President Abraham Lincoln and Slavery

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While Abraham Lincoln detested slavery and personally believed that the coloured people of America deserved full legal status, he was a politician and his priority was always keeping America unified. Lincoln abhorred slavery, and thought it a great evil both morally and from the standpoint of what it had done to the country; he considered it the biggest problem with America. While he did believe that African Americans were an inferior race and did not want to grant them full equality, he was absolutely determined that the constitution should apply to them just as much as any white citizen of America. In his time as a senator and Presidential nominee, and for a while after becoming President, his priority was simply to stop the spread of slavery and keep it in its current boundaries. Over the long term Lincoln did not believe the two races could live together and as a Senator considered shipping African Americans to Liberia, which he abandoned after realizing it was extremely impractical and a death sentence to those it was supposed to free. After becoming President Lincoln considered the much closer, safer, and economically viable Central America, but eventually dropped it as freed slaves were unresponsive. While starting his first term as President he attempted to stop the secession of the southern states and ameliorate the citizens by insisting slavery would be allowed to remain as it had been before, prioritizing the Union over the slaves. Later in his first term, and into his early second, Lincoln proposed a compensated emancipation system , believing that if the states that had seceded realized others would not join the Confederacy they would be more inclined to rejoin the Union. After all other solutions failed to gain a... ... middle of paper ... ...hael P. Johnson (Boston: Bedford Books, 2011) Abraham Lincoln, Cabinet Meeting (September 22, 1862), in Abraham Lincoln, Slavery, and the Civil war, Ed. Michael P. Johnson (Boston: Bedford Books, 2011) Abraham Lincoln, Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation (September 22, 1862), in Abraham Lincoln, Slavery, and the Civil war, Ed. Michael P. Johnson (Boston: Bedford Books, 2011) Abraham Lincoln, Emancipation Proclamation (January 1, 1863), in Abraham Lincoln, Slavery, and the Civil war, Ed. Michael P. Johnson (Boston: Bedford Books, 2011) Abraham Lincoln, Letter to Salmon P. Chase (September 2, 1863), in Abraham Lincoln, Slavery, and the Civil war, Ed. Michael P. Johnson (Boston: Bedford Books, 2011) Abraham Lincoln, Letter to Ulysses S. Grant (August 9, 1863), in Abraham Lincoln, Slavery, and the Civil war, Ed. Michael P. Johnson (Boston: Bedford Books, 2011)

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