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Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States, was brought up from a humble background. He is considered a great man after he led his country at a time it was facing a lot of problems constitutionally, morally and in the military (i.e. Civil War). He advocated for humanity and hated slavery. This made him to move a bill to amend the constitution to permanently end slavery (Sandage, 2012). He was later assassinated in April 1865 a time when his services were seriously required by the country.
Abraham Lincoln was born on 12th February 1809 in a log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky to Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks Lincoln (bio, 2012). He was the second born in a family of three. His elder sister and younger brother died when they were very young. Due to land dispute, they had no choice but to move from Kentucky to Perry County where they lived as squatters until his father was able to buy land. His mother died at the age of thirty four when he was nine years old. His father later married Sarah Bush Johnston, a widow, who loved Abraham very much. Abraham was encouraged by his parents to read. Though there were few reading materials in Indiana, he could walk for miles to borrow them (bio, 2012). When he was 21, their family moved to Macon County, Illinois. At this stage, he decided to leave the family and live on his own. He wielded and split firewood for a living. He then moved to the county of New Salem, Illinois where he worked at a shop, postmaster, and then general store owner (bio, 2012). His story telling skills made him known by locals and chosen as a captain in the war that broke in 1832 between Native Americans and United States. This gave him a chance to connect politically.
The end of Black Hawk War marked the beginning of Abraham Lincoln’s political career. He became a member of the Whig Party and after an election in 1834, became a member of the Illinois State Legislature. This position made him give his thoughts on slavery. He saw slavery as an obstacle to the development of his country’s economy. He then decided to take a carrier in Law. After completion of his studies, he shifted to Springfield, Illinois where he practiced in the John T, Stuart law firm. It was at this time when he met and became lovers with Anne Rutledge. Ann, before they could engage, died of typhoid. Her death left Lincoln in deep sorrow.
Abraham Lincoln was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1847 and only served one term up to 1849. During this period, he seriously opposed the Mexican-American war which was taking place at that time. This reduced his fame in his home area and he could not run for the same position the following election. He supported Zachary Taylor’s presidency bid in 1848. He opted to go back to his previous law job at Springfield. He became the Lawyer of Central Railroad Company in which he won many cases. This saw him attract many clients including banks, production firms, and insurance companies.
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Lincoln joined the Republican Party in 1856 after the senate passes a law that allowed citizens to vote on whether they allow slavery or not. The law, which was strongly opposed in Kansas and Illinois, gave Republican Party the opportunity to shine. At the same time, the Supreme Court made a ruling that encouraged slavery. The ruling declared that African Americans were not citizens of the United States and had no rights. Lincoln believed that all human beings were created by God and has rights and was strongly against the ruling. This made him decide to challenge Senator Stephen Douglas who was sitting at that time. In one of his speeches, Lincoln highly criticized the decision made by the Supreme Court. He also talked against the then president of the United States, President Buchanan, for his support in promoting slavery. Douglas and Lincoln extensively campaigned for the senator post with intensive debate on slavery. Their campaign was highly publicized in newspapers since it attracted public attention. Though Douglas was eventually reelected in the post, Lincoln’s ideologies in the campaigns lifted him into the national politics.
Political analysts and supporters in Illinois advised Lincoln to run for presidency and started campaigning for him in 1860. He defeated well known politicians like William Seward of New York and Salmon Chase of Ohio in the nominations held on eighteenth May in Chicago at the Republican National Convention. This was due to his promise to end slavery and improve the county’s infrastructure. During the general election, Lincoln faced his political rival, Stephen Douglas, and two other candidates; John C. Breckiniridge of the Northern Democrats, and John Bell of the Constitution party. He won the election by gathering one hundred and eighty out of the three hundred and three votes cast.
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