How Presidential Assassinations Changed U.S. Politics
August 3, 2019
James A. Garfield’s death changed the system of political patronage.
August 3, 2019

Abraham Lincoln’s assassination dramatically changed the Reconstruction era.

The most celebrated President Abraham Lincoln, an America’s Civil War leader, who was assassinated just five days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his army at Appomattox Court House, that ended the four year War that was  Between the States.

April 14, 1865 early evening , Lincoln was attending a performance  that was known as Our American Cousin that was held at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. unexpected happened when  John Wilkes Booth – a 26-year-old actor, who was  Confederate sympathizer, and white supremacist – slipped into the Presidential Box and shot Lincoln in the head.

John Wilkes Booth and his conspirators had well initially planned to kidnap Lincoln to save the Confederate States. But as the Confederacy faltered after the assassination, Booth’s thoughts turned to murder. John Wilkes Booth decided to act over his hatred after Lincoln endorsed giving the right to vote to African-American men who had served in the Union Army.

The assassination of President Lincoln was one larger plot to decapitate the federal government of the U.S. that actually happened after the Civil War.

President Lincoln didn’t live to enact his policies. He died the following morning on April 15, 1865, after he was shot. His successor Mr.  Andrew Johnson assumed office and presided over Reconstruction.

Johnson, who was a Congressman and former slaveholder from Tennessee and he was the only Southern senator who had remained loyal to the Union during the error of Civil War – favored lenient measures in readmitting Southern states to the Union during the Reconstruction era.

During the proponent of states’ rights, President Johnson granted amnesty to most former Confederates that allowed Southern states to elect new governments.  That was, As a result, new state governments formed across the South and enacted “black codes.”


These restrictive measures were actually designed to repress the recently freed slave population. Soon, many African Americans had little choice but to continue working on Southern plantations.


James A. Garfield’s death changed the system of political patronage.

James A. Garfield’s death changed the system of political patronage.

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