Abraham Lincoln: A Great Leader Who Shaped American Democracy - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1027 Words
Date:  2023-01-01


Abraham Lincoln was one of the greatest leaders who shaped American politics and democracy. Born on 12th February, 1809, in Kentucky, Lincoln was raised by his parents Nancy Hanks and Thomas Lincoln. He was a black American who learned mainly by himself and had a strong taste for hard work, jokes, and books. He served as a soldier in the Black Hawk War and legislature for Illinois State. He joined the US House of Representatives in 1847 where he opposed the Mexican- American conflict. In mid-1850, Lincoln joined the Republican Party where he vied for senate position but lost. However, his outstanding performance against the current senator, Douglas made him a serious contender in the 1860 presidential nomination. The Civil War was a distinct watershed for the US and world history (Prokopowicz, 2003). Therefore, it is selected because it is a unique history and a watershed that American politics and saved the democratic nature of government and the freedoms that Americans currently enjoy. It also led to the elimination of slavery and brought new ways of resolving conflicts. Similarly, Abraham Lincoln is chosen because he effectively led the country to the Civil War and abolished slavery.

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Abraham Lincoln experienced the dilemma of the dual nature of the conflict during the civil war. Reportedly, the Civil War regarded as a domestic revolution and a fight (Wilson, 2009). Thus, Lincoln argued that states could not lawfully secede and consequently, the Confederacy was a fiction. Lincoln was faced with either accepting or rejecting the confederacy in totality. His options were either to avoid the Civil War by allowing southern states to secede or ensure that the states remained united. He believed that he had a constitutional mandate to hold the Union together and ensured that it remained a single indivisible union. Reportedly, allowing states to secede would have disintegrated the union further and rendered it powerless. However, his constitutional mandate did not authorize him to acquiesce in secession unless permitted by the electorates. Despite this and being aware of the risks that would emerge in case he allowed the states to secede, Lincoln decided to bring the states together to end the slavery despite fierce oppositions from various quotas (Prokopowicz, 2003). The ethical dilemma above made Lincoln famous as a leader who abolished slavery and ensured social and economic equality in the US.

The Emancipation Proclamation document is the most relevant primary source Civil War. It describes the presidential declaration and executive order that Lincoln issued in January 1863 to eradicate slavery and the Civil War in the rebellious states (Foreman, 2010). The document proclaimed the freedom of slaves in almost ten rebellious states. Lincoln issued this report under his presidential powers and commanded that appropriate individual released from slavery be admitted to the paid services of the American forces and that they should be acknowledged and their rights and freedoms are maintained (Foreman, 2010). Principally, this source shapes Abraham Lincoln as it explains the efforts he took to eradicate slavery. The source acts as a military directive that the head of the stated issued to eliminate slavery in the Confederate army and states such as Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, and Kentucky (Foreman, 2010). By ensuring that slaves are freed and barring countries such as England and France from interfering with the Civil War, the source is an important document that transformed the leadership of Abraham Lincoln and made him famous for his prominent role in ensuring equality and the eradication of slavery.

The life and activities of Lincoln were shaped by historical, political, social, cultural, and global forces. Historically, legacies of Jefferson and Washington developed his leadership style and way of life. In particular, principles of civil liberty and moral reformation that adopted by Washington influenced him to eradicate slavery and ensure equality. Moreover, principles of Axioms of free society introduced by Jefferson enabled Lincoln to create a free community. Economically, Lincoln regarded economic opportunities as the central core of American liberty. He believed that sufferings that soldiers and officers faced to achieve independence should be acknowledged (Prokopowicz, 2003). Therefore, during his leadership reign, he fought for equality of economic opportunity and encouraged self-transformation, as well as, social mobility all citizens. On the social context, his hate for slavery made him commit himself politically to eradicate slavery. He believed that slavery was a kind of economic arrangement that denied individuals mobility, self-transformation, and ability to enjoy their fruits of labor (Wilson, 2009). Similarly, he was raised in an active religious setting, a virtue he carried along with his entire life. Mostly, Lincoln fits in the broader history of the Civil War because he was the person who successfully abolished slavery and fought for the fundamental rights and social and economic equality.

Although Abraham Lincoln transformed US politics, he never enjoyed the fruits of his transformations. He was assassinated by a Confederate supporter and vehement racist, John Wilkes Booth who accused him of instigating challenges experienced in the South. His ultimate legacies include eradication of slavery in the US, successful leadership to the Civil War, as well as, prevention of division of alliances or unions (Wilson, 2009). Undoubtedly, Lincoln's life was meaningful because he led the US through the fatal and greatest constitutional, moral and political crisis. I can draw many connections from the historical period of the Civil War and my personal life. First, greatness can be achieved irrespective of one's background. Lincoln's background never barred him from being the famous leaders in the US, and I am destined to achieve greatness and possibly surpass Lincoln's achievements. Secondly, the historical period of Civil war informs me that there is a need to hold my associates close and my allies closer. Lincoln appointed his close allies to the cabinet and sought their views on critical issues. Thus, the primary connection to my life is that all stakeholders are essential and should be consulted to attain something substantial.


Foreman, A. (2010). Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Reconfiguring the Union. doi:10.1057/9781137336484.0011

Prokopowicz, G. J. (2003). Abraham Lincoln and Civil War America: A Biography, and: This Fiery Trial: The Speeches and Writings of Abraham Lincoln (review). Civil War History, 49(2), 192-194. doi:10.1353/cwh.2003.0045

Wilson, E. (2009). Abraham Lincoln. The Best American History Essays on Lincoln, 41-61. doi:10.1007/978-0-230-61556-4_2

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Abraham Lincoln: A Great Leader Who Shaped American Democracy - Essay Sample. (2023, Jan 01). Retrieved from https://midtermguru.com/essays/abraham-lincoln-a-great-leader-who-shaped-american-democracy-essay-sample

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