The Death of Abraham Lincoln

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The Death of Abraham Lincoln

The death of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was traumatizing to our nation. It was an event that required depth of knowledge and understanding to fathom, and this includes the story itself, the reasoning for the occurrence, and the effect it had on our nation. April 16th, 1865 is a day in history marked by tragedy and regret[1]. As we delve into this catastrophic event of our nations past we must understand how it all came to be, how it all came down, and the scar it left on our country in the times following. Remembered as an excellent politician and an esteemed and authoritative leader in times of crisis, Abraham Lincoln is often considered one of the greatest presidents in the history of the United States. While he is admired today, in Lincoln's own time, public opinion of him was varied and in April of 1865, he was assassinated by a Confederate sympathizer, sending shockwaves throughout American society. His views on slavery and plans to abolish it him created controversy over whether he would be a strong leader to our nation or a catalyst to our destruction. Abraham Lincoln is known today as one of the most well known presidents. Although he was just the 16th, what he accomplished in his short presidency was substantial and his overwhelming kindness and appeal to the public worked for him. He had a gentle nature and an open mind, always giving people a chance and the benefit of the doubt. These characteristics are what made his untimely death so hard to fathom. A great family member, friend, leader and person was assassinated and the country was left to suffer. His capacity to listen to differing points of views made him and open-minded and educated leader[2]. This quality not only made him a strong mentor but respected by many nations around us. The shock of his assassination echoed throughout the U.S. and effected its inhabitants. The days after were dark and different. Andrew Johnson acquired this position under oath and was sworn in as the new president. Although he was no Lincoln, he had the same views and preached the same ideals as the former president had and he did his best to fill his shoes how he saw fit. The citizens were still mourning over the loss of their mentor and those pardoned and freed by his leadership felt as if they had lost an eminent figure in their life, somebody who they had relied on a time of need. The loss of this great president will forever have an effect on us as he shaped how America has become today.

The story of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln is one of depth and confusion about how anybody could do such a thing. April 14th, 1865 was the day. Him and his wife had plans later that evening to attend a play at Ford's theater with general Ulysses S. Grant. However, Grant and his wife ended up canceling later. Lincoln's life was put into consideration now that the threat against it was now much more serious. Major Henry Rathbone and his wife then ended up joining them to compensate for their early companions. Lincoln rejected offers from extra guards as they feared for his safety. The thought of a rebel shooting him was too possible and they had to take the regular precautions. However, Lincoln didn't want this, and insisted he would be alright. Lincoln and his wife took their seats in the theater. The door was not locked. During the third act, a man came in and held a derringer to the back of President Lincoln's head. He proceeded to shoot him as his wife shrieked in terror[3]. The bullet punctured the left side of his brain and he died the next day. John Wilkes Booth was the man who murdered President Lincoln, and for this very reason he will forever be shunned in U.S. history[4]. Abraham Lincoln had a plan to abolish slavery from the beginning of his presidency. Slavery meant to him that human beings were being enslaved like animals and he felt this was unjust. He believed in fair and equal rights and that everybody deserved their freedom. Many citizens agreed with this, and admired his open minded ideas. Such thoughts were often kept quiet, for fear of the judgment and hazing of others. Slavery had been around for so long and nobody ever stood up to it in front of the country. Lincoln was one of the first to share his opinions with the world and to fight for it. Although this was popular with some of Americas inhabitants, it didn't bode well with some others. There was another half of the nation who resented the fact that Lincoln wanted to abolish slavery, for they simply believed that certain peoples did not earn the right to their own freedoms[5]. John Wilkes Booth was a man of the South. His views and opinions were influenced from being raised in a Southern environment. He felt that Lincoln represented ideals that he didn't necessarily agree with. It was merely a war of the North and the South and ultimately lead to Lincoln's death[6].

