You are on page 1of 6

Winter Semester Honor History Essay Purple Zhao Mr.Kegan Feb.27th .

2012 Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln, one of the most eminent presidents in the American history, showed his extraordinary personality while speaking up in politics, leading the Union in the Civil War, freeing the blacks, and uniting the nation. Lincoln not only had an early aggression in the politics but also used it wisely in fighting the Confederacy. Lincoln was a man with charisma. When he gave the Gettysburg Address, even with such succinct and concise words, he processed a power to unite all the states under one nation. Since 1858, a fierce debate between Democratic senator, Stephen A. Douglass and Lincoln began. Over the issue of Slavery, Douglass and Lincoln held totally opposite views. Based on the Dred Scott decision in June, Douglass agreed with the Supreme Court that slaves are not counted as citizens; therefore dont have the right to sue in the federal court. Moreover, he also believed the people in Kansas and Nebraska should be allowed to vote on whether or not slavery would be permitted in those states this is the concept of popular sovereignty. (Karen Judson, Pg. 55) However, Lincoln, the Democratic, said, If America was to survive, the country couldnt accept slavery. This is a world of compensations, he said, and he who would be no slave, must consent to have no slave. Those who

deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves. (Karen Judson, Pg.57) whenever Douglass gave a speech, Lincoln spoke against Douglass views. This was an early reveal of his aggression in politics. Lincolns fierce response and his persistence will later play an important role in American history. Zooming into his arguments, his strong logic sense was also shown. Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves presents a righteous reason of the immorality of slavery and his statement was irrefutable. Nevertheless, Lincoln lost this Senate election, not much because of him, but of the weak position of Republican Party compared to the Democrats at that time. There were interesting stories happened in the battlefield during Civil War. The conflict between President Lincoln and General McClellan was a one. General McClellan was liked by his men, but he was an arrogant man who resented President Lincolns suggestions about military tactics. In face, he sometimes referred to Lincoln as a rare bird and the original Gorilla. (Karen Judson, Pg. 67-68) There were two significant battles General McClellan offended President Lincoln. The first one was the battle to capture Richmond. McClellan commanded a trained army of seventy thousand men. He was to capture Richmond by sea, then move on through Virginia. In Oct. 1st, he made McClellan general-in-chief, perhaps hoping the general would move if he had more authority. By December 1861, McClellan still had not moved (Karen Judson, Pg. 68) The hesitation and lack of decision really made Lincoln frustrated. General McClellan also attended retreat because he had heard exaggerated reports of the

number of Confederate troops and likely didnt want to risk defeat. The second time was when McClellan was again a field commander at Antietam, Sharpsburg, Virginia. Antietam was a very successful battle. General McClellan took the advantage of secrete military message wrapped by a cigarette from the Confederacy and fought a victory battle against Confederacy. Nevertheless, when Lincoln hoped a quick follow-up that would destroy Lees army. He was disappointed, however, when McClellan did not cut off Lees retreat. (Karen Judson, Pg. 69) Antietam was believed to be an end of the Civil War if General McClellan could be more decisive and resolute. President Lincoln later fired McClellan after the battle of Antietam. General McClellan was really at conflict with Lincoln who was man straight to the point and believed to response fast and attack fast. The president remarked that McClellan simply had the slows. (Karen Judson, Pg. 69) Emancipation Proclamation was another reference to Lincolns intelligence and a reason to Unions success in the Civil War. The proclamation said that as of January 1, 1863, all persons held as salves within any State or designated part of a State where people were in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free. (Karen Judson, Pg. 82) In other words, the proclamation freed 4 million slaves in the Southern sates that had seceded from the Union, It did not include slaves in those states that had remained in the Union. (Karen Judson, Pg. 82) Emancipation Proclamation was such a smart movement to make during the Civil War. There were two big benefits of this

proclamation: first, it authorized the formation of African-American Union military units. Second, it sublimated the spirit of fighting against the Confederacy to a more moral level fighting for justice and freeing slaves. First one strengthened the Union military force. By 1862, African American was 1% of the Northern population, but 10% of the military population. African American was a major fighting force during Civil War. Second one won international support from the other nations such as the Great Britain who saw slavery as a devil against humanity. Lincoln always knew what was the right step to take what would solve a problem without hurting his side. Just like how he dealt with the Fort Sumter issue with the Confederates, when he didnt know whether to support it with military force. Lincoln simply sent it food supply. In this way he wouldnt make the rest of the Southern states to secede and neither recognized the Confederates as a political body. Lincolns intelligence shined through out the time of Civil War. One of Lincolns legacies that have rooted in American history was the Gettysburg Address. Lincoln was a great speaker with a distinctive personal charm. In a clear, loud voice, he reads from a single sheet of paper he takes from a pocket. The speech he wrote the day before the ceremony will last for just three minutes. (Karen Judson, Pg. 114) Lincoln didnt give words with effusive language or phrasing. His words were always concise and straight up. However, this briefness didnt demote the effectiveness of his speech. Lincolns Gettysburg Address did nothing less than chart a course for the future of the United States. America was to remain forever united, he emphasized, and American s must

never forget the price the Civil War dead paid to maintain freedom. (Karen Judson, Pg. 115) At the first time, The United States of American was viewed as a nation. We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain that this nation under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. (Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address) Gettysburg Address provided a reason behind fighting for Civil War. He dignified the office, bringing to it the same honesty, talent for negotiation, and fair-minded principles that marked most of the fifty-six years of his life. Abraham Lincoln also strengthened the Union of the United States of America and reminded future leaders that freedom would forever be defined and upheld by government of the people, by the people, for the people. (Karen Judson, Pg. 115) Gun shots at the highest bird. Chinese proverb Despite all the glorious duty Lincoln had done to the country, there were still groups of narrow-minded people full of resentment to him. One young man among the crowds around the White House who heard Lincoln speak on April 11 was furious when the president said that blacks who were educated or had serve in the Union army would be eligible to vote. John Wilkes Booth, a twenty-six-year-old actor from Baltimore, Maryland, did no fight in the war (Karen Judson, Pg. 94) Booth found his perfect chance to conduct a secret assassination on Good Friday, April 14, 5 days after the Unions victory, 1865. The Lincolns decided to attend a performance of Our American Cousin at Fords Theatre on Tenth Street in Washington. (Karen Judson, Pg. 95) Booth fired at the back of Lincolns head

with a .44-caliber and shout Sic semper tyrannis! (Thus always to tyrants) It was a tragic irony that President Lincoln was called tyrant while he with the most truthful intension to make the United States united. However, Lincoln had expected his demise long before it had actually happened. I wont outlive the age of 40. (Lincoln, 1867) Even was aware of danger, Lincoln never hesitated to fight for freedom for the blacks. History reveals that Abraham Lincoln grew accustomed to death threats while he was in office and probably believed he would not survive the presidency. He once wrote: It appears that the Lord wants a sacrificial victim, as he did in the time of Moses. I must confess that I believe I have been chosen to be that victim. So many plots have been made against my life that it is a miracle that none has succeeded. But can we expect God to work a perpetual miracle in order to save my life? I believe not((Karen Judson, Pg. 105) Although God didnt make the miracle go perpetually, Lincolns immortality will be honored and remembered forever. The Civil War was over, and the United States entered an era of Reconstruction. However, those days of peace would never be earned without Lincolns effort, without his intelligence, without his persistence. Now, Lincolns giant statue is sitting in the Lincolns Momentum with his eyes looking determined this is a nation of the people, by the people, for the people.