Abraham Lincoln Essay

Submitted By hflake
Words: 1539
Pages: 7

The movie Lincoln is an American historic film, made in 2012, that covers the final four months of Lincoln’s life in politics. It shines a light on the Presidents effort to have the thirteenth amendment to the United States Constitution passed by the United States House of Representatives. This movie was highly relatable to what we have been learning and class. The movie contains instructional value, not only in history, but also in general politics. It shows the art of presidency along with the practice of politics. Although Lincoln does a great job of portraying history, it is not one hundred percent accurate. Most of the film is accurate with history although it is dramatized for a better viewing experience. As far as politics go though it does an amazing job of showing how the court system worked in the time of 1865. The main focus of the film is to show, from Lincoln’s perspective, the process and steps he had to take in order to get this Amendment passed. The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution outlaws slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime.
Daniel Day Lewis is Abraham Lincoln in the movie. This was a good choice of character for Lincoln because he matched the historic representation of Abraham Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln is known to be tall with an awkward slouched posture and in the movie Lincoln was greatly depicted that way.
The movie begins 1865. Everyone was expecting the war to end within a month, which concerned Lincoln with regards to the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment. He was concerned that the courts would discard the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and the returning slave states would then defeat the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment regarding slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation was an order that was issued to all sections of the Executive Branch. It proclaimed all those enslaved in Confederate territory to be forever free, and ordered the Army (and all segments of the Executive branch) to treat as free all those enslaved in ten states that were still in rebellion. This Proclamation did not defeat slavery, it only postponed it until the war ended and the Thirteenth Amendment was passed. In class we talked about what powers the president has and does not have. We also talked about the steps it takes to pass a law. The Emancipation Proclamation was not a law and therefor, just as we learned in class, it did not need to be passed by congress because it was an order based of the presidents constitutional authority as a commander and chief. Lincoln wanted to pass the Thirteenth Amendment before January so he could be sure that the slaves that were freed because of the Emancipation Proclamation were not re-enslaved when the war ended. In the movie we can see Lincolns fear of the Amendment not being passed soon and because of the postponing of the passing of the Amendment, he feared it would not be passed. Lincoln along with several radicals during this time feared that they would also not be able to gain enough votes. At this point in the movie we can clearly relate what we learned in class about passing an amendment to the problem of not having enough votes. We learned in class that in article V its says in order to pass an amendment we need to have 2/3 of each house and senate to approve the proposal and send it to the states for a vote. After it is sent to the state for a vote then you need to have ¾ of the states to affirm the amendment and in the movie they feared that would not happen. They needed support from the Republicans on the Border States to be assured and even then they still needed several Democratic votes. In the movie we see that Lincolns advisors did not agree with his plan and suggested that he wait to try to pass the amendment. They continuously had long conversations about postponing the amendment in Lincoln’s office, although Lincoln stood strong to passing the Amendment before the war ended.

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