Essay on Lincoln at the Gates Book Review

Submitted By i3rianwhite
Words: 1257
Pages: 6

Book review of 1864 Lincoln at the Gates of History

Lincoln at the Gates main topic throughout most of the book is on Americas Reconstruction during and after the Civil War was over. But also in the beginning of the book it gives a brief history on how Abraham Lincoln grew up through life and how he came into his position of president. It starts by explaining how Lincoln grew from a very rough starting childhood to one of the most prestigious presidents that this country has ever seen. Lincoln was born in a log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky to Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks Lincoln along with two other siblings, a brother and a sister, who both died during infancy. They did not live in Kentucky long because they were forced to move to Indiana due to some sort of land dispute between Lincoln’s father and another possible pioneer. As he grew older Lincoln started reading more books than any other kid in his county, even though both of his parents were illiterate it did not stop him from growing his knowledge. After living in Indiana for some time his family once again migrated to a small county in Illinois where Lincoln had started to live a life of his own. He started working as a shopkeeper, postmaster, and eventually a general store owner. It was here that Lincoln, working with the public, acquired social skills and good story-telling talent that made him popular with the locals. When the Black Hawk War broke out between United States American’s and Native American’s the people in that county elected Lincoln to be their captain and to lead them, he did not see too much combat but was able to gain many political connections in the process. After the Black Hawk War, Abraham Lincoln began his political career and was elected to the Illinois state legislature in 1834, where he served for a number of years until serving a single term in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1847-1849 and then being elected president in 1860. The book then starts to go into what President Lincoln had begun to do to try and rebuild the nation to how it used to be. He started this after major victories won by the Union at the battles of Gettysburg and Vicksburg in 1863. Because Lincoln believed that the South had never legally seceded from the Union, his plan for Reconstruction was based on forgiveness. He then issued the Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction in 1863 to announce his intention to reunite the once-united states. Lincoln hoped that the proclamation would rally northern support for the war and persuade weakened Confederate soldiers to surrender. Lincoln also had another plan to his reconstruction known as the “Ten Percent Plan” which meant that a southern state could be readmitted into the Union once 10 percent of its voters swore an oath of allegiance to the Union. Lincoln guaranteed southerners that he would protect their private property, but not their slaves. Most moderate Republicans in Congress supported the president’s proposal for Reconstruction because they wanted to bring a quick end to the war. The book then goes into how in many ways the Ten-Percent Plan was more of a political maneuver than a plan for Reconstruction. Lincoln wanted to end the war quickly because he feared that a prolonged war would lose public support and that the North and South would never be reunited if the fighting did not end quickly, by late 1863, a large number of Democrats were encouraging for a truce and peaceful resolution and for the south to finally surrender completely. But still not everybody was completely on board for this potential Ten Percent Plan. Lincoln knew that he would have to give a little bit more extra benefits to some of the less fortunate confederates in able to get them to go along with his plan so he offered to pardon all Confederates and to appeal to former plantation owners, he pledged to protect their private property. The book clearly showed that Lincoln did not want to punish southerners or