Abraham Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the end of slavery all go hand in hand in modern day United States classrooms. Lincoln, a Kentucky native, was the great 16th president of the United States who brought freedom to black slaves throughout the country, forever abolishing slavery in the nation. Well, that’s at least what has been instilled in the young minds of children across the US. Before we can start calling Lincoln the “Great Emancipator,” or an abolitionist we need to take a look at the facts.
Lincoln’s reign as a political leader was in an extremely crucial time of need in our country as the country was tearing apart with the eventual Civil War looming. In 1858 Lincoln ran for, and lost, the senator position in Illinois. His running mate Stephen Douglass made a veteran political move by accusing Lincoln of supporting black equality, which helped put fear into many voters’ ballots when they decided to vote for the less radical Douglass. Lincoln, being the knowledgeable politician he was, responded with a statement in an attempt to clear his name with the white population by saying “I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races.” Although these views were most likely used as a political ploy, they didn’t sit well with the black community when Lincoln started receiving credit for freeing the slaves.
Fast-forward about a decade when Lincoln was in the presidential seat and Lincoln was facing similar issues in his struggle to unify the wilting United States. As president Lincoln’s main goal was to unify the two sides of the United States: the Union and the Confederacy. In order to unify the country Lincoln had to hurdle his biggest obstacle in abolishing slavery. Perhaps the only reason Lincoln supported the freeing of slaves was because he realized it was the only way to unify the country, which is a solid argument in...
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