Abraham Lincoln Views on Slavery

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Abraham Lincoln; Indecisively Decisive
Michelle Futo
AMH 2010-02
November 19, 2012

Former President Abraham Lincoln is accredited for creating the Emancipation Proclamation and ending slavery in the United States. Due to his actions before and during the Civil War, it seems as though Lincoln always viewed slavery as a terrible thing that must be stopped immediately. But that was not how he always felt. Lincoln’s views on slavery varied during his political career and his plan of action was mostly based off of how he personally felt about slavery. Lincoln admitted in his speeches that he knew slavery was wrong, but the steps that had to be taken to deal with slavery were never concrete in his mind. Based on Lincoln’s upbringing,
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16) Lincoln clearly stated his dislike for slavery, yet when it comes time for him to discuss what he would do to amend the problem, he does not have a definite solution. This uncertainty, I feel, comes from a desire to have political support from states in both the North and the South. He says he “agrees with the southerners” on their feelings about slavery but also agrees with the Northern thought that it is immoral. He isn’t an abolitionist who criticizes southerners because he still fully does not understand his feelings on the African American community as a whole. At one point he even suggests to “send them back to Africa.” (Johnson p. 17) I believe that while Lincoln is reestablishing his political career in 1854, his desire for vast political support is still clouding his view on how to amend the problem of slavery.
The longer Lincoln was involved in politics, the more publicity and support he gained. After he campaigned against Douglas for the Senate, he wrote campaign biography to help spread awareness of his ideals. He then traveled to New York in the early 1860’s to give speeches in Manhattan. Northerners took a serious liking to Lincoln and he became a viable Republican candidate for the northeast. As Lincoln’s support grew, so did his knowledge of the nation and the political system. He realized that slavery was
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