SAT Subject US History Practice Question 834: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 834

5. The phrase "With malice toward none, with charity toward all" refers to Lincoln's attitude toward

A. Southern state legislatures, which had passed Black Codes.
B. radical Republicans in the House of Representatives after Reconstruction.
C. congressmen after they impeached Andrew Johnson.
D. the rebellious South near the end of the Civil War.
E. Senators Stephen Douglas, John C. Breckenridge, and John Bell, who had run against him in 1860.

Correct Answer: D


In his Second Inaugural Address, Lincoln called for a postwar reconciliation with the rebellious South. He wanted "to bind up the nation's wounds … with malice toward none and charity for all" as a way to begin to rebuild the Union. The Second Inaugural Address was delivered in March 1865 before the Southern legislatures passed Black Codes (A). Lincoln died on April 14, 1865. Reconstruction (B) ended in 1877, well after Lincoln's assassination. Johnson was impeached (C) in 1868 after he became president upon Lincoln's death. The candidates who ran against him (E) in 1860 were not actors on the political stage in 1865.

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