24 September 2012
Abraham Lincoln’s Political and Moral Slavery Dilemma
The sixteenth President of the United States of America, the Great Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln casts quite a historical shadow over any other competing figure. Lincoln was brought into the world on February 12th, 1809 to an incredibly modest upbringing in which he would mold himself into a successful lawyer and later a politician. Abraham received little formal education during his childhood, eventually acquainting himself with the law through the apprenticeship system. After rising through the Illinois legislature structure, Lincoln went on to serve in the House of Representatives on behalf of the state of Illinois before gaining widespread recognition from his debates with competing Senate candidate Stephen A. Douglas in 1858.The expansion of slavery into the United States new territories was the hotly contested issue of these debates, Lincoln’s stance would eventually propel him into the national spotlight and later the Presidency. Abraham Lincoln’s views on slavery were split between his political obligations and his moral beliefs, his political actions were influenced by his desire to preserve the Union, and his moral stance on the issue largely stemmed from his deep-seeded belief in the power of the Constitution, not the political or social equality of another race.
Abraham Lincoln’s view on slavery was segregated in itself, between how he perceived the issue on a political level and as a moral dilemma facing the United States. Without the understanding of Lincoln’s differentiated objections to the institution that created such a split in the American people, it is difficult to fully grasp how and why Lincoln acted as he did throughout his political career. Lincoln’s first documented objection to slavery began in the Illinois State Legislature, in which he and Dan Stone protested a piece of legislation that disapproved of abolitionism and...
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