Lincoln, the Movie

Lincoln, the Movie

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Lincoln is a riveting movie on the true events leading up to the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment and the end of the Civil War. Lincoln is directed by Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis starred in the movie as Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln is based on the book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Lincoln was nominated for twelve Academy Awards. Daniel Day-Lewis won Best Actor in a Motion Picture at the Golden Globe Awards. Despite all the good praise for Lincoln, there was still some criticisms about the Lincoln by movie critics. The movie critics claimed the movie was not completely accurate and was exaggerated. However, even historians agreed Lincoln was a thought provoking movie that would make people look for more information on the life of Abraham Lincoln.
The movie Lincoln focuses on the four months of Abraham Lincoln's life before his death. Lincoln starts in January 1865. In the movie, Lincoln is afraid the Emancipation Proclamation will be denied by Congress once the Civil War ends. Lincoln also fears the Thirteenth Amendment will not be passed once the southern states are reunited with the northern states. The Thirteenth Amendment concerns the freeing of slaves. Lincoln has to get some Democrats on board with the Thirteenth Amendment if Lincoln wants the Thirteen Amendment passed. Since the Civil War is projected to end in less than a month, Lincoln had to get to work. Lincoln's advisers advise him to wait until the new Congress is in place. However, Lincoln is firm in his belief of the Thirteenth Amendment needing to be passed immediately. Lincoln goes to the head Republican, Francis Preston Blair, to use Blair's influence to get all the Republican vote. Blair tells Lincoln that in order for Blair to endorse the Thirteenth Amendment, Blair must go and seek peace with the South. Blair's request is frustrating to Lincoln, as the Radical Republicans Lincoln got votes from are extremely against a negotiated peace that allows slavery. However, Lincoln needs Blair's vote, so Lincoln allows Blair to go make peace with the Confederates. Next, Lincoln focuses on the “lame duck” Democrats' vote. Lincoln believes since the Democrats lost the re-election, the Democrats will not be aiming to please the public and will vote the way they so choose. Lincoln cannot give the Democrats bribes, so Lincoln has individuals go and discreetly offer the Democrats federal jobs in return for their vote.

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The Democrats will be soon be out of a job, so the trade seems fair. There is a hiccup in the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment when rumors start about Confederates being in the city to negotiate peace. However, Lincoln brushes off the rumors and the vote continues. The amendment passes by two votes. When the Confederates wanting peace meet with Lincoln, Lincoln tells them the South must vote to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment and that the North is strong in their unification for ratification. Lincoln goes to the battlefield in Petersburg, Virginia to meet with General Grant on April 3. Grant soon finds out about General Lee's surrender at the Appomattox Courthouse. On April 14, Lincoln is shot at the Ford's Theatre. The movie ends with a flashback of Lincoln's second inaugural address.
This movie taught me all about the last two months of Abraham Lincoln's life. Although Lincoln may not be one hundred percent accurate, the movie did teach me the basics on Abraham Lincoln, the Thirteenth Amendment, and the Civil War. I never got as in depth with this time period in middle school or high school as Lincoln did and I feel Lincoln improved my understanding of the time period. The movie was very well produced and acted out. However, I personally feel Lincoln had very few events in such a long period of time and the movie could have been shortened. I found it hard to keep my attention on the movie the whole time.
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