Essay America After Abraham Lincoln

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America After Abraham Lincoln 1

Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States, has undoubtedly left a distinguished mark upon American history. The five years he served in office were certainly some of the most violent and dangerous years of the Republic. From the secession of South Carolina to the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Courthouse, Lincoln’s America faced numerous problems and situations that required a strong leader. In addition, the entire fabric of American democracy and liberalism was attacked. However, in what light must Lincoln be presented? Was Lincoln a simple man, whose development from defender of slavery to its moral opposition can be seen?

In short, no. Lincoln is not a simple
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The United States was not far behind – in fact, public opinion can be considered one of the reasons that the Southern states seceded from the rest of the Union. Lincoln, between 1861 and 1863, had turned the Civil War into a moral question. Slavery was evil, and Lincoln would argue that the North was sent by God to deliver the southern slaves to freedom. By 1863, Lincoln called for a “new birth of freedom” for a nation that was “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”2 In 1865, Lincoln moves further, turning the Civil War almost into the epic good versus evil battle described by the Bible. God had willed that slavery would end, and to achieve that purpose he sent Abraham Lincoln and the other men of the Union to implement his will upon the South. Lincoln, in his 1865 Inaugural Address, basically argues that although the South and North both pray for the same God, the South does not understand what God wills. The South, stuck in its ignorant ways, has perverted the word of God to allow for the enforcement of slavery. Lincoln argues that it is the duty of the North to stand “with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right” and to always move forward

1 Works used to develop the ideas in the paper are contained in the works cited that follows this paper.

2 Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, 19 November 1863. “Gettysburg
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