Abraham Lincoln, a sectional candidate whose election led to the secession of the South, succeeded in restoring the Union and laying a strong foundation for its future greatness. Both Lincoln military policies and his domestic programs helped to make him one of the most effective presidents in American history.
Lincoln opposed slavery and chose sensible ways to achieve the abolition of it. He didn't like the idea of popular sovereignty that Illinois's Senator Stephen A. Douglas proposed. He believed that it was false and that slavery wasn't just going to affect the Western United States, but the nation as a whole. He stated that the U.S. government couldn't go on with part of them pro-slavery and the other against it. The reason Lincoln was a sectional candidate was clear; the North protested against slavery, and the South urged for the continuation of it. When he won in the presidential election of 1860, Southerners were upset; this resulted in the secession of the Southern states. These states later became the Confederate States of America.
Although President Lincoln lacked military training and experience, he led the Union to victory in the Civil War through crucial planning strategies. He was motivated by his goal in preserving the Union, without this, the war would have been victorious for the Confederates. Lincoln did not like the idea of going into battle; however, he did not hesitate in waging total war against the South. After many politicians turned soldiers were appointed by Abe, one General especially stood out from the rest. General Ulysses S. Grant was Lincoln's head commander in 1864, and was given full support during his time leading the Union army. In the Battle of Antietam, the Union won a small victory. During that time frame, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. The newly signed bill declared freedom for slaves in all areas of the Confederacy that were still rebelling against the Union. It also provided for the use of blacks in the Union Army and Navy. This had a great impact on the North's victory in the war.
The Civil War encouraged industry and agriculture in the North and West. The population of the Union increased dramatically due to the immigration of some 800,000 Europeans. 300,000 of them emigrated to the West to inhabit California and Oregon. President Lincoln promoted the plan for settlement of the West by signing three important acts in 1862. The Homestead Act offered settlers 160 acres of Western land each. The settlers were required to live on and use the land for five years and pay a small fee to the government. The Morrill Act gave the states free land to establish agricultural and mechanical colleges. The Pacific Railway Act incorporated the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads for the construction of a transcontinental railroad, which for some time had been a national objective to speed the development of the West.
Lincoln was one of America's most successful presidents. He helped put back together the pieces of the country during a time of crisis while abolishing slavery. He was a whole heated democrat, and President Abraham Lincoln helped the Union win in the Civil War. He reunited the divided states and ended a period of inhumanity for African Americans. He leaves a legacy few American presidents can match.