Lincoln: Democratic or Autocratic
“Lincoln was one of the most democratic and also one of the most autocratic of presidents.”
Abraham Lincoln was a very democratic president. He believed in the Union and would do anything to keep it together after the secession of the south that followed his election as president. However, to regain the entirety of the Union, he had to make some risky decisions that may have labeled him as autocratic. The fact that he was both democratic and autocratic is valid for the most part. However, the purpose of his tyrannical actions was to preserve the Union.
Lincoln could be seen as democratic through his persistent drive to save the Union. After his election in 1860, the deep south seceded from the Union off of the belief that their rights were being violated. Then, following the events at Fort Sumter, the rest of the south seceded. Lincoln did everything in his power to try and regain peace in the country and save the Union from destruction. He stuck with the war for four long and bloody years while the Army of the Potomac was constantly struggling with defeat. If George McClellan had won the presidency, there would be negotiated peace. War would not have been sought out to bring back the southern states. Instead, there would be no guarantee that the south would even return to the Union. In addition, Lincoln did not believe in slavery. Even though he was still racist towards black, he saw the obvious immorality of the establishment. He fought for their freedom through his Emancipation Proclamation, which stated that all slaves in the Confederacy were free from their masters. Lincoln fought for the preservation of the Union, a symbol of equality and democracy. He would protect it at any cost. With that, he also freed the slaves in the United States, which supported the idea of democracy he felt he needed to protect.
Although Lincoln was a man of the people, he could also be considered as autocratic. But his tyrannical...
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