Abraham Lincoln an American Legand
Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States of America, was born February 12th, 1809 in Hardin County, Kentucky. His parents were both farmers, which led to Abraham only learning to basically only write his name during his earlier years of childhood. Lincoln mainly spent time as a carpenter and farmer living and growing up on the Kentucky frontier. He also spent some of his childhood living in the state of Indiana as well. Growing up and spending most of his childhood years on a farm, also led Lincoln to not having much educational opportunities as a child. Despite those circumstances however, Lincoln astonishingly was still able to obtain key skills and knowledge’s such as reading, writing, and ciphering.
After Abraham entered into young adulthood, “he was a captain in the Black Hawk war, where he never saw combat and then spent eight years in the Illinois legislature where he rode the circuit of courts for many years. What is so very interesting about him becoming a captain in a militia force and also spending eight years in the Illinois state legislature around the young age of 21 years old, is just how those two things really laid the ground work for the American legend that he later on becomes during the years leading to and during his presidency. Abraham also married Mary Todd, in which they had four boys, but unfortunately only one survived to maturity/adulthood. Lincoln also had a very positive tenure in law practice and spent one term in congress.
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Abraham Lincoln’s election process did not necessarily start out as a typical/standard election process or campaign normally would, as he initially, “gained a national reputation while running for senate against Stephen A. Douglas, even in losing that election due to his strong debates during that election process. Due to that national reputation and recognition, Lincoln won the Republican nomination for president in 1860. During the presidential election of 1860, “the Democratic party was deeply divided” and helped Abraham Lincoln become president. Another interesting fact about the 1860 presidential election was how, “Abraham Lincoln only received 40% of the popular vote, but still handily defeated the three Democratic candidates in Southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge, Constitutional Union candidate John Bell, and Northern Democrat Stephen A. Douglas, who was also the U.S. senator who beat out Lincoln for the position of senator in the state of Illinois.
The main element that helped gain Lincoln’s national interest, support, and reputation was his strong stance against slavery existing and the spreading of it, during the debates with Stephen A. Douglas while running for senate in Illinois. It was during those debates against Stephen A. Douglas that help expose and let his opinions be known about the issue of slavery and made him so loved by a lot of American citizens. But at the same time, his hearing stance on slavery and then being elected president of the United States of America also made very many people become mad and not so fond of Lincoln as they wanted the spread and existence of slavery to continue as it was doing at the time.
Those last points of the previous paragraph really lead nicely into the next section in which the single most important event that occurred during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, which was the Civil War. After becoming president, around the time of his inauguration, “in the year 1861, seven states had seceded due to the Republicans gaining the White House, which they had actually already been publically threatening if they did gain control of the White House. And after seceding, the Confederate states elected their own president in Jefferson Davis. And in doing so, the Civil War was officially about to begin to kick into full gears. It was in, “South Carolina where the first shots were fired when Confederate forces under General P.G.T. Beauregard opened fire on Union-held Fort Sumter. After shots were fired on Fort Sumter, “Lincoln ordered 75,000 militia to quell the rebellion, and in doing so, caused four more states to secede. The Civil War, once those first shots were fired in Fort Sumter, turned into a very brutal and ugly war as the battle raged on for nearly 4 years.
Amidst the war kicking into full gears, President Lincoln delivered an astonishing statement in which he said, “Davis (Jefferson Davis, Confederate states President) cannot voluntarily reaccept the Union; we cannot voluntarily yield it. Between him and us the issue is distinct, simple, and inflexible. It is an issue which can only be tried by war, and decided by victory. The turning point however occurred, “when Lincoln finally found a general who remained in command of the Army of Potomac the rest of the war, in George G. Meade, whose skillful defensive tactics won the crucial battle of Gettysburg, 1-3 July 1863, in which resulted in forcing General Robert E. Lee to retreat, and they never really recovered from that defeat.
As the United States entered into year three of this very brutal and bloody Civil War, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation after the Union had won some military victories that, “Made a clear announcement that freeing some of the slaves was necessary to achieve his and their ultimate goal of preserving the Union. And it is important to note that the Emancipation Proclamation did not in and of itself free a single slave at the time it was announced, but it did however broaden the Northern aim to include emancipation. And in benefitting by announcing the Emancipation Proclamation, President Lincoln was able to win reelection in 1864. The bloody Civil War finally came to an end in 1865 when General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox. “In April 1865, President Lincoln was assassinated by confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s theatre in Washington D.C., only just five days after the American Civil War officially ended.
All in all, Abraham Lincoln’s historical significance in this great country that is the United States of America really can be viewed as or argued as unmatched. His impact in the Civil War and the process of freeing the slaves and in effect ending slavery overall is up their as the, or one of the most important figures in combating those two events. “Never did a president enter upon office with less means at his command, outside his own strength of heart and steadiness of understanding, for inspiring confidence in the people and so winning it for himself, than Mr. Lincoln. President Lincoln’s leadership and courage helped, in a way, save this country and maintained/carried on the core beliefs, ideals, and values that makes America the greatest country going.
“A man for all times, Lincoln has become a global figure, his principals, words, and resolute leadership live on. President Abraham Lincoln, or often referred to as, Honest Abe, in my opinion, is one of the most influential and important figures/presidents in the history of the United States of America. And without him, I can honestly say with confidence that we may not be where we are today without Abraham Lincoln’s existence and leadership that helped impact this country in ways very few people have before in the history of the United States of America.
- History.com Editors. “Abraham Lincoln elected president. history.com. https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/abraham-lincoln-elected-president (accessed September 30, 2018).
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- Lowell, James R. Abraham Lincoln (Ebook). 1997. https://www.gutenburg.org/files/906/906-h/906-h.htm.
- McPherson, James M. “Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865), sixteenth president of the United States. (2000). (https://www.anb.org/view/10.1093/anb/9780198606697.001.0001/anb-9780198606697-e-0400631).
- The White House. The White House. https://whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/president/abraham-lincoln/ (accessed September 29, 2018).