Abraham Lincoln's Shift of Political Views

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From the events leading up to his presidential election until the emancipation of slaves, Abraham Lincoln’s political viewpoints on slavery were always changing. However, his feelings about the actual slaves and blacks living in America remained the same. Lincoln had always been opposed to the idea of slavery, calling it a “monstrous injustice” (Lincoln 16) and “morally wrong”(Johnson 39). He recognized slavery as a severe issue in our country, yet later on in his presidency felt it was essential to the southern way of life. Lincoln’s standpoints on the issues of slavery varied throughout his many political positions and as the nation’s political situation shifted, but his concern for the well-being of the slaves themselves was constant. Even from when Abraham Lincoln was a young man he had formed strong oppositions towards slavery and felt it was “founded on both injustice and bad policy” (Lincoln 16). Lincoln’s earliest views were formed from where he was raised and his education as an adolescent. Born in the slave state of Kentucky, his family was one of few farms that didn’t own slaves. Lincoln’s father was a firm believer in manual labor, and his time spent splitting logs on his father’s farm “taught him to work but never learned him to love it” (Romine 2). Seeking a career path that required more of Lincoln’s skill with words, Lincoln moved to Illinois, a free state that still retained a strong discrimination towards blacks. In 1854 during the time of the Mexican-American War, Lincoln was elected to Congress. At this time, the expansion of slave states further west was a hot topic in American legislature. In this same year, Senator Stephen Douglas passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act through Congress, repealing the Missouri Act of 1820 and allowing many states in the Midwest to decide whether or not they wanted to own slaves. Lincoln, Douglas’s political rival, was completely opposed to this idea, and spoke out against it several times stating that it “is...
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