Abraham Lincoln: The Great Emancipation Essay

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Abraham Lincoln: The Great Emancipator During the Abraham Lincoln’s short time as president, he managed not only to save a nation deeply divided and at war with itself, but to solidify the United States of America as a nation dedicated to the progress of civil rights. Years after his death, he was awarded the title of ‘The Great Emancipator.’ In this paper, I will examine many different aspects of Lincoln’s presidency in order to come to a conclusion: whether this title bestowed unto Lincoln was deserved, or not. In order to fully understand Lincoln, it is necessary to understand the motives that drove this man to action. While some of his intentions may not have been for the welfare of slaves, but for the preservation of the Union, …show more content…
Even though he naively believed that white men were the supreme race, he was staunchly against slavery as an institution and felt that the Declaration of Independence included black persons. In the same debate, Lincoln goes on to state that he “[does] not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the Negro should be denied every thing” (Lincoln). He believed that ‘the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,’ as outlined in the Declaration of Independence, applies to all men, regardless of their color, ethnicity, or culture. This may be attributed to the fact that he had not had many encounters with Black slaves until when he was in his late teens, where it had a profound impact on him (Foner 8).
Lincoln held firm to the idea that the United States’ defining quality was its uniquely democratic government. The Constitution was cherished by Lincoln, and it was for the preservation of this document that Lincoln was willing to carry out whatever task necessary. However, Lincoln’s interpretation of the Constitution legitimized the ownership of slaves, and he was not willing to sidestep the constitution unless it became absolutely necessary to do so (as a war measure). Only after the United States had been immutably split and hundreds of thousands of lives had been lost did Lincoln finally take decisive action.
In Lincoln’s