During the Abraham Lincoln’s short time as president, he managed not only to save a nation deeply divided and at war with itself, but to solidify the United States of America as a nation dedicated to the progress of civil rights. Years after his death, he was awarded the title of ‘The Great Emancipator.’ In this paper, I will examine many different aspects of Lincoln’s presidency in order to come to a conclusion: whether this title bestowed unto Lincoln was deserved, or not. In order to fully understand Lincoln, it is necessary to understand the motives that drove this man to action. While some of his intentions may not have been for the welfare of slaves, but for the preservation of the Union, the actions still stand. Abraham Lincoln, though motivated by his devotion to his nation, made the first blows against the institution of slavery and rightfully earned his title of ‘The Great Emancipator.’
In a speech that Lincoln gave prior to his presidency, we can see how ambiguous his stance on slavery truly was. This speech, known as the ‘House Divided’ speech, was given on the 16th of June, 1858, and outlined his beliefs regarding secession, but did not solidify the abolition of slavery as his main goal. Lincoln states that the nation “could not endure, permanently half slave and half free,” and that the slavery will either cease to exist, or will encompass all states lawfully (Lincoln). At this point in his life, Lincoln’s primary concern is clearly with the preservation of the nation.
Contrary to a common modern misconception, Lincoln did not believe that Negroes were equal to white men in regards to intellect or morals. In his fourth debate in Charleston, Illinois, he is direct...
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...ator.’ Rather than to view Lincoln as a man who sought emancipation as a primary goal, which is misleading, we should remember him as a man who rose above the prevailing prejudices of his time to cast away a morally corrupt institution
Foner, Eric. The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.
New York: W. W. Norton &, 2010. Print.
Lincoln, Abraham. Lincoln's 'House Divided' Speech. The Annals of America.
Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1968. N. pag. Print.
Lincoln, Abraham, and Terence Ball. Abraham Lincoln: Political Writings and Speeches.
NewYork: Cambridge UP, 2013. Print.
Lincoln, Abraham, and William H. Seward. "Emancipation Proclamation." National Archives and
Records Administration. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.
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