1. Do you agree with Lincoln’s assessment that the nation could not have endured half slave and half free, even, for example, if some political accommodations had been made at the federal level? Why or why not? Also, to what extent do you agree that the Dred Scott decision and the Kansas Nebraska Act were tantamount to an effort to nationalize slavery?  If they were, what might that reveal about the trend in national politics during the 1850s?

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How would you characterize life for white southerners during the Reconstruction period? To what degree were their needs and interests provided for by the post-war policies put in place, and what lay at the heart of their ill feelings toward those from the northern states who sought a role in rebuilding southern society and its economy?

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After looking more closely at the Reconstruction Era, how, in your view, should President Johnson be judged historically? What appear to have been his most notable strengths and weaknesses (especially politically), and how should his presidency be defined? To what degree was his relative success and failure a product of the circumstances in which he found himself rather than the result of his own actions and decision-making?

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