This is a research on the history of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States of America. It focusses on his biography; where he was born and the place he grew up, his family and environment surrounding him as he was growing up. The paper also describes his educational ambitions to the acquirement of legal permit to practice law. The paper also describes his first political position and the rights and oppositions he presented. It will also focus on his nomination to be president and his re-election and the work he did while being president. The challenges and issues he tackled as president. The rights he fought for and his principles and integrity values he considered while making his choices or opposing to ideas and ideology.
The paper also puts into the focus the influences of Lincoln. How he influenced people during his time and in the present. It also looks at history that influenced him to be the man he became and the leader and leadership qualities he possessed.
Abraham Lincoln was born on 12 February 1809 in Kentucky, Hardin County. He was born in a family of three children, a sister and a brother who died at infancy. His sister Mary was the eldest and they lived in a log cabin near the woods. Thomas Lincoln (his father) was a respectable man in the community and was determined to be prosperous in his life. The family had land issues and had to relocate to Indiana in 1817 where they stayed in a public land as squatters. There he lived in a wild area where they had bears roaming around. He helped work in the farm and around the household (Ketchman, Pp 21). When Lincoln was 9 years old, his mother died of “tremetol”, a milk disease that comes from cows that have eaten snakeroots. However, his father married a widowed woman from Kentucky who later bonded so well with Lincoln. She encouraged him to read and acquire knowledge.
The Lincoln family later moved to Macon County in Illinois in 1830. During this relocation, Lincoln decided to move out of his family home and live a life of his own. He looked for a manual job and due to his masculine body and lean frame; he got a job of chopping wood. The wood was used for firewood and for making railroads. He later moved to New Salem (Illinois) where he got a job in as a shopkeeper, a postmaster and later the owner of a shop. During this time, he used his free time to read books and self-educate himself. In 1837, he applied for bar examinations and he passed them enabling him to practice law. He started to practice law and made numerous connections during his law years. He worked in a law firm in John T. Stuart law firm, a law firm in Springfield. He had a successful law career working with criminals, insurance companies and other law firms. Lincoln later moved on to work at the railroad station where he was their attorney (Guelzo, Pp 22).
He continued practicing law until the time; he became captain to head the civil war (The Black Hawk war of 1832). The war was between Native Americans and the Americans and Lincoln lead his team well. He was also able to make vital political connections during the war that would later serve him and the country in the years to come. After the war, Lincoln engaged into political affairs (Goodman, Pp 60). He later came to serve in the U.S House of Representatives from 1847 to 1849. It was memorable as it was a short duration for one to serve in such a post. He was a lone Whig from Illinois showing party loyalty but making few political allies. During his term in office, he talked about the Mexican-American war that contributed to his unpopularity back home. This made him go back to practice law. However, when he was a Whig representative he developed his own understandings of slavery. This opinion later, he uses to enter into opposition to slavery forming rise to Republicans that paved him a way to the White House.
Lincoln political career
Lincoln first entered into the political sphere when he was chosen to be a member of the House of Representatives. He served for two years that showed his support towards the ideologies of the Whig party members towards having government-sponsored infrastructure and protective tariff in the country. It was during this time that He comes to see slavery as impairment to the economic growth of the country. He does not express his views at this time but he greatly supports the end of the Mexican-American war of 1848 which sprung from where Texas ended at the Nueces River (Mexican claim) or the Rio Grande (U.S. claim). The war involved the two countries and Lincoln advocated for it to stop which did not sit well with his home people as they found his criticism unwanted. He also supported President Zachary Taylor into power in 1948.
In 1856, Lincoln joined the Republican Party after the congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The act allowed states to decide for themselves whether to allow slavery or abolish it. Lincoln held strong opinion towards the abolishing of slavery and this step awakened his political zeal. His views focused on the moral indignation and the economic undergrowth it presented. In 1857, he challenged the decision made by the court stating that African-Americans were not American citizens and had no inherent rights. He believed slaves believed the America’s founders intended that all men were created with certain inalienable rights. He criticized the president, the Supreme Court and the Senator Stephen Douglas saying that they were promoting slavery and that “a divided house cannot stand”. The Senator organized numerous debates which saw the two of the discuss issues affecting the country but mostly had emphasis on slavery. This earned him fame and in 1860, he won presidency gaining 180 votes out of 303 electoral votes.
President Lincoln other accomplishments included the Household Act of 1862, the Morrill Act of 1862 and the National Banking Acts of 1863 (McGinnis, Pp 12). The household act enabled people to acquire land from the East. “The Act provided that any adult citizen, or intended citizen, who had never borne arms against the U.S. government could claim 160 acres of surveyed government land.” The people who acquired the land were supposed to make it productive through farming or housing which could return earnings. The Act however was later to be known as causes of poverty and fraud and termed as ambiguous in 1789.
The Morrill Act of 1862 had the purpose of enabling creation of agricultural and mechanical colleges in every state (Eisenmann, Pp 275). The act was previously called the “An Act Donating Public Lands to the Several States and Territories which may provide Colleges for the Benefit of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts”. This Act saw the establishments of colleges such as the Massachusetts institute of technology that is still offering education to people. The other act was the National Banking Act (Zebib, Pp 251).The purposes of Banking Act were to create a system of national banks, create a single currency and create an active secondary market for Treasury securities to help finance the Civil War (for the Union’s sides).
President Lincoln led the country with integrity, compassion, kindness and wisdom (Gienapp, Pp 80). These he acquired from his humble background that became the influence to the man he grew into. With his self-education, he learnt a lot and made him a lawyer where he interacted with various people. The life as a lawyer influenced him when it came to making decisions concerning things like slavery. It was an opposition to human rights and as a lawyer and activist, he was able to defend it well. Lincoln influenced many people during his time. He led people to help him try to abolish slavery and the civil war that saw unifications of the two warring groups. He also influenced his cabinet to understand his ideas through stories he narrated focusing on the issues at hand. By doing so, he was able to make them understand what he was talking about and they eventually agreed with him. This shows how a great influencer he was among the people and his cabinet. Through his speeches and activism, he has influenced many leaders around the world. They use his speeches as a way of passing out their speeches. During the second campaign of President Obama, he is said to have quoted Abraham Lincoln and said he was the man he admired. This shows his great influence to the current era.
Abraham Lincoln proved to be the wisest president of the United States of all times. Through his humble background and sense of integrity, he led the country through the civil war and enabled the country to remain united. The tactfulness in which he handled the civil war was one to be admired; calling of volunteers without a declaration was a trait to be admired. He also lead to the abolition of slavery which was a great contributor to low economic growth. Under him, other acts were passed and they were used in the years to come. His legacy is visible until now as every leader wants to lead like him. This is seen through the presidents after him look at him as a role model, quoting him through their speeches. They all want to be able to lead like him. The presidents after him have quoted his speeches in his speeches a show of great admiration to the man. Before his ultimate assassination, he did what he saw as true and they were all wise and he has ended up being the best president the country has ever had based on his accomplishments, leadership qualities, political skills, appointments, and character/integrity. He showed great achievements and surpassed all the criteria of excellent leader.
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