Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth president of the United States. Lincoln was the man of humble origins who dedicated his whole life in the service of the nation and its people. In 1860, Lincoln was elected as the 16th President of the United States defeating Douglas, John Bell, and John C. Breckinridge along with Hannibal Hamlin as his running mate. As a president he built the Republican Party into a strong national organization. Lincoln’s greatest contribution is towards the anti-slavery movement, which later on resulted in the freedom of the slaves from the United States history. Abraham Lincoln was born Sunday, February 12, 1809, in a log cabin near Hodgenville, Kentucky. Abraham was the son of Thomas and Nancy Hanks Lincoln, while his name comes from his paternal grandfather. Lincoln was the younger brother to his sister Sarah and elder to his younger brother Thomas who died in his infancy. His father was a carpenter and a farmer. His parents were members of a Baptist congregation, which had separated from another church due to opposition to slavery. When Lincoln was of the age of seven, his family moved to southern Indiana where Lincoln went to school with his sister Sarah for a short period of time. Later in the year 1818 his mother passed by because of milk sickness, a disease caused due to the consumption of milk of cows, which had grazed on poisonous white snakeroot. The following year his father married Sarah bush Johnston Lincoln, a mother of three children whom Abraham loved very much. Since his childhood Abraham was a very interested in reading and working in the fields. This results in a conflict with his father who was always in opposition about it. But Abraham didn’t give it up and he was constantly borrowing the books from his neighbors and persuaded his informal studies. In 1830, Lincoln moved to New Salem, Illinois where he lived until 1837. While in new Salem, Lincoln gained a lot of experience while working in different jobs like: operating a store, surveying, and serving as a postmaster. Along with the different experiences because of his moral character, he got very popular in his locality and earned a nickname “Honest Abe”. Lincoln married Mary Todd in 1842 in Springfield and became the parents of four children: Robert (1843-1926), Edward (1846-1850), William (1850-1862), and Thomas (1853-1871). Among the four children only Robert Lincoln lived up to full maturity. Due to his interest in politics, Lincoln made an unsuccessful run for the Illinois legislature in 1832. But Lincoln didn’t give up and ran again in 1834, 1836, 1838, and 1840 and succeeded all the four times. Later in 1846 Lincoln ran for the United States House of Representatives and won. During his stay in Washington be gained popularity by standing strongly against the Mexican War and to slavery. After his term was over Lincoln returned home and was politically passive while was more serious in his law practice. The passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, once again attracted Lincoln to the politics. Lincoln made an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. senate and instead got some support for the Republican Vice-Presidential nomination in 1856. In the year 1856 he gave his Lost Speech, also he gave his famous “House Divided” speech on June 16, 1858 in opposition to the Dred Scott decision in 1857. Abraham engaged himself in a continuous debate with Stephen A. Douglas in 1858; it was due to his opposite view towards the slavery issue. Despite the loss of senatorial race Lincoln gained a nationwide popularity and his popularity was further enhanced by his successful speech at the Cooper Institute in New York. In this speech Lincoln warned that the nation could not survive half-slave and half-free: it must be one or the other. He then impressed upon his audience the shrewd process pro-slavery forces employed to spread bondage across the land. The Taney Court's 1857 Dred Scott Decision denied the humanity of slaves and allowed their masters to bring them to states where slavery was previously prohibited. With the Kansas and Nebraska Act of 1854 Congress repealed the 1820 Missouri Compromise by disallowing Congressional prohibitions of slavery in the Territories. Instead, the Act endorsed the doctrine of popular sovereignty, in which the residents of the Territories, not Congress, could determine the future of slavery. Remarking that "individual men may now fill up the Territories with slaves," Lincoln indicted popular sovereignty as a terrible guarantee of slavery's endurance in the country's unincorporated regions and, by extension, the entire nation. Lincoln concluded with the observation that while these laws and decisions were made by different men, a President, two Senators, and a Chief Justice, the results fitted together perfectly to create a national policy that unequivocally endorsed slavery and its expansion into the Territories. This policy was one that the Republican Party would fight. Lincoln, a Kentucky-born lawyer and former Whig representative to Congress, first gained national stature during his campaign against Stephen Douglas of Illinois for a U.S. Senate seat in 1858. The senatorial campaign featured a remarkable series of public encounters on the slavery issue, known as the Lincoln-Douglas debates, in which Lincoln argued against the spread of slavery, while Douglas maintained that each territory should have the right to decide whether it would become free or slave. Lincoln lost the Senate race, but his campaign brought national attention to the young Republican Party. In 1860, Lincoln won the party's presidential nomination. In the November 1860 election, Lincoln again faced Douglas, who represented the Northern faction of a heavily divided Democratic Party, as well as Breckinridge and Bell. After the result of the Lincoln’s election the southern states were scared about the Republican’s control over the government, as a result they seceded from the Union. This made Lincoln suffer the greatest internal crisis, so Lincoln rose as army and tried his best to protect the Union from falling apart. The announcement