The True Greatness Of Abraham Lincoln Essay

9 September 2017

, Research Paper

The True Greatness of Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln is known as one of the greatest presidents in the history of The United States, chiefly for his emancipation of slaves. But was Lincoln truly an advocator of the rights of inkinesss? Lincoln had the purpose of continuing the Union and fulfilling the American people, yet he was indecisive about his racial positions of mid-nineteenth century America. Although Lincoln freed some slaves, he had a really negative position towards the black race. Lincoln was non a great president because he emancipated the slaves, but a great president because he preserved The Union.

Lincoln was indecisive on the issue of bondage. He did non desire to get rid of the full establishment of bondage but he besides did non desire it to distribute. He believed that bondage was a moral incorrect and stated this when he spoke in forepart of emancipationists in Chicago stating & # 8220 ; Let us fling all this quibbling about this adult male and the other adult male, this race and that race and the other race being inferior, and hence they must be placed in an inferior place.

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Let us fling all these things, and unite as one people throughout this land, until we shall one time more stand up declaring that all me are created equal. & # 8221 ; But he besides felt that emancipationists were besides incorrect in seeking to make away with bondage. Hofstader provinces that Lincoln believed that & # 8220 ; & # 8230 ; the establishment of bondage is founded on unfairness and bad policy, but that the announcement of abolishment philosophies tends to increase instead than slake its evils. & # 8221 ; This means that Lincoln thought that bondage was incorrect but suggesting to make away with it is besides incorrect because it makes slavery worse.

Lincoln besides believed that bondage was incorrect because it might jeopardize the on the job category. Lincoln believed that every individual, no affair how hapless, had a opportunity to win in life. He thought that the enlargement of bondage would jeopardize this. His ideas are shown when he says

& # 8220 ; & # 8230 ; One of the grounds why I am opposed to slavery is merely here. What is the true status of the labourer? I take it that it is best for all to go forth each adult male free to get belongings as fast as he can. Some will acquire affluent. I don ; *t believe in a jurisprudence to forestall a adult male from acquiring rich ; it would make more injury than good. So while we do no suggest any war upon capital, we do wish to let the humblest adult male an equal opportunity to acquire rich with everybody else. When on starts hapless, as most do in the race of life, free society is such that he knows he can break his status ; he knows that there is no fixed status of labour for his whole life & # 8230 ; That is the true system.


Lincoln was foremost and foremost a politician. After giving an anti-slavery address to emancipationists in Chicago a few months before, Lincoln reversed his place on bondage and argued for the right of the establishment of bondage to be. Lincoln showed his beliefs on the lower status of the black race in his address to Southern break one’s back holders in Charleston. & # 8220 ; I will state, so, that I am non, nor of all time have been, in favour of conveying about in any manner the societal and political equality of the white and black races: that I am non, nor of all time have been, in favour of doing electors or jurymans of Negroes, nor of measure uping them to keep office, nor to intermarry with white people & # 8230 ; And inasmuch as they can non so unrecorded, wile they do stay together there must be the place of superior and inferior, and I every bit much as any other adult male am in favour of holding the superior place assigned to the white race. & # 8221 ;

Many people believe that Lincoln fought The Civil War to liberate the slaves but that is far from true. In fact, Lincoln himself stated that & # 8220 ; My paramount object in this battle is to salvage the Union, and it is non either to salvage or destruct bondage. If I could salvage the Union without any slaves, I would make it, if I could salvage it by liberating all the slaves I would make it ; and if I could salvage it by liberating some and go forthing others entirely I would besides make that. & # 8221 ; Lincoln demonstrated this belief during The Civil War. In the beginning of the war, Lincoln avoided the bondage issue because & # 8220 ; He did non desire to lose the support of the war attempt that existed among Unionist slave holders in the boundary line provinces and antiblack citizens elsewhere in the North. & # 8221 ; But as the war went on, Lincoln knew that the North needed a cause worthy of the forfeits the war required. The Emancipation Proclamation provided Lincoln with the cause that he needed. This is the true ground Lincoln freed the slaves.

In decision, Abraham Lincoln was a great adult male non for his beliefs on bondage but for continuing The Union. Lincoln did non keep a strong position on bondage and hence should non be known for his determinations on bondage. If Lincoln was non president during The Civil War, he might non hold been viewed and honored as one of the greatest presidents in American History.


Blum, John M. The National Experience A History of The United States New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers, 1963.

Hofstadter, Richard The American Political Experience And The Work force Who Made It New York: Vintage Books, 1948

Neely, Mark The Abraham Lincoln Encyclopedia New York: McGraw Publications, 1982

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