Abraham Lincoln Essay Research Paper Abraham LincolnWhen

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Abraham Lincoln Essay, Research Paper Abraham Lincoln When people are asked to identify which president they feel had the greatest impact on our history, Lincoln’s name consistently comes up. But why? Lincoln had little formal education and did not serve in public office but for brief periods prior to becoming president. In short, based on his background, Lincoln would not seem to be someone likely to succeed as President. Yet his innate wisdom and humanity made him one of the greatest of the nation’s Chief Executives. He was an exceptional administrator, and an admirable commander in chief who did a masterful job of articulating the moral goals of the war for he strongly believed in the preservation of one nation indivisible. (The Civil War, pgs. 14-16) Lincoln’s

primary concern was for the preservation of the union. Abraham Lincoln, “Honest Abe” came to Washington as a newly elected President early in 1861. In an attempt to allay southern fears that his accession to office signaled a Republican determination to abolish slavery, he quoted from a previous speech he had made: “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the United States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” He then warned that he did not recognize the secession from the union of the southern states: “…no State, upon its own mere motion can lawfully get out of the union…resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void…acts of violence within any

State or States against the authority of the United States are insurrectionary or revolutionary….I therefore consider that in view of the Constitution and the laws, the Union is unbroken, and to the extent of my ability I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States. Doing this I deem to be only a simple duty on my part, and I shall perform it so far as practicable unless my rightful authoritative manner direct the contrary. I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as the declared purpose of the Union that it will constitutionally defend and maintain itself….In doing this there needs to be no bloodshed or violence, and there shall be none unless it be forced upon the

national authority….In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war….We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection….” (The American Presidents, pg. 137-138) In his famous “House Divided” speech, which launched his campaign for the Senate in 1858, Abraham Lincoln declared that “…a house divided against itself cannot stand….I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.” (Images of the Civil War, pg 18) In his inaugural address Abraham Lincoln also spoke of peace and appealed to the American nationalism of Southerners. Lincoln’s insistence on maintaining the Union was as firm as Davis’s

insistence on separation. “The central idea pervading this struggle,” said Lincoln in 1861, “is the necessity is upon us, of proving that popular government is not an absurdity. We must settle this question now, whether in a free government the minority have the right to break up the government whenever they choose. If we fail it will go far to prove the incapability of the people to govern themselves.” (Images of the Civil War, pg 25) Lincoln regarded the fate of the world democracy as the central issue of the Civil War. Lincoln, a self-educated man, displayed the courage and strength to take charge Lincoln came to power at a unique time, with a unique opportunity to decide the fate of the nation–and take charge he did. He took the oath of office swearing to