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Abraham Lincoln Was The 16th President

By Guerrita-Cervantes Nov 06, 2014 2700 Words
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States. He is also one of the most famous presidents ever. He kept the country together during the Civil War. He was also assassinated shortly after the end of the war. Abraham Lincoln did not agree with the concept of slavery. He wasn't born "The Great Emancipator," though. He became The Great Emancipator, a major part of which included signing the Emancipation Proclamation. One interesting fact, though, is that he only freed the slaves in the Confederacy, or, as he calls them in the document, "the rebelling states." Over time, after the end of the Civil War, after his assassination, and after the states get reunited, it would be that slavery was now illegal in any state or territory that was included in the United States. Though Lincoln is well known for ending slavery in the USA and he personally opposed slavery as a moral evil, Lincoln's views of his own Constitutional powers on the subject of slavery are more complicated. He believed that the Declaration of Independence's statement that "all men are created equal" should apply also to black slaves, and that slavery was a profound evil which should not spread to the Territories. However, Lincoln maintained that the federal government did not possess the constitutional power to bar slavery in states where it already existed, and he supported colonization, believing that freed black slaves were too different to live in the same society as white Americans. Lincoln addresses the issue of his consistency (or lack thereof) between his earlier position and his later position of emancipation in an 1864 letter to Albert G. Hodges[4] ( See: Abraham Lincoln on slavery Lincoln is often credited with freeing enslaved African-Americans with the Emancipation Proclamation. However, territories and states that still allowed slavery but were under Union control were exempt from the emancipation. The proclamation initially freed only a few escaped slaves, but it also did free slaves in areas of the Confederacy as those areas came under control of Union forces. Lincoln signed the Proclamation as a wartime measure, insisting that only the outbreak of war gave constitutional power to the President to free slaves in states where it already existed. He later said: "I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right, than I do in signing this paper." The proclamation made abolishing slavery in the rebel states an official war goal and it became the impetus for the enactment of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution which abolished slavery. Politically, the Emancipation Proclamation did much to help the Northern cause; Lincoln's strong abolitionist stand finally convinced Britain and other foreign countries that they could not support the South. Slavery was not the reason for secession, the election of Lincoln was actually the final straw and while that was partly because they were afraid he would abolish slavery, which he had no intention of doing, slavery was not the reason.

The North and the South were not aligned in any way. They were vastly different economically, politically, socially and ideologically. The North was industrialized and wanted the South to be while the South wanted to remain agrarian. The South was taxed mercilessly by the North as well and because the North held legislative majority there was nothing the South could do about it. By the time Lincoln was elected the South had basically been pushed into a corner where they felt their only recourse was to secede.

It was very much about states rights.
Slavery was NOT one of them. When South Carolina threatened to secede in 1837, slavery wasn't even mentioned. The reasons in 1837 did not abate, they worsened and came to a head in 1860.

Secession was a right reserved by the states when they formed the alliance of 1789 by the treaty called the Constitution of the USA. Remember, in 1783, Great Britain granted independence to thirteen new nations in North America by the Treaty of Paris. [If you do not understand that simple basic fact, you cannot begin to comprehend the state's rights issue.] Those new nations allied in a confederation of nations under the Articles of Confederation. That experiment was a failure so they tried again under the constitution. They never surrendered their autonomous independence to the federal government and, in fact, when they acceded to the constitution, New York, Rhode Island and Virginia expressly retained the right to secede.

John Adams and Ben Franklin made their views on secession very clear in the Declaration of Independence. When the government no longer serves, defends and protects the rights of the nation or the individuals who constitute the nation, it is the right of the people to leave it or change it. Thomas Jefferson not only co-authored the Declaration but he and James Madison wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions as well. It is more than obvious that they believed in the right of secession. Others who made public arguments in support of the obvious right to secede were James Mason, Gourverneur Morris, Daniel Webster (until he flopped when it was more advantageous to argue otherwise), John C. Calhoun (after he flopped for the same reason), Robert Livingston and most of the Founding Fathers (even, of all people, Alexander Hamilton).