of Lincoln's victory signaled the secession of the Southern states, which since the beginning of the year had been publicly threatening secession if the Republicans gained the White House. By the time of Lincoln's inauguration on March 4, 1861, seven states had seceded, and the Confederate States of America had been formally established, with Jefferson Davis as its elected president. One month later, the American Civil War began when Confederate forces under General P.G.T. Beauregard opened fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina. In 1863, as the tide turned against the Confederacy, Lincoln emancipated the slaves and in 1864 won reelection. For preserving the Union and bringing an end to slavery, and for his unique character and powerful oratory, Lincoln is hailed as one of the greatest American presidents. In April 1865, he was assassinated by Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. The attack came only five days after the American Civil War effectively ended with the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox. By mid 1862, Lincoln, under pressure from radical elements of his own party and hoping to create a favorable impression on foreign public opinion, determined to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring free all slaves in areas still in rebellion. In January 1, 1863 he issued the Emancipation Proclamation that declared the freedom to all the slaves in the areas of the Confederacy not under the Union control. In order that this not appear an act of panic and desperation in view of the string of defeats the North had recently suffered on the battlefields of Virginia, Lincoln, at Seward’s recommendation, waited to announce the proclamation until the North should win some sort of victory. This was provided by the Battle of Antietam, September 17, 1863. As the nation neared the third year of the bloody Civil War, President Lincoln issued the historic Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. The proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free." This proclamation actually freed few people. It did not apply to slaves in the Border States of Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware; nor did it affect slaves in southern areas already under Union control. Naturally, the states that had seceded did not act on Lincoln's orders. But the proclamation showed Americans — and the world — that the war was being fought to end slavery. Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not immediately free a single slave, it changed the way black men were accepted during the war. Black men could join the Union Army and Navy. The liberated could become the liberators. By the end of the war, nearly 200,000 black soldiers and sailors fought for the Union and freedom. Though the Radical Republicans, pre-war abolitionists for the most part, had for some time urging Lincoln to take such a step, Northern public opinion as a whole was less enthusiastic, as the Republicans suffered major losses in the November 1862 congressional elections. Lincoln had finally achieved one of the most influential and memorable goals in American history, which was the abolition of slavery. Sadly his fight to free the slaves cost him his life. He was murdered by a man who stood for everything Lincoln didn’t. Abraham Lincoln made an enormous, and important difference in the world, he abolished slavery. This was important because, if he would not have abolished slavery there is chance slavery would still exist. That means no freedom and that’s what America is all about. People wouldn’t want to come here, with the fear of becoming a slave, and America wouldn’t be as powerful as it is. Abraham Lincoln was a great influence in the world, then and the world today. His actions left a lasting impression in our social society today. He set the foundation of true and lasting freedom for all of the people of the United States. For this he will always and forever be remembered as one of the most influential people of all time. Perhaps the most famous battle of the Civil War took place at Gettysburg, PA, July 1 to July 3, 1863. The Civil War was a time in America’s history that remains bitter and controversial. American fathers killed American sons. Yet if it had not taken place, the United States of America would have been torn in two. Many say that the turning point of the war was the Battle of Gettysburg. Almost six thousand men lost their lives, and more than four times as many were wounded. This very famous and important Civil War Battle occurred for almost three hot summer days, July 1, to July 3, 1863, around the small market town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. General George G. Meade, and General E. Lee were commanding the Union Army and the Confederate army of the Northern Virginia. Before the battle took place major northern cities like Philadelphia, Baltimore and even Washington were under the threat of attack from lee’s Confederate Army, which had already crossed the Potomac River and marched into Pennsylvania. General George G. Meade, and General E. Lee were commanding the Union army and the Confederate army of the Northern Virginia. Before the battle took place major northern cities like Philadelphia, Baltimore and even Washington were under the threat of attack from Lee’s Confederate Army, which had already crossed the Potomac River and marched into Pennsylvania. General Lee’s main interest was to take the war North and destroy the railroad bridge at Harrisburg, and then finally turn into Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington as well. After a long march the Confederate troops were spread from Chambersburg, through Carlisle, and into York. The great battle of Gettysburg began on July 1, with Confederate troops attacking the Union Cavalry division on Mc Pherson Ridge, west of town. Lee rushed 25,000 men to the scene while the Union had less than 20,000. After a fierce fighting and heavy casualties on both sides, the Federals were forced to push back through the town of Gettysburg and regrouped south of the town along the high ground near the cemetery. Later on