Example Of The Impact Of Abraham Lincoln's Presidency Research Paper
The place and role of the statesman in history are determined by his beneficial activities to the masses. It determines by time, by impartial and objective judge. More than a hundred years separate modern times from that era, when Abraham Lincoln lived and worked. Looking back now, it would be fair to say that Lincoln was marked by the greatest progressive conquest of the American people. It was the destruction of slavery, which have opened a new era in the development of the country.
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States and one of the most prominent figures in the American history. His memory is immortalized in a majestic Memorial in Washington, in numerous monuments, names of cities and streets. Life path of Lincoln and his impact on the destiny of the United States is extremely significant for today’s democracy in America. The purpose of the essay is to identify the specificity of a political career of the politician and its influence on the development of America and American society. Research of the period of formation of Lincoln as an individual, along with the period of his presidency, is very important, as it allows to receive the most complete understanding of the causes and events that influenced his fate, conditions in which his views rooted and developed.
Becoming a President.
Abraham Lincoln was born on 12 of February 1809, in Curtains, which is in Kentucky. His parents as successors of the settlers lived in poverty, so he used to work hard since his childhood. In 1816, his family moved to the southern part of the state of Indiana. It was majorly anti-slavery region. There were also neighbors from northern states with deep sympathy for the Black slavers. All they influenced Lincoln’s political views. In 1831, he first took part in the vote for a candidate in Congress, Henry Clay. He had repeatedly said that he considered him his spiritual and ideological teacher. Lincoln was truthfulness, honesty and directness in all cases. Everybody turned to him for help, mediation and advice. In Indiana, Lincoln began his career of a lawyer and simultaneously started his political path. He first won during the elections to the legislature of Illinois.
Abolition of Slavery.
When Lincoln began his political career, it was a period of movement of slaves for their rights. Evaluation of the Lincoln’s perceptions of the issue of slavery had a crucial importance, because the attitude toward slavery was at the time the most important criterion in the evaluation of any political figure. His speech in the Assembly of Illinois was the time Lincoln firstly opposed slavery in public. He wrote:
"Slavery is evil, but the fight against slavery is not a lesser evil, it is against the Constitution and the rights of states”.
Lincoln with a particular desire continued his attorney career and took the cases in which he defended the victims of harassment. Such cases often conducted without any remuneration. In connection with the widespread anti-Negro sentiments many lawyers refused to advocate for Blacks at that time. Those lawyers who supported Negros not only risked his reputation, but as a general rule, could not count on a decent reward, because Blacks were not able to pay large legal costs. Lincoln was one of the few lawyers who have not refused to take such cases. His impeccable honest, good experience as a lawyer, his willingness to help anyone who asks for it, the active support of economic and political requirements the state's population have contributed to the rapid growth of Lincoln’s authority.
Like most of the Whigs, Lincoln stood for the abolition of slavery. This position, being a Congressman, was the most significant in his career. In 1849, he introduced a Bill in Congress to abolish slavery in the District of Colombia. According to it, he proposed two conditions: compensation to slaveholders from the federal reserves and a gradual elimination of slavery. Moderation, conservative views of Lincoln on the question of the release of the slaves convincingly demonstrated in this document. The Lincoln’s speech in Peoria had a particular importance. In October 1854, Lincoln fully outlined his views on slavery. Lincoln said:
“I hate slavery because slavery itself is monstrously unfair. Slavery is a necessary evil, and the only thing you can do in order not to exacerbate the evil is to prevent expansion of slavery”.
But Lincoln still had not put the question of conscious decision to destroy slavery.
In the late 1850’s, thanks to a public debate with Douglas, an image of Lincoln, as a representative of Republicans, was formed. He was a stubborn fighter against the expansion of slavery in the territories, a supporter of the progressive abolitionism. In many ways exactly this image, superimposed on the image of a simple man who helped people, in the end, gained victory during the electoral campaign of 1860. As a President, Lincoln made an unsuccessful attempt to avert armed conflict between North and South. After the conflict began, the Lincoln’s opinion of the best solution of the problem changed from progressive means towards its immediate abolition.
A.Lincoln. The Civil War.
The problem of free lands and elimination of slavery in the South was the main factor of the conflict, but there were strong economic reasons as well. By the beginning of the 19th century there had been 22 states in America and a half of them supported slavery. The conflicts continued among the slaveholders of the South and the bourgeoisie of the North, especially after the Congress took decisions according to the system that ought to be established in new adopted states.
