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What moral lesson did you learn from reading about the great man Abraham Lincoln ?

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suzy555 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted November 19, 2010 at 1:24 AM via web

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What moral lesson did you learn from reading about the great man Abraham Lincoln ?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 19, 2010 at 1:30 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that the most important moral lesson I have learned from reading about Abraham Lincoln is that it is not always possible to act in an idealistic way.  Sometimes you have to be pragmatic and do what is possible as opposed to what is right.

Lincoln clearly opposed slavery on a personal level.  If he could have ended it by his own personal order, he would have.  But he could not end it that way and so he did not (at first) try.  He knew that if he did so it would make it harder to win the war and end slavery.  Because of this, Lincoln did not issue the Emancipation Proclamation at the start of the war.  He waited until a time when it made political sense to do so.

In doing this, Lincoln did not act idealistically, but I think he was wise anyway.  I think this is an important moral lesson.

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