Over 150 years ago, America's founding principles of freedom and liberty had gone corrupt. Perhaps America would even be this way today if it had not been for the man that healed the nation in its darkest hour: Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was born into an ordinary family in Hardin County, Kentucky. He was a simple boy who was not given much to work with, but he ended up becoming one of the most significant figures in U.S. history. In fact, any man held at such a high respect by so many people could even be described as a hero. Abraham Lincoln was a hero with upstanding morals, passion, and an overall inspiration.
|President Lincoln (Center) with his cabinet. (http://www.britannica.com/biography/Abraham-Lincol ())|
Many would agree Abraham Lincoln was a man that held righteous morals. The article "Abraham Lincoln: American Prophet" speculates, "There were too many sides to the man: homespun hero, storyteller, debater, politician and party leader, writer and rhetorician, statesman, perhaps a villain (in the eyes of some), martyr, and prophet of American liberty" (Piereson). Lincoln was a complex man with various qualities to offer. There were many aspects of Lincoln that added depth to what people perceived of him. He had parts of himself that came from different ends of the spectrum. Some were darker, but others were bright, bold, and shined through to his character. The mention of his name is most often associated with the great things he achieved during his time in office. An example of one of these achievements can be noted at the beginning of his second term. Lincoln's biography on the White House web page states, "Lincoln won re-election in 1864, as Union military triumphs heralded an end to the war. In his planning for peace, the President was flexible and generous, encouraging Southerners to lay down their arms and join speedily in reunion" (Friedel and Sidey). This demonstrates how he approached the cause by making people feel like he was one of them, in hopes of gaining their trust and respect. This is because he knew that his elevated position as president did not put him above everyone else. He understood that he was still one of the people in the grand scheme of things, and wanted to assure everyone. Though Abraham Lincoln was known to be one of the greatest people in America during his lifetime, he never let his position get to his head. He remained a strong, supportive, and humble leader throughout the entire span of both of his terms.
|Lincoln at Gettysburg. (http://thefederalist.com/2013/11/19/a-new-birth-of ())|
Lincoln was also known to have great passion in regards to the things he believed in. This can be observed during Lincoln's political return after the debates with his opponent, Stephen Douglas. In Tanya Lee Stone's biography, she writes, "Lincoln was the underdog in this race for the Senate. He worked hard for every political success he had achieved so far, while Douglas was enjoying an easy ride in politics. Lincoln lost the election in November, but he won fame and the opportunity to reach multitudes of people. Even though he was gloomy from defeat, he said, 'I believe I have made some marks which will tell for the cause of civil liberty long after I am gone'" (Stone). This displays how he was a hardworking man who believed in doing the right thing. Even in his defeat, he still hoped that his efforts to change the errors of the country's ways would have reached some people. Another example can be noted back during the time of the Civil War, when the thirteenth amendment was in the process of being ratified. Lincoln was excited for it to be passed since he was eager to reunite the union once more. In Theodore R. Johnson's article titled "Thank God and the GOP for the 13th Amendment", he writes, "And though it was unnecessary, Lincoln signed the amendment before it was sent to the states for ratification. He did so to mark for posterity his allegiance to the nation's founding principles and to the extension of them to black Americans" (Johnson). Lincoln wanted the people to know that he wasn't simply acting out to gain popularity, and truly believed in the cause of the amendment. He not only felt strongly about it because it had been what he represented as a politician, but also what he believed in as a person. Abraham Lincoln was known for many things, and his passion was undoubtedly one of them.
|The man that healed a nation. (http://thehayride.com/2013/11/sarge-if-lincoln-onl ())|
Lincoln's demonstration of admirable morals and passion made him an inspiration and role model to many others. Even when the world seemed to be falling apart, Lincoln was able to keep his composure while leading the way for the rest of the country. Had it not been for him, there is no telling where we, as a nation, would all be today. Despite having grasped so much power in his hands, he was true to himself. He was aware of what was right and wrong and had not conformed to the majority of society's way of thinking. Instead, he helped guide the people into a new, improved direction. This man held the entire nation in his hands, and did everything in his power not to let it slip.
Page created on 5/27/2016 12:00:00 AM
Last edited 5/27/2016 12:00:00 AM
Current, Richard N.. "Abraham Lincoln." [Online] Available http://www.britannica.com/biography/Abraham-Lincoln.
Guelzo, Allen C.. "A New Birth of Freedom: Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg." [Online] Available http://thefederalist.com/2013/11/19/a-new-birth-of-freedom-lincoln-at-gettysburg/.
Sarge, /. "If Lincoln Only Knew...." [Online] Available http://thehayride.com/2013/11/sarge-if-lincoln-only-knew/.
Stokely, Anne. "Lincoln Memorial." Our States: D.O.C..
Stone, Tanya Lee. Abraham Lincoln. New York, NY: DK Publishing, 2005.