The New England States threatened to secede in 1803. They did it again in 1812-1814 (see the Hartford Convention). Secession was discussed at the Philadelphia (Constitutional) Convention. The Fathers wanted to create a weak central government and reserve to the states all of their independence and sovereignty other than as to those limited issues enunciated in Article I. As to those, they believed that uniformity of laws was to their mutual best interests. All other powers, including the right to leave the union, were reserved. That was the whole point of Article IV and amendments IX and X. In each instance that a state or group of states threatened to secede, it was because the federal government was becoming the very draconian monolithic monster that the Founding Fathers had tried to prevent. 1860 was no different.

By 1860, the south was paying 75% of federal taxes but 75% of federal revenues were being spent in the north. Although the constitution itself required that escaped slaves be returned to their owners (Article IV, Section 2) northern states were passing laws which nullified the constitution. The Fugitive Slave Law was intended to stop such unconstitutional behavior but the federal government did nothing to protect southern property rights. Northern industrialist prevented the south from industrializing. By excise taxes they made it all but impossible for southern planters (who had no choice but to continue farming because the north wouldn't let them branch out into other endeavors - the north needed the crops and the taxes) to trade on international markets and then the northern bankers and merchants set rock-bottom prices on southern goods. Politically, the 1860 elections proved the south was disenfranchised completely. Lincoln won by a landslide without carrying a single southern state (and he wasn't even on the ballot in several). The south had no voice in Congress, the Executive was an obvious northern institution and the Supreme Court was at the mercy of the President and Congress.

The government no longer served, defended or protected the rights and interests of the south. The southern states did the logical and legal thing. They reasserted the independence they had never forfeited and formed a new alliance of nations. In response, Lincoln and the north invaded in a war of aggression and caused the government of the people, for the people, by the people of the CSA to perish from the earth.

Slavery was protected by the constitution at Article I, section 2, Article IV, sections 2 and 9 and Amendments IV, V, IX and X. In 1860, the northern dominated congress passed the Corwin Amendment which, if ratified, would have become Amendment XIII. It would have prohibited any future amendment from abolishing slavery. The south did not have to secede to protect slavery. The federal constitution did that for them. the union means a bigger america...think about it if the south really broke would be a smaller america with two different countries at constant argument with two different systems....that wouldn't be bad at all......but i do not believe lincoln freed slaves because he felt bad for them...that was the only way he could win the war and that is why he signed the emancipation proclamation.. In the first, he spoke of ensuring the existence of slavery where it currently abided: "I declare that I have no purpose directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."        It appears after his first inaugural speech Lincoln found a "loophole" in American law which would allow him to justify the freedom of slaves. To Lincoln, the Constitution of the United States was the lawgiver which prevented this freedom. The loophole he found was the in United States Declaration of Independence, which would allow the freedom of slaves by stating that: "All men are created equal."        The mood and tone of his second Inaugural address would change greatly. Shorter, and more romantic, it would talk of, "God's will" to remove slavery contending: "If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through his appointed time, he now wills to remove, and that he gives to both North and South this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to him?"        The attitude of the two speeches clearly shows the change in Lincoln's philosophy. He justified the removal of slavery as God's will, though clearly the Constitution gave him no such right whereas the Declaration of Independence did. His second Inaugural address mentions nothing of the Constitution, and clearly refers to the Declaration of Independence which Lincoln believes supports the removal of slavery. He therefore upholds the Declaration of Independence over the Constitution in both the Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural Address.        Some might argue that the United States of America would not exist as we know it today had Lincoln not "abused" the powers of the presidency when he did. Had the Confederacy been victorious, our country might have become a collection of many small countries as is found in Europe. One might contend that the lesser of the two evils, the abuse of power in order to ensure a Union victory, can be justified. In war, the rules are different and often any means is justified to attain victory. Therefore, Lincoln's desire to keep the union together justified his actions even though these actions were technically an abuse of presidential power. It can be argued that he abused the power of the presidency when he suspended the Writ of Habeas Corpus and upheld the Declaration of Independence over the Constitution. It can be just as convincingly argued that he did so for a just cause, as opposed to simply wishing to inflate the power of the executive branch of the government. His actions contributed to the Union victory which ultimately ensured that the United States would remain a collection of independent states, united under one government for ALL its citizens.

