Abraham Lincoln and the Reconstruction Era

Abraham Lincoln is generally regarded as the greatest president in United States history. However, Lincoln, himself, understood that much of the course of the Civil War, 1861-1865, the most profound crisis in United States history, could not have been anticipated. In a letter written in 1864, about three years into the Civil War, Lincoln admitted: “I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.”Test the wisdom of that observation from two perspectives. First, closely read relevant passages in Eric Foner’s The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution, and summarize and analyze what Professor Foner wrote about Lincoln’s wartime role in bringing about what he called in the Gettysburg Address, 1863, “a new birth of freedom”. Second, after conducting appropriate research in the best sources you can find, further examine what other historians have written. How much changed between 1861 and 1865? To what extent did Lincoln deserve credit for those changes? What was he planning to do during the post-war period called Reconstruction? Which Reconstruction changes, if any, did Lincoln not anticipate?Discuss as fully as space permits because broad generalizations will not suffice. Carefully cite your sources according to MLA standards.