1865 1900

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1865 to 1900

Identify at least (2) two major historical turning points in the period under discussion.

Death of Lincoln in 1865.

Lincoln’s death changed the course of the country trying to rebuild after the Civil War. President Andrew Johnson was not popular and could not convince Congress especially the southerners to go along with him. Lincoln had a plan to build up the South and end the hate. He ordered amnesty and that the south be rebuilt. He pardoned, with a few exceptions, any southerner who would swear allegiance to the Union and the United States Constitution. His plan was to let the Confederate states back into the Legislature, but it was not working too well. We will never know how that went because he was assassinated. His idea always was to try to “mend fences” and forgive. The entire civil rights movement was set back because of the death of Lincoln.

The Railroad

The two railroads, the Union Pacific and Central Pacific met in Utah in May of 1869. It was merely ceremonial, but the real occasion was that it meant the railroads now would run from coast to coast. The availability of the railroad changed the face of the west and the whole of the United States. Remote places now could ship farm products and receive goods from markets elsewhere. Cattle could be shipped instead of driven and people could more easily get from place to place. Heavy shipments such as steel could be taken anywhere the trains would go. This was a boon to the Industrial revolution by being able to transport things mere horses could not.

Describe at least two (2) ways the Reconstruction period may have been different if President Lincoln had not been assassinated.

President Andrew Johnson, at first pleased the radical politicians in the north by denying that he was in favor of helping out the “planter aristocracy” and insisting that the Confederates should be punished. This was totally different from Lincoln’s plan of forgiveness....
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