Lincoln 's First Presidential Term Essay

Lincoln 's First Presidential Term Essay

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During Lincoln’s first presidential term, he openly opposes the practice of slavery. Lincoln faces a dilemma with ending slavery because he doesn’t know what to do with the slaves once they are free. Lincoln personally believed in the idea of colonization for a post-slavery solution. Colonization consisted of deporting recently freed slaves to either Liberia or South America. Lincoln believed that white people and black people could never live together because black people would never be considered truly equal to white people. Lincoln says in his Address on Colonization, “The aspiration of men is to enjoy equality with the best when free, but on this broad continent, not a single man of your race[black] is made the equal of a single man of ours[white].” (Address on Colonization, pg. 338) The inability for both white people and black people to live peacefully together in America is the main problem that Lincoln faces with ending of slavery. In the Preliminary Emancipation Lincoln discusses his post-
slavery plans in more depth. In the Preliminary Emancipation Lincoln says, “That the effort to colonize persons of African descent, with their consent, upon this continent, or elsewhere, with previously obtained consent of the Governments existing there, will be continued.” (Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, pg.345) It is evident that Lincoln believes in the use of colonization as a method to deal with freed slaves. Despite the fact that Lincoln believes in colonization, he doesn’t include it in the final Emancipation. Instead in the actual Emancipation Proclamation Lincoln mainly talks about how the slaves in Confederate territories except for Tennessee are now free. He says, “I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves...

... middle of paper ... the later part of his political career. Towards the end of Lincoln’s political career, we can see that his beliefs have been restored to his views at the beginning of his political career. Lincoln returns to his belief that all people are created equal. Lincoln even criticizes the beliefs he had during the middle of his political career in his Fourth Lincoln-Douglas Debate. Lincoln states in a letter to John McMahon, “Either a white man or a black one…. It may be that you belong to a third or fourth class of yellow or red men, in which case the impartiality of your judgment would be more apparent.” (Letter to John McMahon, pg.428) Lincoln no longer believes in the superiority of the white race instead he believes that all races are equal. We can see that Lincoln’s views on slavery and equality go in a loop from his First Inaugural to his Second Inaugural Address.

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