Abraham Lincoln

by Justin from Iowa City

"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.... "
Abraham Lincoln (Wikipedia)
Abraham Lincoln (Wikipedia)

Abraham Lincoln is well known today for his presidency during the Civil War, the Gettysburg Address, the Emancipation Proclamation, and his assassination. What most people do not know about are his early failures.

Abraham Lincoln was not always successful: He lost his first election, a race for the Illinois general assembly. Later, the general store where he worked went out of business; even later, when he purchased his own store, it failed as well. It was only after all of these failures that Lincoln was finally elected to the Illinois legislature; however, later he would go on to lose the Illinois senatorial election to Stephen Douglas after the famous Lincoln-Douglass debates. Lincoln's career finally took a turn for the better when he successfully won the office of the president in 1860.

Soon afterwards began the Civil War, despite Lincoln's attempts to avoid aggression and to save the Union. The war would last four long years.

Lincoln late in his life (Wikipedia)
Lincoln late in his life (Wikipedia)

However, I chose to label Lincoln as a peacemaker because of his actions immediately following the Civil War: while many of his allies called for harsh punishment of the former Confederates, Lincoln decided on mercy for the defeated Confederates and instead focused on rebuilding the war-ravaged South.

For me, Lincoln is a hero not only because of his noble actions during and after the Civil War, but also because he is much more relatable than most national heroes. The fact that he indeed experienced many failures but kept going and did what he thought was right, even in the face of harsh criticism from his enemies and allies alike, further works to make Lincoln seem more human.

Page created on 7/4/2011 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 7/4/2011 12:00:00 AM