To keep the border states onside. These were the slave-states that had remained loyal. Lincoln allowed them to continue slavery for the duration of the war, for fear of upsetting powerful slave-owners and driving them into the arms of the Confederacy. On September 22, 1862, Lincoln had issued a preliminary proclamation that he would order the emancipation of all slaves in any state (or part of a state) that did not end their rebellion against the Union by January 1, 1863. None of the Confederate states restored themselves to the Union, and Lincoln's order, signed and issued January 1, 1863, took effect. The Emancipation Proclamation outraged white Southerners who envisioned a race war, angered some Northern Democrats, energized anti-slavery forces, and undermined forces in Europe that wanted to intervene to help the Confederacy.[6] The Proclamation lifted the spirits of African Americans both free and slave. It led many slaves to escape from their masters and get to Union lines to obtain their freedom. The Emancipation Proclamation broadened the goals of the Civil War. While slavery had been a major issue that led to the war, Lincoln's only mission at the start of the war was to keep the Union together. The Proclamation made freeing the slaves an explicit goal of the Union war effort, and was a step toward abolishing slavery and conferring full citizenship upon ex-slaves.

On March 4, 1865, Abraham Lincoln gave his Second Inaugural Address, the final great speech of his three- decades public career. Delivered a little more than a month before the end of the Civil War and forty-one days before he was assassinated, the speech reveals Lincoln coming to terms with vital moral and political issues with which he had grappled during his political life. This book traces how the speech addresses three critical issues that obsessed him: slavery, race, and religion. Although in early life Lincoln developed a personal distaste for slavery, he never embraced the abolitionist cause. Before his presidency, he endorsed a "middle position" on slavery, arguing that it could remain legal in the South where it was entrenched, but not be allowed to spread to new territories. On the matter of race Lincoln was a man shaped by the prejudices of his time and place. Before the Civil War he advocated no civil rights for blacks and often asserted that whites should hold a superior position in American society. In religious perspective Lincoln was a skeptic, even accused by one political opponent of being an infidel. But during the political turbulence of the 1850s and during Lincoln's presidency, his positions on these three burning issues shifted dramatically. The profound changes in Lincoln's thinking are evident in the Second Inaugural Address, in which he condemns slavery as a grievous national sin that prompted a just God to deliver upon the United States a fierce punishment in the form of a devastating civil war.

They were efforts to give male African Americans equal rights of citizenship to white American men. The South has learned its lesson and must join the U.S. again as an equal partner. is best abolition of Slavery in the Confederate states, surrender of the Confederate Army, assassination of Abraham Lincoln, impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson They were forced to move into Indian Territory. families of men who had died in the Civil War. The turning point in the war, however, occurred on July 1, 1863, when Confederate and Union armies met at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The battle that ensued was one of the bloodiest battles in American history. Eventually, Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia was driven away from Pennsylvania by Union general George Meade and his Army of the Potomac. The battle did much to cripple the Confederate army. Meanwhile, in the western battlegrounds, Union forces under Ulysses S. Grant had gained control of the Mississippi River and port of New Orleans which effectively split the Confederacy in two. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia was further decimated after Ulysses S. Grant was made commander of the Union Army. Grant waged dozens of surprise attacks against Lee's army in the wilderness of Virginia in 1864. Although the battles resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of soldiers on the Union side, the Confederate Army was at the brink of collapse. Meanwhile, Union general William T. Sherman marched through Georgia and the Carolinas, destroying everything in his path. The march came to be known as "Sherman's March to the Sea". Finally, after Union forces had invaded the Confederate capital of Richmond, the Confederate states surrendered on April 9, 1865, at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia. The Union was preserved.

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