By the late 1800s, tensions in America had led to a split between the Northern and Southern states. During this period, the North became more industrialized as the South more agricultural. The two sides developed differing economies and ideas. By April 14, 1861, at Fort Sumter, the tensions came to a head as the American Civil War began. Strategically guiding the nation through this time of division and considered one of the greatest presidents in American history, Abraham Lincoln left a legacy that lives on in America today due to his preservation of the Union, clash with slavery, and steadfast leadership in times of crisis.
Although Abraham Lincoln served the nation over a century and a half ago, his adamant belief in the preservation of the Union strongly influenced the development of the United States of America. In 1860, when Lincoln was inaugurated as president, the South had already claimed secession from the Union. Citing irreconcilable differences between the two regions, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and other states felt the need to leave the Union and form their own Confederacy between 1861 and 1864. In his inaugural speech, President Lincoln announced his supreme goal of maintaining and perfecting a perpetual Union. His agreement to allow slavery where it already existed and to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act demonstrated his ability, as a leader, to make compromises for the benefit of the nation. Seeking to avoid war, Lincoln invited the Southern states to rethink their decisions and stay in the Union. He never acknowledged their existence as a separ...
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...aring the slaves in Confederate states free, Lincoln succeeded in stopping the expansion of slavery and took one step forward in the advancement of freedom and rights for African Americans. As Lincoln once said, “With Malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation 's wounds.”
1. Brinkley, Alan. "Chapter 14: The Civil War." American History: A Survey. 13th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1991. 370-403. Print.
2. "Impact and Legacy." American President: Abraham Lincoln: Impact and Legacy. Miller Center: University of Virginia, n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2012.
3. Norton, R. J. "The Accomplishments of President Abraham Lincoln." The
Accomplishments of President Abraham Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln Research Site, n.d.
Web. 03 Dec. 2012. .
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