Abraham Lincoln Essay examples

Submitted By hjohn22
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Abraham Lincoln’s Effect on Our Nation Throughout American history, there have been many prestigious people including Abraham Lincoln in particular. He defined the American experience and what it meant to be a free American with his actions. Lincoln grew up poor, however, through hard work and dedication he rose to the nation’s highest office. Some groups though believed that Abraham Lincoln was not the father of freedom. They believed he was becoming a dictator and took advantage of America in its dark times. Lincoln’s critics claimed that Lincoln wanted to destroy the Constitution. However, Lincoln’s actions are justified and helped the nation in many ways. Abraham Lincoln is an important part of American history; he was able to hold the Union together, led to the abolishment of slavery, and made an impact on moral and political character of the nation through his speeches and humble character. The Republican Party appealed to almost every non southern group. For free-soilers, the Republican Platform provided non extension of slavery, for northern manufactures, a protective tariff, for immigrants, no abridgment of rights, for the Northwest, a Pacific Railroad, and for farmers, free homesteads from the public domain. Appealing to these groups gave Lincoln more supports. The most devoted Lincoln supporters organized into marching societies, called Wide-Awake Cluds (Kelly). However, the Republican Platform did not appeal to southerners. As a result Lincoln was given the nickname “Illinois-Railsplitter” (Kennedy 425-426). Lincoln’s nomination gave the Confederacy an excuse to succeed because the South didn't want to abolish slavery. After Lincoln took the office, he warned that westward expansion needed to be stopped or slavery would take over the nation and that the nation could no longer survive if it has half-free and half-slave (Freedman). Lincoln’s warning became a famous quote: “In Your Hands, my dissatisfied countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you…You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect and defend it” (Friedel & Sidey). He knew there would be a lot of tension because of the issue of slavery and made it his goal to do anything to preserve the nation. When the South succeeded, Lincoln was hesitant on signing anything slave related because he didn't want the Border States to succeed also and give more power to the South (Kennedy 436). The Southern part of the nation was the most skilled in their military. At first, many people believed the Confederacy would beat the Union because of their highly trained officers and soldiers; Lincoln knew he would need to create an incredible plan to beat them. The plan he and Congress came up with was called the “Anaconda Plan”. This plan emphasized the blockade of Southern ports, called for the Union to advance down the Mississippi to cut the South in half, and the establishment of a federal force around the capital (Kennedy, Cohen & Bailey). Everyone knew Lincoln opposed slavery, however, he didn’t want to emphasize it during this time (Friedman 46). More support from the border states meant more support for keeping the nation together against the trained, skilled southern army. Lincoln’s goal to keep the Union together would only succeed with as much support as he could get, and with the support of the border states Lincoln knew he had good chance of winning the Civil War. Even though Lincoln didn’t press the abolition of slavery until later on in his presidency, Lincoln recognized the harshness of it and believed it would only slow the nation down. Lincoln states, “Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally” (Kelly). Abolitionist movements increased their efforts when Congress passed slavery acts, such as the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. At one point, Lincoln left politics,