The assassination of a president undoubtedly has major effects on a country. Such a prominent figure is hard to replace, and a nation in mourning makes the job that much harder. Everyone had suffered a great loss, including the Lincoln family, that could not be fixed. No matter your views or ideals, the situation worked out negatively. Although the North had been an avid supporter of Lincoln in the late days of his presidency, they were not the only ones to be negatively affected by his untimely death. The South suffered a loss too. They lacked the support of a president who had advocated treatment post-Civil War. Although they might not agree with his ideals this was devastating to it's own degree. Andrew Johnson was obligated to rise to the occasion as he was Vice President and in the event of a Presidential death, he was to take office. As the new President, he had similar views. He was later impeached due to his inability to be a productive and qualified President. The southern reaction to the death of Abraham Lincoln wasn't as demonstrative as the it was in the North but it was still existent. They had appointed official periods of mourning and religious leaders held memorial services for the fallen president. Johnson also had infamous distaste for the South, so Lincoln's assassination was no win for them as Andrew Johnson was in fact loathed more than Abraham Lincoln ever was[7]. Any death can effect a lot of people. This applies no matter the importance of a person. Death is a tragic occurrence and never fails to effect those close to it. The death of President Abraham Lincoln was no different. An entire nation suffered a loss of one of their most prominent leaders. A man who abolished slavery once and for all and who had been the face of the United States had fallen and such a traumatic event was more than what would meet the eye. This happening includes a story, a reason, and an aftermath. Although the wars between the North and the South altogether ended Lincoln's life, both sides were effected negatively. The North lost a man who represented their ideals and stood up for what they believed. They had a power player who was able to take the right steps into advancing as an open-minded nation, whilst the South ended up with a new president in which they resented. Andrew Johnson was extremely disliked in the South for his infamous views on plantation owners and Southerners in general. His obvious disregard for these people created turmoil when he became president. No side won, and this proves that Booth did not kill Lincoln for the South, but for himself. Such a broadcasted death created ripples of change and effect. Abraham Lincoln's death lead a nation wary under the leadership of Andrew Johnson (Who was soon impeached). The South even had appointed official periods of mourning for the loss of the president. Although the north had been notorious for it's support for Lincoln in his late presidency, they were not the only ones who suffered a great deal. It was a lose-lose situation and Booth's intentions are still unjustified and unknown today. Nothing was accomplished and a simple act of hate caused an irreparable effect on everybody involved. The act was unjust and unsupported, and not entirely understood. The story was spread across the country of their president's fatality. He had been at a play and was violently shot in front of his wife during the third act. Ford's Theater would forever remain as a landmark of tragedy and loss. This was a time of confusion and grief. The Lincoln Assassination today is still one of the most well-known assassinations of all time. It has been taught in U.S. History classes for decades and will never be forgotten. Abraham Lincoln will forever be remembered as a powerful and fair leader, and his death will always mourned.

Works Cited "The Death of President Lincoln, 1865."The Death of President Lincoln, 1865. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2012. "10 Qualities That Made Abraham Lincoln a Great Leader."10 Qualities That Made Abraham Lincoln a Great Leader. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2012.

"The Death of President Lincoln, 1865."The Death of President Lincoln, 1865. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2012.

"President Abraham Lincoln Assassination."President Abraham Lincoln Assassination. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2012.

"What Events Led to Lincoln's Assassination?"The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2012.

"Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy."Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2012.

"Harrell.html."Harrell.html. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2012.


[1] "The Death of President Lincoln, 1865."The Death of President Lincoln, 1865. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2012.

[2] "10 Qualities That Made Abraham Lincoln a Great Leader."10 Qualities That Made Abraham Lincoln a Great Leader. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2012.

[3] "The Death of President Lincoln, 1865."The Death of President Lincoln, 1865. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2012.

[4] "President Abraham Lincoln Assassination."President Abraham Lincoln Assassination. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2012.

[5] "What Events Led to Lincoln's Assassination?"The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2012.

[6] "Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy."Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2012.

[7] "Harrell.html."Harrell.html. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2012.

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