Lincoln’s presidency was unique, for it was the only one that endured a Civil War that tore and nearly ruptured the fabric that bound the states together. The war focused his administration on the singular goal to preserve the Union. This central mission fostered several tasks to ensure Northern victory, such as preventing the South from gaining foreign recognition, keeping the Border States in the Union, and stabilizing leadership within the Union army. Despite the prevailing dogma that overwhelmed the Southerners’ view, Lincoln’s primary goal was not to abolish slavery, but to preserve the Union. However, it turned out that the only way to save the Union was to expunge slavery. Lincoln succeeded in limiting the depth of the rift between the North and South, and rejoining the two sides.
It would have been easy for President Lincoln to appoint members to his cabinet that agreed with him through every perilous decision. Lincoln, however, had the fortitude to choose men who not only disagreed with him on many pressing issues, but also greatly disrespected him. He knew that these men would giv...
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...e a cruel tragedy in North America. Lincoln helped define the United States as a nation that does not accept human and moral atrocities. This was the same United States that fought the Nazis in WWII using black soldiers to help defeat a nation consumed by racism and human oppression. Lincoln set an important precedent: different standards apply to presidential power during times of peace versus those of crisis. President Barack Obama has made several references to Lincoln and is trying to mirror Lincoln’s methods. The legacy of Lincoln shines like a guiding light on the path of American History.
Goodwin, Doris Kearns. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.
London: Penguin, 2009.
White, Jonathan W. "Canvassing the Troops: the Federal Government and the Soldiers'
Right to Vote." Civil War History. 50.3 (2004): 291-317. Print.
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