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Given that Lincoln was the president that signed the Emancipation Proclamation which set in motion the emancipation of all slaves in the United States, it might be difficult to deny him the title mentioned above. It is true, however, that his own personal attitude towards African-Americans was not necessarily as politically correct as he is often given credit for
There are significant indicators that he considered slaves to be inferior in some ways and he often repeated his willingness to unite the Union with or without emancipating the slaves as that was his main consideration.
As the war dragged on, however, he did emphasize the importance of emancipation but it is not entirely clear that he felt that it was important because of its effect on unifying the country or because it was right or the correct way of bringing human rights to a group that had been denied them for over a century.
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