Abraham lincoln essay

1329 WordsDec 23, 20086 Pages
Abraham Lincoln Although he had been born in obscurity in a log cabin, by the time Abraham Lincoln won the Republican Party’s nomination for president in 1860, he had become a household name. His vocal opposition to the expansion of slavery had placed him at the forefront of the new Republican Party. And his election won with less than 40 percent of the popular vote triggered the secession of eleven Southern slave states from the Union. Despite his opposition to slavery, Lincoln was no abolitionist. As he said himself “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and it is not either to save or destroy slavery.” At the same time, Lincoln was adamant that secession was a gross violation of the Constitution that had to be prevented by any means necessary. Lincoln was well aware that he would be tested as no president had ever been before not even Washington. His forbearance under such weight has made him one of the nation’s most beloved heroes. But during his presidency he was anything but this. Southerners saw him as a despotic tyrant, while members of his own party viewed him as a backwoods fool without the courage to take on the slavery issue directly. Many in the north were beginning to question the president’s ability to conduct the war effectively. Even after he issued the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves in the Confederate states, Lincoln himself was convinced that he would lose his bid for reelection. However, when Vicksburg fell on July 4, 1863, the Union gained control of Mississippi River, cutting the Confederacy in two. And when Lee’s forces turned back at Gettysburg, the last Confederate offense in the North, Southern momentum for winning the war was finally broken. As the Union moved closer to victory public perception of Lincoln changed. Politicians came to respect his skillful maneuvering as the public rallied behind his

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