Abraham Lincoln Biography- Turn the pages of America’s political history and you will surely find one man who outshines the others and grabs everyone’s attention – Abraham Lincoln! Nicknamed Honest Abe or Father Abraham, Lincoln was, by far, one of the most powerful and greatest presidents America has ever seen. (Abraham Lincoln Bio)
Rising from a humble and humble beginning, it was his determination and sincere efforts that propelled him to the highest office in the country. A shrewd politician and a skilled lawyer, he played a key role in the integration of the states. Leading from the front, he played a major role in abolishing slavery from the country, ultimately giving equal rights to the people irrespective of caste, color or creed. He not only envisioned but actually brought forth a real democratic government, led by the concept ‘by the people, for the people and for the people’. (Abraham Lincoln Biography)
What’s more, Lincoln led the country when it faced its biggest constitutional, military, issue. and moral crisis. He not only emerged victorious but was also effective in consolidating the national government and modernizing the economy. He was the protector of the Sangh and the liberator of the slaves. (Abraham Lincoln Bio)
Just as his astonishing rise to the top notch and his last reign, his death was as surprising as his becoming the first US president to be assassinated. Since awards and honors did not exist at that time, Abraham Lincoln was never honored with awards and honors. However, he is considered one of the top three presidents of the United States. Lincoln has been rated at the top in most elections, according to presidential elections held since 1948.
Childhood and Early Life
- Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, in a log cabin near Hodgenville, Kentucky, to Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Lincoln. He had a younger brother named Thomas, who died in infancy, and an older sister named Sarah. (Abraham Lincoln Biography)
- Lincoln’s father was a hard worker. With his tireless efforts, he became one of the richest men in the country. He was respected and respected by all. However, the wealth did not last long as Thomas Lincoln lost everything, causing the family to relocate to present-day Spencer County in Indiana.
- Lincoln went to the ‘Separate Baptist’ church and protested his views on alcohol, dance and slavery. They believed in restrictive moral standards.
- On October 5, 1818, tragedy struck the family when Nancy Lincoln left for the heavenly abode after suffering from milk sickness. His mortal remains were buried in a tomb that was located just behind the family cabin.
- The death of his mother had a devastating effect on young Lincoln, who was separated from his father.
- However, this gap was bridged by his stepmother Sarah Bush Johnson, with whom he grew up.
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- Considered by many to be lazy, a dislike for the hard labor associated with marginal living, Lincoln proved his doubters wrong as he grew up to be responsible and dedicated. He accomplished all that was expected of a house boy at the time and became adept at using an ax, a skill he used to make railroad fences. He also dutifully gave all his earnings to his father. (Abraham Lincoln Biography)
- As far as his education is concerned, it is estimated that Lincoln did not receive more than 18 months of formal education throughout his life. However, he made extraordinary efforts to gain knowledge. Although both his parents were illiterate and illiterate, they encouraged Lincoln to read and write, especially his stepmother Sarah.
- Fearing milk sickness, the family relocated to Coles County, Illinois, in 1831. At the age of 22, Lincoln left his home and went on his own. His first stop was in the village of New Salem in Sangamon County, where he worked flatboat moving goods from New Salem to New Orleans via the Sangamon, Illinois, and Mississippi rivers. (Abraham Lincoln Bio)
- In 1832, Lincoln moved to New Orleans where he bought a small general store with a friend.
- Although Lincoln had gained popularity through his storytelling skills, he was at a loss due to his lack of formal education, money, and powerful friends. While attending the Assembly, Lincoln also served in the ‘Black Hawk War’ as a captain in the ‘Illinois Militia’.
- After working as a postmaster and county surveyor, Lincoln began to pursue his dream of becoming a lawyer. He began reading law books to gain the knowledge he needed to stay in the field. Lincoln’s social and storytelling skills were honed during this phase of his life.
- In 1834, his second campaign was successful as he won the election to the state legislature representing the ‘Whig Party’. (Abraham Lincoln Biography)
- In 1836, Lincoln moved to Springfield, Illinois where he enrolled himself in the bar and joined John T. Started practicing law under Stuart.
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- Lincoln’s reputation as an able and efficient lawyer multiplied. He was known for his difficult and challenging cross-examination and closing arguments.
- Lincoln’s political career was also progressing rapidly. In his four consecutive years as the ‘Whig’ representative in the ‘Illinois House of Representatives’, he was known for raising his voice against the dangers of slavery. He spoke regularly for economic modernization in various sectors including banking.
- A true ‘Whig’ supporter, he stood by his party’s policies and participated in all events. He also gave speeches emphasizing the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia. (Abraham Lincoln Biography)
- As far as foreign and military policies are concerned, Lincoln was against the ‘Mexican-American War’ and opposed the views of President Polk. However, he supported the ‘Wilmot Proviso’, a proposal to ban slavery in territories acquired from Mexico. His stance against the president brought him negative publicity and Lincoln lost political support within his district. Subsequently, he also earned the nickname ‘Spotty Lincoln’.
