Abraham Lincoln Is Regarded by Many Americans as the Greatest President

Topics: Abraham Lincoln, Robert Todd Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln Pages: 5 (1738 words) Published: May 15, 2006
abraham Lincoln is regarded by many Americans as the greatest president to ever hold office in the history of the United States, and his reputation is definitely well deserved. Lincoln wasn't scared to stand up and fight for what he knew was right. He was convinced that within the branches of government, the presidency alone was empowered not only to uphold the Constitution, but also to protect, and defend it. Lincoln was able to lead our country and preserve the Union, keeping the United States from splintering during the devastating times of the Civil War. As President, he built the Republican Party into a strong national organization, and he rallied most of the northern Democrats to the Union cause. On January 1, 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation that changed the war into a battle for freedom and declared forever free those slaves within the Confederacy. That November, Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address, which stated how a country must be dedicated to human freedom in order to survive. He dedicated the battlefield to the soldiers who had perished, and called on the living to finish the task the dead soldiers had begun. (Donald, 1995) Lincoln believed that democracy could be a lasting form of government. He showed a nobility of character that had worldwide appeal, and he was a man of great integrity. However, Lincoln was not only the 16th president of the United States, he was an American hero. Lincoln was a well-rounded individual and he had numerous outstanding qualities. However, it is important to remember that Lincoln also led a private life, complete with close friends and family. Lincoln was born into a poor household on February 12, 1809 in a log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky on a cold winter's day. "Abraham Lincoln came into the world on the wings of a blizzard, -across the battlefields of ice and snow in the roar of the hurricane-frozen and starved." (Warren, 1926) He was born to parents Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, who made their living running a small farm as well as doing carpenter work on the side. Lincoln had an older sister, Sarah, and a younger brother, Thomas, who died in infancy. Little is known about Lincoln's mother and the Hanks ancestry. She was one of at least eight children named Nancy Hank's born during the 1780's. (Donald, 1995) His mother was reportedly an illegitimate child born out of wedlock, but it was a subject that Lincoln rarely discussed. Nancy died when Lincoln was only nine years old. Family meant a great deal to Lincoln, and he was unfortunately too young to actually know and remember his mother. A year after her death, his father Thomas married again and Lincoln became interested in new family relations. Lincoln and his stepmother were very close. She helped fill the void in his heart and the overall feeling loneliness after his mother's death. Of his Lincoln ancestors he knew only a little more than he did about his mothers side the Hanks. Lincoln's grandfather was putting in a crop of corn one day in 1786 when he was attacked and killed by a group of Native Americans. Lincoln's father Thomas, due to the loss, was left a poor illiterate child without a father figure. "My father at the death of his father was but six years of age, and he grew up literally without an education."(Warren, 1926) Thomas stuck to his strengths and joined the militia in 1795 when he was nineteen years old, and served until Lincoln was born in 1809. Thomas was very tough on Lincoln as a boy and he installed a strict code of discipline and hard work at home on the frontier. Thomas regretted the fact that he was illiterate and he had a sense that education was important, so he made sure his kids attended school. However, with demanding farm chores that needed to be accomplished, Lincoln was only able to attend school occasionally. Although Lincoln had limited schooldays, it still allowed him the chance to master the basic tools so that he could educate himself in the future. The...
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