In 1860, Lincoln was elected the sixteenth President of the United States. After his victory, southern states realized all the difficulty of their situation. The existence of slavery was a ground element of their economic system. In a result eleven slave states left the Union. The same year, the creation of a new independent political organization occurred. It was named the Confederation of States. The Constitution was adopted and established a provisional Government with an elected president. Therefore, the South with slavery and agriculture and industrial North stood out in two separate economic regions. The Northern states refused to use the system of slavery at the beginning of the 19th century, while in the South, it flourished. There were four millions of slaves. The Southern planters needed extensive methods to get new fertile lands in the West. But North American bourgeoisie, farmers and settlers also needed new lands.
Lincoln's official position was adamant: secession is a violation of the laws of the country, the unity of the Union should be restored. In the inauguration speech in 1861, Lincoln still thought to settle the conflict with slave owners peacefully. He underlined his desire to ignore slavery in the states that possessed it already. He assured the southern owners that they would keep their property. He also promised that the North would comply strictly with the law on extradition of runaway slaves.
However, as we know from the history, the war between Union and Confederation had place in 1861. The South defended the right of self-rule in the so-called Civil War. Victory of the Union in the conflict caused a political and economic fragmentation of states, democratic solution of the planters questions in the West, neglect from slavery, and established the future ways of development of the United States. The victory of the North provided possibility to trade on unified national market for all citizens. The conflict was the most important step in the bourgeois-democratic revolution. It caused a lot of social changes and prepared the ground for Reconstruction of the southern states.
The Civil War had a great importance for the history. The main role in its beginning played Lincoln. Due to his skills and firm will the unity of the states was saved. The most important step to it was the abolishment of slavery. Those events made up contemporary America and turned it to be the most developed country in the world with firm basics of the human rights and freedoms.
A First Step to Receive Civil Rights.
On the issue of the abolition or protection of slavery, Lincoln largely depended on the continuing need to take into account the possible reaction in the country. He was more inclined to the so-called project of colonization of the south. It presupposed the deportation of Negroes with their consent in Latin America and in Africa. The President did not want to grant Black population rights of white citizens after the abolition of slavery. It was very strong decision to give them the right to vote, because it would be at that time supported by only a small part of Americans. On January 1, 1863 Lincoln signed the Proclamation for the release of slaves. In a result four millions of slaves were released. It was an important reason for the fracture of the hostilities in favor of free states. The Act signified the formal change of the objectives of the war. From that day the fight went, not only for the restoration of the Union, but also for the destruction of slavery. The proclamation did not provide freed slaves of civil and political rights, the release was only a military necessity. The publication of the proclamation of the release, sharply increased the number of rebelled slaves. It took a huge extent. Slavery in the loyal border states was virtually destroyed even before the end of the Civil War.
In his last public speech in April 1865, Lincoln expressed the wish that seceded from the Union states would receive the condescending attitude of the Government. Moreover, Lincoln called for voting rights to former slaves. Lincoln, realized the significance of the decision on the issue of slavery. He was able to cope with his racial prejudices, and took the necessary action to eliminate the regime of slavery in the United States at a time when it was needed. This event made the name of Lincoln famous, because it was the most important thing in the democratic future of America. Adherents of the southern party could not come to terms with the celebration of the North. On 14th of April in Washington during the performance in the theatre of Ford in the presidential lodge Lincoln was shot; on the morning of April 15, 1865, Abraham Lincoln died.
It is daring to say that Lincoln, despite the initially slow start, but having a thirst for knowledge and self-improvement, at an early stage in its political career has achieved impressive results. It was during this period that began to take shape his views, including the approach to the institution of slavery, which has contributed to the Lincoln’s political career. It is worth mentioning that the labor past of Lincoln left a significant trace on his political views. He always kept hot sympathy for the people of labor and defended their interests. Despite the fact that Lincoln grew up in a poor family, has experienced all sorts of deprivation, being engaged in serious work, due to the natural talent and great work, he reached a high social status. Even being the President of the United States, he stood on the principles of an ordinary American he used to be. His presidency is marked by the victory of the United States in the war and the liberation of slaves. These are the main events in the American history, which represented Lincoln’s firm desire to save the United States together and provide freedom for Black population of America.
Carwardine, Richard. "The Limits of Power: From President - Elect to War President, 1860-61." In Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006.
Foner, Eric. Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877. New York: Harper & Row, 1988.
Gienapp, William E. Abraham Lincoln and Civil War America: A Biography. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
Guelzo, Allen C. Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004.
Williams, David. A People's History of the Civil War: Struggles for the Meaning of Freedom. New York: The New Press, 2005.
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