“Abraham Lincoln (February 12 1809 – April 15 1865)
“Abraham Lincoln (February 12 1809 – April 15 1865) was an American politician. He was the 16th President of the United States. He was president from 1861 to 1865, during the American Civil War. ..Lincoln has been remembered as the “Great Emancipator” because he worked to end slavery in the United States”(Wikipedia).
Lincoln is the most remember president of the United States of America because of his views on many thing. As the 16th president, he is also known as the most influential to have ever been elected into the United States office Abraham Lincoln, a self-taught lawyer, legislator and vocal opponent of slavery, was elected 16th president of the United States in November 1860, shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War. Lincoln proved to be a military strategist and a great leader: His Emancipation Proclamation paved the way for slavery’s abolition, while his Gettysburg Address stands as one of the most famous pieces of American history(history). He lived a short life of 56 years, after being born on February 12, 1809 born to Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks Lincoln. He was then elected into office, becoming the first Republican president at the age of 51 on March 4, 1861, and winning with over 40% of the popular vote “For Lincoln, electoral successes had to be taken hand-in-hand with failures. Since losing his first race for the Illinois General Assembly in 1832 he had gone on to lose a race for the U.S. Congress, two races for the U.S. Senate, and one campaign for a vice-presidential nomination.
His ambition was unchecked, however, and by 1858 he was a national player in the new Republican Party and perhaps its most prominent intellectual voice. He won the 1860 Republican presidential nomination after a tough battle at the national convention, defeating notable opponents William H. Seward, Edward Bates, and Salmon P. Chase, before wading into the four-way general election against Democrat Stephen Douglas, Southern Democrat John Breckinridge, and Constitutional Unionist John Bell. Lincoln and Douglas, rivals from the Lincoln-Douglas senatorial debates of 1858, squared off in the north while Breckinridge and Bell divided the southern states between them. In the end the demographic dominance of the Republican Party gave Lincoln a victory, even though he lost every single southern state by a large margin. By the time he was inaugurated on March 4, 1861, seven southern states had seceded”(battlefield). He upheld the office position until he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth “On the evening of April 14, 1865, while attending a special performance of the comedy, “Our American Cousin,” President Abraham Lincoln was shot.
Accompanying him at Ford’s Theatre that night were his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, a twenty-eight year-old officer named Major Henry R. Rathbone, and Rathbone’s fiancée, Clara Harris. After the play was in progress, a figure with a drawn derringer pistol stepped into the presidential box, aimed, and fired. The president slumped forward. The assassin, John Wilkes Booth, dropped the pistol and waved a dagger. Rathbone lunged at him, and though slashed in the arm, forced the killer to the railing. Booth leapt from the balcony and caught the spur of his left boot on a flag draped over the rail, and broke a bone in his leg on landing. Though injured, he rushed out the back door, and disappeared into the night on horseback”(The Library of Congress). Abraham Lincoln throughout the Civil War preserved the Union, modernized the economy, gave strength to the federal government, and issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which was the beginning to freeing the slaves.
The Civil War was one of America’s lowest points in history, but winning this war was a major key in Lincoln’s success as president. Although by deciding to fight this war Lincoln separated the nation, he also did everything in his power to win and bring the everybody in nation back together as one. When nobody else had, the faith needed to win the war, Lincoln was there to tell everyone it was possible. By doing this he showed a true sign of leadership and integrity. Not only did Lincoln show his love for America by winning the Civil War, he showed it by presenting his foreign policy. His foreign policy was so successful that it convinced the other nations that the North’s cause for fighting was solely based off the idea of emancipation, and although emancipation seemed to be known as “the impossible” of the time, they worked together to win the war against the South, and take back the freedom for African Americans.
This shows what was best for the nation because Lincoln knew that if they won this war, it wouldn’t only affect America it would also affect people from around the world, and give them hope for the better. One way he contributed to this was passing the Emancipation Proclamation “On January 1, 1863, Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation, reshaping the cause of the Civil War from saving the Union to abolishing slavery. The Union Army’s first year and a half of battlefield defeats made it difficult to keep up morale and support strong for a reunification of the nation. And the Union victory at Antietam on September 22, 1862, while by no means conclusive, was hopeful, giving Lincoln confidence to officially change the goals of the war”(Biography).
The other thing was Abraham Lincoln was also a huge supporter in the 13th Amendment. The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1865 in the aftermath of the Civil War, abolished slavery in the United States. The 13th Amendment states: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction”(History). The Emancipation Proclamation was a great start to freeing the slaves, and the 13th Amendment was the end to legal slavery. Although the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t free all of the slaves, Lincoln was also a major supporter in the 13th Amendment; sadly, he was assassinated just months before the passing of the amendment. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery entirely in all parts of the United States, and was meant to make all of America free.
Abraham Lincoln gave the most memorable speeches that impacted the greatest number of people. The Gettysburg Address was one of Lincoln’s best speech that was read “On November 19, 1863, Lincoln delivered what would become his most famous speech and one of the most important speeches in American history, the Gettysburg Address. Addressing a crowd of around 15,000 people, Lincoln delivered his 272-word speech at one of the bloodiest battlefields of the Civil War, the National Cemetery of Gettysburg, in Pennsylvania.
The Civil War, Lincoln said, was the ultimate test of the preservation of the Union created in 1776, and the dead at Gettysburg fought to uphold this cause. Lincoln evoked the Declaration of Independence, saying it was up to the living to ensure that the “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth,” and this Union was “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” A common interpretation was that the President was expanding the cause of the Civil War from simply reunifying the Union to also fighting for equality and abolishing slavery”(Biology)
In this speech Lincoln stated, in summary, that he was grateful for all the people that fought in the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War, and that him, along with the rest of America were in mourning of all the lives lost in this battle. Throughout this speech Lincoln reminded everyone what these soldiers were fighting for, freedom, national unity, and for everyone to be treated equally. These three topics were what Lincoln’s presidency was based off of; his main focus was freedom, and equality for everyone residing in the United States of America.
Abraham Lincoln also modernized the economy during the war by passing a bill that chartered the first transcontinental railroad. “The transcontinental railroad wasn’t a new idea Visionaries first began talking about a route to the Pacific in the 1830s. Indeed, by the time Lincoln took office in 1861, many Americans believed that expanding the railroad was absolutely necessary. Congress had tried to make it happen and failed. There was so much to argue about Who would pay for it, and who would build it? And where would it begin and end? Many leaders felt that the time for such a massive undertaking was not in the middle of an expensive Civil War. But the president was determined. At the same convention where Lincoln was nominated, the Republicans pledged to stop the spread of slavery, to establish daily mail service and to build a transcontinental railroad. In Lincoln’s mind, the railroad was part of the Civil War effort.
The new line would support communities and military outposts on the frontier. It would give settlers safe and dependable passage west. And most importantly, it would tie new states California and Oregon to the rest of the country. These states were rich with natural resources and trade potential, and their place on the flag was far from secure. Little more than a decade had passed since Oregon was claimed by Great Britain and California was part of Mexico. Even after becoming a state, California had its own secessionist movement. A transcontinental railroad, Lincoln hoped, would bring the entire nation closer together – would make Americans across the continent feel like one people”(Uppr). The railroad created the opportunity to advance troops, people and connect the United States, and the world.
By leading America through their Civil War Lincoln showed true integrity, and guidance for the nation. Comparing Lincoln’s strong leadership to others, it shows how good of a president he was and how no other can compare. Abraham Lincoln is truly the best president, by maintaining the Union during America’s lowest point in history.