- During the presidential elections of 1848, Lincoln supported General Zachary Taylor for the ‘Whig’ nomination. Although Taylor won the election, Lincoln lost to Justin Butterfield, losing out on the opportunity to be appointed commissioner of the ‘General Land Office’. Instead, he was offered the position of secretary or governor of the Oregon Territory. He declined an offer to resume his law practice.
- Lincoln’s career as a lawyer continued to grow according to his reputation and status. He also appeared before the ‘Supreme Court’ of the United States. Of his 175 appearances on the ‘Illinois Supreme Court’, he stood as the sole counsel on 51 occasions, of which he won 31 times. (Abraham Lincoln Bio)
Work On Anti-Slavery
- While the northern states of the Americas had banned slavery and were against the oppression of lower class or caste people, the southern states and new territories in the west were yet to ban slavery. To bring about change in these areas, Lincoln returned to his political career around 1850 and strongly opposed the ‘Kansas-Nebraska Act’. (Abraham Lincoln Biography)
- According to the ‘Act’, Stephen Douglas allowed the settlers to determine the fate of slavery in the new territory. Condemning the ‘Act’, Lincoln argued that the National Congress had no role in the matter.
- Lincoln’s stand against slavery was evident in his Peoria Speech, which he delivered on October 16, 1854. In his speech, he denounced slavery, which represented injustice and denial of equality of rights among men.
- Lincoln ran for a seat in the US Senate from Illinois in 1854. Although they were comfortably ahead of the others in the first six rounds, it was their strong opposition to the ‘Kansas-Nebraska Act’ that led to their downfall as there was a split between the Whigs.
- It was his take on anti-slavery, along with appeals for ‘Free Soil’ and ‘Liberty’, that shaped the new ‘Republican Party’. At the ‘Republican National Convention’ of 1856, Lincoln was second in the contest to be the party’s candidate. for Vice President. (Abraham Lincoln Bio)
- In 1858, Lincoln won the vote of the State Republic Party which nominated him to the US Senate. This gave rise to a series of Lincoln–Douglas debates, which have earned the reputation of being the most popular debate in American history.
- Lincoln and Stephen Douglas differed from each other in terms of their political outlook and physical appearance. While Lincoln advocated the abolition of slavery, Douglas promoted his ‘Freeport Doctrine’, according to which the local people of a particular state were free to decide whether slavery should be practiced in their state. (Abraham Lincoln Biography)
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- Lincoln’s ‘Republican Party’ won many votes, but the ‘Democratic Party’ won many seats, thus Douglas was re-elected to the Senate. Despite the loss, Lincoln was committed to the abolition of slavery from the nation.
Tenure as a President – Succession & Civil War
- Lincoln entered the ‘White House’ after receiving maximum support from the north and west. However, the South was furious about the result and decided to withdraw itself from the Union and form a separate nation called the ‘Confederate States of America’. (Abraham Lincoln Biography)
- Under the leadership of Jefferson Davis, these states were considered independent and sovereign.
- Lincoln, however, in his inaugural address in March of the following year, refused to recognize the union, declaring the South’s secession illegal. Although efforts were made to reach a settlement, Lincoln rejected all such proposals and stuck to his stance for free-soil and slave-free states.
- As much as Lincoln hated the war, he had to live with it because the separatists were angry with Lincoln’s orders and declared war. To make things worse, other southern states such as North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and Arkansas also joined the union. He captured Fort Sumter, which eventually led to what is called America’s costliest and deadliest conflict. (Abraham Lincoln Bio)
- Lincoln moved to Washington, D.C. to defend the capital. Soldiers were appointed to move towards. He withdrew $2 million from the treasury for war materials, called for 75,000 volunteers to enlist in military service, and suspended writs of habeas corpus, eventually arresting and imprisoning suspected Confederate sympathizers without warrants. He also developed strong ties with the states around the border and worked towards preventing the war from becoming an international conflict.
- It seemed difficult to crush the opponent as Lincoln was met with dead ends from all sides. While the Copperheads (Peace Democrats) felt that Lincoln was too stubborn on his anti-slavery stance, Radical Republicans criticized him for being too slow to end slavery. To add to the crisis, Lincoln faced defiance and condemnation from the generals, cabinet members, party members, and the majority of the American people.
- Lincoln kept a close eye on the progress of the war and was aware of every minute detail. He regularly consulted with the governors and kept a close watch on the army. His main priorities regarding the war were based on two things – Washington should be well defended and a quick and decisive victory should be waged an aggressive war, which, in turn, would satisfy the demands placed on the North. .
- General McClellan was appointed as General-in-Chief for all Union armies. Although the first year and a half proved difficult due to losses and support for the unification of the nation, the victory at Antietam brought some relief to Lincoln. (Abraham Lincoln Biography)
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- Meanwhile, the midterm elections in 1862 brought bad news for the Lincoln-led government as the public questioned the administration’s ability and its failure to end the war quickly. Other factors working against the government were inflation, new higher taxes, rumors of corruption, the suspension of habeas corpus, military draft laws, and fears that freeing slaves would undermine the labor market.
- As far as the war was concerned, Lincoln realized that the war could end if a string of victories was put together. Subsequently, Lincoln’s administration was able to record success in the harbor of Charleston and the ‘Battle of Gettysburg’. (Abraham Lincoln Bio)
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