Essay on Abraham Lincoln: America’s First Commander-in-Chief

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Abraham Lincoln is best remembered as being America’s first war president. In the nineteenth century, the American presidency had seen nothing like the Civil War, and war was upon Lincoln before he or anyone else considered how the position of Commander-in-Chief fit into the Constitution. This resulted in an unorganized thought process and policy. Brian Dirck, author of the article “Lincoln as Commander in Chief,” writes:
He did not have the luxury of creating intellectually cohesive, internally consistent methods in the midst of the very messy business of civil war. Driven by circumstances and his own background to more or less improvise an approach to presidential warmaking [sic], Lincoln was above all else pragmatic and realistic,
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Lincoln had direct experience with the effects of forced labor. He wanted to have pride in his country, and “slavery degraded manual labor by equating it with bondage” (McPherson, Abraham Lincoln 24). Manual labor is an essential part of the economy, and Lincoln wanted all Americans to be proud of their places in society because he saw the sociological and economical benefits of such a system. So Lincoln was certainly anti-slavery, and he took a political position against slavery as early as his congressional term from 1847 to 1849 (McPherson, Abraham Lincoln 13-14). Another facet of Lincoln’s character is demonstrated by his moderate political policy. Steven Kautz writes, “Patriotism and the love of justice are . . . perhaps the great passions of republican politics. But moderation is ugly to the patriot. . . Lincoln was a moderate” (398). In a government previously and necessarily dominated mostly by patriots, Lincoln stood out as a moderate politician by rule of his quite personality. Kautz explains further, “Patriotism is a kind of love; but love is blind and love is foolish” (399). Some of Lincoln’s success as a leader can be attributed to his quite moderation. He took his time to settle matters wisely, and in a time of internal conflict in the States moderation proved to be a good policy over blunt patriotism. As president-elect, Lincoln

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