General Meade arrived at the high ground and realized it to the ideal place to fight back with Lee’s army. He anticipated reinforcements totaling up to 100,000 men and finally strengthened his defensive position. But this did not make any effect on Lee because he believed his own army was invincible and he decided to attack the Union Army’s defensive position at the southern end of the Cemetery Ridge, which he believed was less defended. On July 2, the battle lines were drawn up in two sweeping arcs. The main portions of both armies were nearly a mile apart on two parallel ridges. Union forces on Cemetery Ridge in the famous “Fish Hook”, facing Confederate forces on Seminary Ridge to the west. About 10 a.m. General Lee ordered General Longstreet to attack but he was very slow in getting his troops into position so couldn’t attack until 4 pm, thus it turned out to be a golden opportunity for the Union Army to strengthen its position. Intense fight took place between the two groups after Longstreet made an attack. Longstreet took the peach Orchard but was driven back at the Little Round Top. Meanwhile, at around 6:30 p.m. General Ewell attacked the Union line from the north and east at Cemetery Hill and Culp’s Hill. The attack lasted into darkness but was finally unsuccessful at Cemetery Hill. Eventually, at around 10:30 p.m. the fighting came to an end for the day. By that time Federals had lost some ground during the rebel onslaught but still held a strong defensive position along Cemetery Ridge. After the second day of war, Meade decided his army would remain in place and wait for Lee to make the attack. On the other hand, Lee thought the battered Union soldiers were nearly beaten and would collapse under one final push. So he decided to bring an end to the war by attacking on next day at the center of the Union line along the Cemetery Ridge where it would be least expected. At 1 p.m. on July 3, the Southern artillery opened a bombardment, thus began a vicious three hours struggle. The Federals finally counter attacked and drove the rebels off the hill and east across Rock Creek. While in the main battlefield the Federals returned heavy canon fire and soon big clouds of blinding smoke and dust hung over the battlefield. Later on, they slowed their rate of fire and then finally ceased to conserve the ammunitions and to fool the rebels into thinking the cannons were knocked out-and exactly the rebels thought. Hence, under-estimating the position of Federals, General Pickett with his 12,000 rebels slowly headed towards the Union Army a mile away on the Cemetery Ridge as the Federals were keeping an eye on them at this spectacular sight. Finally when the rebels got within their range, Federals ripped into the rebels with the cannons and deadly accurate rifle volleys killing many and tearing holes in the advancing lines. Thus the majestic line of the rebel infantry quickly became a horrible mess of dismembered bodies. But the rebels didn’t give up and the fierce battle raged for an hour with much brutal hand to hand fighting, shooting at give way and stabbing with bayonets. Finally the battered, outnumbered rebels began to recede as the men drifted back down the slop. Thus the supreme effort of Lee’s army beaten back, leaving 7,500 of his men lying on the battlefield. With the failure of the Pickett’s Charge, the battle was over thus saving the Union. Lee’s retreat began on the afternoon of July 4. Over 175,000 men and 634 cannon had been positioned in an area encompassing 25 square miles. Confederates casualties in dead, wounded and missing were 28,000, while the Union casualties were 23,000. In addition to that 5000 dead horses and other war wreckage of war presented a scene of terrible devastation. The Confederate army that staggered back from the fight at Gettysburg was physically and spiritually exhausted. Lee would never again attempt an offensive operation of such proportion and the Confederacy never recovered from the losses of Gettysburg. Several months later, President Lincoln went to Gettysburg to speak at the dedication of the cemetery for the Union war dead. Speaking of a "new birth of freedom," he delivered one of the most memorable speeches in U.S. history. The dedication ceremony was held at Cemetery Hill in Gettysburg, which had been, only months before, a bloodstained battlefield. Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address dedicating the military cemetery at Gettysburg; “that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vein-that this nation, under god, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, shall not perish from the earth”, (http://www.tularegop.com/images/2011_Lincoln_Day_Dinner.pdf). Thus calling the living to finish the task the dead soldiers had begun. President Lincoln wrote this speech for two reasons. First, the speech was written to consecrate the cemetery at Gettysburg. Second, and most important, Lincoln's words were meant to start the rebuilding of his war torn country. The Battle of Gettysburg began 5:30am on July 1, 1863, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (McLaughlin 48). The cemetery was dedicated on November 19, 1863. The main speaker for the event was Edward Everett, one of the nation’s foremost orators. President Lincoln was also invited to speak “as Chief Executive of the nation, formally [to] set apart these grounds to their sacred use by a few appropriate remarks.” President Lincoln had given his brief speech a lot of thought. He saw meaning in the fact that the Union victory at Gettysburg coincided with the nation’s birthday; but rather than focus on the specific battle in his remarks, he wanted to present a broad statement about the larger significance of the war. He invoked the Declaration of Independence, and its principles of liberty and equality, and he spoke of “a new birth of freedom” for the nation. In his brief address, he continued to reshape the aims of the war for the American people—transforming it from a war for Union to a war for Union and freedom. Although Lincoln expressed disappointment in the speech initially, it has come to be regarded as one of the most elegant