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Old December 12th, 2017, 01:43 AM   #1

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Lincoln vs. Johnson with regard to the South


OK, let’s try not to get too political here, I just had a history question.

Just how did the pair view the South shortly after the war’s conclusion? As I understand, Lincoln saw them as wayward citizens he wanted to gently escort back into the Union whereas Johnson was more of a hardass “treat them like an occupied nation” sort of person.

I’m curious as to how they could’ve come to two different conclusions. How Lincoln (who spent the past four years trying to win the war) was so readily and able to forgive them whereas Johnson was more than happy to do the exact opposite.

Thoughts?
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Old December 12th, 2017, 09:44 AM   #2

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OK, let’s try not to get too political here, I just had a history question.

Just how did the pair view the South shortly after the war’s conclusion? As I understand, Lincoln saw them as wayward citizens he wanted to gently escort back into the Union whereas Johnson was more of a hardass “treat them like an occupied nation” sort of person.

I’m curious as to how they could’ve come to two different conclusions. How Lincoln (who spent the past four years trying to win the war) was so readily and able to forgive them whereas Johnson was more than happy to do the exact opposite.

Thoughts?
Johnson? Hardass? His idea of Reconstruction was to let the former slaveowners continue in power. http://www.ushistory.org/us/35a.asp Congress was the one pushing for a harsher Reconstruction.
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Old December 12th, 2017, 11:55 AM   #3
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OK, let’s try not to get too political here, I just had a history question.

Just how did the pair view the South shortly after the war’s conclusion? As I understand, Lincoln saw them as wayward citizens he wanted to gently escort back into the Union whereas Johnson was more of a hardass “treat them like an occupied nation” sort of person.
Both Lincoln and Johnson were more conciliatory to the South than the radical Republicans that utlimately got their way. However, Johnson was former governor of Tennessee and only differed from other Southern politicians in opposing secession. He was no friend to blacks, although he accepted abolition as an accomplished fact. He was keen to re-admit the Southern states and restore the prewar social order. He was bitterly opposed by congressional Republicans who impeached him, but failed to convict him in the Senate by one vote.

Last edited by stevev; December 12th, 2017 at 12:03 PM.
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Old December 17th, 2017, 07:16 PM   #4
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Both Lincoln and Johnson were more conciliatory to the South than the radical Republicans that utlimately got their way. However, Johnson was former governor of Tennessee and only differed from other Southern politicians in opposing secession. He was no friend to blacks, although he accepted abolition as an accomplished fact. He was keen to re-admit the Southern states and restore the prewar social order. He was bitterly opposed by congressional Republicans who impeached him, but failed to convict him in the Senate by one vote.
Johnson was a tailor from mountainous east Tennessee. He was strongly Unionist, and was military Governor of Tennessee. He was fairly typical of southern Unionists, of which there were many in the upper south. I wouldn't agree that he wanted to restore the prewar social order.

Lincoln and Johnson had similar points of view on Reconstruction. If Lincoln had lived, there probably would have been less conflict and Reconstruction might have worked out better. Lincoln was more moderate than Johnson, he had better political skills, and he had respect for his role in winning the war.
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Old December 17th, 2017, 07:38 PM   #5

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I wouldn't really say Johnson wanted to restore the prewar social order, given his dislike of the planter class.

Also, I'm really curious how OP got the idea that Johnson was a hardass on Reconstruction.
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Old December 18th, 2017, 09:27 AM   #6
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Johnson was a tailor from mountainous east Tennessee. He was strongly Unionist, and was military Governor of Tennessee. He was fairly typical of southern Unionists, of which there were many in the upper south. I wouldn't agree that he wanted to restore the prewar social order.

Lincoln and Johnson had similar points of view on Reconstruction. If Lincoln had lived, there probably would have been less conflict and Reconstruction might have worked out better. Lincoln was more moderate than Johnson, he had better political skills, and he had respect for his role in winning the war.
I don't think Lincoln and Johnson had similar views on Reconstuction and the social order. Johnson wanted to quickly end Union occupation of the southern states and restore civil government (black codes) and white supremacy. He opposed the 14th and 15th Amendments and blacks holding office. It's hard to know what Lincoln would have done, but I can't see him approving of a white supremacist social order. I think he would have had to move closer to the congressional Republicans.

Last edited by stevev; December 18th, 2017 at 09:43 AM.
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Old December 18th, 2017, 04:33 PM   #7
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I don't think Lincoln and Johnson had similar views on Reconstuction and the social order. Johnson wanted to quickly end Union occupation of the southern states and restore civil government (black codes) and white supremacy. He opposed the 14th and 15th Amendments and blacks holding office. It's hard to know what Lincoln would have done, but I can't see him approving of a white supremacist social order. I think he would have had to move closer to the congressional Republicans.
Johnson was a southern Unionist. Ordinary people of the upper south generally were against secession, and did not care for the deep southern planters pushing it. However, they were afraid of racial equality and northern domination of the south. This lead many to fight for the Confederacy. Johnson shared the views of most southerners and therefore was strongly opposed to Radical Reconstruction.

If Lincoln had lived, he probably would have been more willing to compromise with Congressional radicals. Lincoln was more willing to change his policies to fit the political situation.
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Old December 18th, 2017, 04:44 PM   #8

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Lincoln would probably have been firm, but conciliatory at first, trying for a sort of Reconstruction that would entail minimal change in the affected states. Aside from a total repudiation of secession and ratification the XIII Amendment abolishing slavery, Lincoln probably would have angled for some kind of Federal guarantee of the civil rights of former slaves (if not for their immediate enfranchisement), security and political power for white Southern Unionists, and temporary (at least) political disqualification of leading ex-Confederates.

Whereas Johnson quickly took the side of the ex-Confederates with regards to restoring white supremacy and ex-Confederates to power in the South, aligning himself against the Radical Republican wing in Congress, Lincoln would likely have had a diametrically opposite shift *towards* the Radical Republicans in Congress, adopting a harsh line towards the Ku Klux Klan, White Leagues, Red Shirts, and other White Line terrorist organizations, as well as towards those seeking to restore unreconstructed ex-Confederates to power.

I believe it was Underlankers who opined that, in the wake of something like the Memphis or New Orleans Riots of 1866, which saw insurgents in Confederate uniforms gunning down black civilians and soldiers in Union blue, Lincoln would have cracked down like the Tsar in Poland.

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Old December 19th, 2017, 08:22 AM   #9

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Restoration vs. Reconstruction. Johnson was impeached because he followed Lincolns restorative policies. True reconstruction began with Grant
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Old December 19th, 2017, 12:15 PM   #10

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Restoration vs. Reconstruction. Johnson was impeached because he followed Lincolns restorative policies. True reconstruction began with Grant
Can't agree. While I don't think Lincoln would have been as harsh toward the south as the Radical Republicans, I also don't think he would have as quickly let the southerners back into power in the south without guarantees of good treatment of the freed slaves. But who really knows?
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