      by Upper West on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 08:07:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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