A historian's comments on current events, foreign and domestic.
ProfessorGreat comparative assessment.With someone like Johnson, it seems to me that in the aftermath of the Civil War, the Congress had also broken down, with the sectionalism of the war, into what was called a Radical Republican Congress. That Congress would not have implemented Lincoln's expeditious and conciliatory Reconstruction Plan, such as it had been elaborated, both during, and by the end of, the war. Johnson mainly tried to carry out the reconstruction plan which Lincoln had sketched, and to which several confederate states had pursued and agreed, before he was killed.In my view, therefore, if one objects to Johnson's reconstruction efforts, as the Radical Republicans did, for which he was eventually impeached, one in effect objects to Lincoln's ostensible Reconstruction Plan too. Possibly, however, Lincoln knew, all along, his plan was a faux plan, a presidential feint, knowing as he did the perspective of the Radicals he had had to mollify already all along, and of the abolitionists who were instrumental in electing him. Certainly he had had little problem emancipating the slaves and enlisting them in his army of occupation of the South.I follow J G Randall, The Civil War and Reconstruction, Chs XXX to the end, tempered by the qualifications above about Lincoln's questionable reconstruction plan sincerity.Certainly Johnson's Presidency did little to hold up the Union occupation activities already under way.All the best
Well I could well argue that what is now happening is not comparable as it is more like the crisis. Lincoln's election caused the Civil War and a military coup was considered when Roosevelt took office. Now we see the country equally divided in sentiment and at a crucial turning point in need of strong leadership, not just more of consensus same following deep state, media echo chamber, big banks. How to save America from the parasites that feed on its public body and that of the world in the name of the post war peace and stability? Collapse threatens. Creativity is needed. 20 trillion deficits, 1000 military bases abroad, growing resistance to the occupation abroad and from the 99% at home against the billionaire class and their hirelings. Feet of clay like in the book of Daniel presages collapsing empire. Trump as figure is sign of internal systemic collapse and not a fluke of chance personality like an idiot king who happened to stumble onto the throne until he was deposed then all returns to normal. Trump is like Nero. Time is up for New Rome.
I'm afraid that Trump will bring the entire Government down as he crashes and burns. The 26-day-long (and counting) Government shutdown is Exhibit A.
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