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date: 01 December 2021

p. 605. Politics in war and Reconstruction, 1861–76locked

p. 605. Politics in war and Reconstruction, 1861–76locked

  • Donald T. Critchlow


The Civil War and its aftermath intensified politics in the North, sharpening the divide between Republicans and Democrats and factionalizing the Republican Party. The war did not politically unite the North during the war. Abraham Lincoln confronted deep factionalism in his own party: Radical Republicans insisted upon emancipation of slaves and vengeance on the South. Conservative Republicans called for caution. ‘Politics in war and Reconstruction, 1861–76’ describes how these factional divisions worsened after Lincoln's assassination in 1865. The most important political consequence of the Civil War and Reconstruction proved to be the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth constitutional amendments, which abolished slavery, granted equal citizenship, and protected voting rights for former slaves.

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