Lincoln's Goals of Emancipation and Preservation of the Union

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Abraham Lincoln’s experience as a lawyer in Illinois and a member of congress for a short time could not have fully prepared him for the challenges of his presidency. His main obstacle was the disunity of the nation, and his main goal during his presidency was to reunite the country. In his own words “A house divided against itself cannot stand”. He also faced the challenge of slavery, which was a problem that had plagued America since its early days, and a major cause in starting the civil war. Lincoln believed that slavery should be abolished, more importantly though he believed in the preservation of the union, and in the end he issued the emancipation proclamation in order to preserve the union. As a person, Lincoln held the ideal of slavery to be wrong, and morally believed that slaves should be freed. He believed in the equality of all men. In an address to congress Lincoln said “the United States ought to cooperate with any state which may adopt gradual abolishment of slavery, giving to such state pecuniary aid” (Document A). This shows that he supported the abolition of slavery and was willing to support any other nation which was to do it. Lincoln also said in the Gettysburg address: “our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” and he resolved that “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”. He believed in the ideals of America very strongly, including the idea that all men are created equal. Lincoln wanted to free the slaves, since he did not think it was right that they were enslaved. In addition to that Lincoln adamantly wanted to preserve the union, and so he took special wartime actions for that purpose. During the war, it was likely that the border states might have seceded from the union. To prevent this in Kentucky Lincoln instituted martial law to keep control. In Maryland he had all the...
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