and eloquent speeches in U.S. While giving the Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863 there were three major factors that helped Abraham Lincoln to convey his message that all men are created equal and should be so treated. Those three major factors were the audience, his attitude while giving the address, and the techniques that he used while giving the address at Gettysburg. One of the reasons why Abraham Lincoln's Address was so effective was in part due to the audience to whom he spoke. He was speaking in front of mostly white males from the North, who had either the same or similar beliefs as President Lincoln had, which pertained to slavery. This audience helped Mr. Lincoln address not only the audience before him, but also the entire nation. The audience also contributed to his attitude by making him more comfortable. Abraham Lincoln's attitude while giving his Gettysburg Address was calm, but dedicated, and was trying to convince the audience that all men are created equal. His attitude captured the audience. They believed in what Abraham Lincoln was saying. He spoke to them, in a way, which almost demanded that they keep fighting to end slavery. His attitude was made stronger by the techniques that he used while addressing Gettysburg. The techniques Abraham Lincoln used while giving the Gettysburg Address included the usage of strong, powerful words. It also included alliteration, and even metaphors. He used words like "consecrate," "nobly," and "vain." The usage of alliteration also helped to convey his message, especially when he said, "that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth." He used "the battlefield" as a way of speaking about the injustice of slavery. So by using strong powerful words, using alliteration, and by using metaphors, Abraham Lincoln was able to convey his message, that all men are created equal. Thus by having the right audience, the "right" attitude, and the techniques that he used, Abraham Lincoln was able to convey his message that all men are created equal. Lincoln’s domestic policies included support for the Homestead Act, which allowed poor people in the East to obtain land in the West. He also signed different legislations like National Banking Act, tariff legislation to protect American industry and signed a bill that chartered the first transcontinental railroad. Lincoln won the re-election in 1864, as Union military triumphs heralded an end to the war. In his planning for peace, the president was flexible and generous, encouraging Southerners to lay down their arms and join speedily in reunion. The Homestead Act of 1862 has been called one the most important pieces of Legislation in the history of the United States. Signed into law in 1862 by Abraham Lincoln after the secession of southern states, this Act turned over vast amounts of the public domain to private citizens. 270 million acres, or 10% of the area of the United States was claimed and settled under this act. A homesteader had only to be the head of a household and at least 21 years of age to claim a 160 acre parcel of land. Settlers from all walks of life including newly arrived immigrants, farmers without land of their own from the East, single women and former slaves came to meet the challenge of "proving up" and keeping this "free land". Each homesteader had to live on the land, build a home, and make improvements and farm for 5 years before they were eligible to "prove up". A total filing fee of $18 was the only money required, but sacrifice and hard work exacted a different price from the hopeful settlers. During his address to the crowd outside the White House after his re-election he suggested in supporting the voting fights for certain blacks. This was intolerable to many racist and southern sympathizers; among them was the actor John Wilkes Booth who hated almost everything the President stood for. As a result on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, John Booth assassinated the President at Ford’s Theater in Washington. This was the first Presidential assassination in the American history. Thus his death was just because of the deep division and hundreds of the time. Lincoln’s body was taken to Springfield by train, where he was buried in the Lincoln’s Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery on May 4, 1865. Born in a simple log cabin in Kentucky, Abraham Lincoln became the 16th President and guided this country through the most devastating experience in its history — the Civil War. Many historians consider him the greatest American President ever. Lincoln is remembered for his vital role in preserving the Union and starting the process that led to the end of slavery. Nicknamed "Honest Abe," he is also remembered for his character, his speeches, and letters. He was a man of humble origins whose determination led him to the nation's highest office. On November 19, 1863, President Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The speech dedicated the battlefield to the soldiers who had died there. The battle site became a military cemetery. Lincoln stated in his moving speech: "...we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." Thus, Lincoln is always remembered for his vital role as a leader in preserving the Union and beginning the process that came up with the end of slavery in America. He is also remembered for his character, his famous speeches and letters, and as a man of humble origins whose determination and perseverance led his to become a shining star of the U.S. history. Abraham Lincoln's strength and compassion was not only immortalized through his actions, but also through his powerful speeches and touching letters. The Battle of Gettysburg though a Union victory, was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. In one of the most famous speeches in American history, the Gettysburg Address, he commemorated the sacrifice of the soldiers who died in battle. His letters to Fanny McCullough and Lydia Bixby have been reprinted and referred to innumerable number of times. Abraham Lincoln will forever be upheld as an example of a good leader and a great human being.