Abraham Lincoln was a great leader and sixteenth president of the United States. During his presidential term, Lincoln led his country through many constitutional, military, changes and, significantly, Civil War. As any leader, Abraham faced many challenges in his leadership, reflected by his failures. However, this great person achieved a lot in his life, including the historic ending of slavery and promotion of economic modernization. This essay focuses on the important facts about Abraham Lincoln: his early life, his president term, and, finally, his death.
Early Life and Personal Life
Abraham Lincoln was born in the year 1809 to the father Thomas Lincoln and mother Nancy Hanks in Hardin County, Kentucky. Having lost his mother early in life, Lincoln lived with his stepmother. Lincoln had a great passion for reading, and that is how he gained so much knowledge. The Abraham's stepmother, Sarah Bush Johnson, helped him much and became close with the stepson. In later years, Abraham married Mary Todd, a widow, and stayed with her four children.
Career before Presidency
Before joining military, Lincoln was a clerk. Abraham joined the military career, Black Hawk War, in the year 1832, becoming the captain of a group of volunteers. After joining regulars under Colonel Zachary Taylor, he moved on as a private in mounted Rangers then finally joined Independent Spy Corps. Later in his career, Lincoln vied for state legislature but lost the campaign. Thereafter, he assumed Postmaster position of New Salem before his election as Whig in the Illinois legislature. Since Abraham Lincoln had studied law, the bar admitted him in 1836. Between the years 1847 and 1849, Lincoln served in the US Representative. Finally, he was elected to the state legislature in 1854, a post he dropped in option of the US Senate. In his nomination to senate, Lincoln gave his famous speech “house divided” on which he condemned slavery. He pronounced, “A house divided against itself cannot stand…half slave…” (Lincoln and Roy 56)
During their campaigns, Lincoln debated severely with his opponent, Douglas, on the issue of slavery. The two candidates then agreed on certain issues but significantly disagreed on morality of slavery. According to Lincoln, slaves deserved rights envisaged in the Declaration of Independence: life, liberty, and happiness. In contrast, Douglas argued for sovereignty and that slavery should spread further.
Presidency, Accomplishments and Major Events
Abraham became the 16th US President on 6 November 1860 after beating his contestants and leading with 40% of the popular vote together with 108 of 303 electors votes. To many scholars Abraham Lincoln is the best President, credited for holding Unions together, emancipating African-Americans from slavery and leading the North to win the Civil War. It was clear from his inauguration that Lincoln was going to protect his government as he expressed in his speech, “In…my dissatisfied fellow countrymen …protect and defend it.” By soliciting people, Lincoln was able to force Federal law and the Union. It is commendable that this great leader still believed in the impeccable significance of uniting the North and South. Lincoln ratified the Emancipation Proclamation and 13th Amendment, which freed all slaves in Southern states (Guelzo 76). Apart from preserving Union throughout the Civil War, Lincoln also passed Homestead Act allowing squatters to own land they had preoccupied for five years, hence populating the Great Plains.
While on his way to a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington, Actor John Wilkes shot Abraham Lincoln in the back of the head. The incident happened on 14 April 1865 but Lincoln succumbed to death on April 15 marking the fall of a great leader.
The world will always remember Abraham Lincoln as a revolutionary and philosophical leader who brought many changes to America.