Lincoln and Good Politics Essay

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Lincoln and Good Politics

Politicians today as well as yesterday must appeal to the masses to have any chance at being elected into office. Leading up to and during the election of 1860, with tensions rising between the North and South, the issue of slavery was a key to winning the election. Abraham Lincoln "had repeatedly affirmed that Congress had no constitutional right to interfere with slavery in the South" (Enduring Vision, p. 399). This modest view is what won him the Republican nomination as presidential candidate as well as a victory in the 1860 election over Democrat Stephen Douglas, who wrote the Nebraska-Kansas Act and was very adamant about popular sovereignty in the new territories concerning slavery. Due to
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He was wrong; men living in the South who supported Lincoln were not ready to fight against their neighbors, friends, and families to restore the Union. Fighting broke out on April 13, 1861 at Fort Sumter in South Carolina when Confederate rebels went on the offensive. Time would tell that this would be the beginning of the end for the Confederacy as well as the institution of slavery.
At the beginning of the war the South seemed to have a political advantage over the North in that they were all united behind one cause and had a President, Jefferson Davis, with a large amount of political experience as well as other admirable qualities. While in the North, Lincoln was dealing with a country divided in three, the Northern Democrats, the radical Republicans, and the conservative Republicans. Leadership skills proved to be one of the most important traits during these trying times rather than political experience. Lincoln was able to show his knack for good politics in that "The Radicals frequently concluded that Lincoln was a prisoner of the conservative wing of the party, whereas conservatives complained that Lincoln was too close to the Radicals" (Enduring Vision, p. 410). By doing this he was able to stay on good enough terms with both sides to speak on his own behalf and squelch any ideas of a separation within the party. In the South Davis was struggling to hold things together, some say "he would rather have led

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