Abraham Lincoln's Presidency

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What were Abraham Lincoln's world-changing contributions?

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Abraham Lincoln changed the world using his powerful moral rhetoric and by taking action in the fight to end slavery and win the Civil War. He spoke out against the evils of slavery, and as President he made it clear that his efforts in the war were strongly rooted in the goal of ending slavery as a practice that violated American democratic ideals. Lincoln also expanded the role of the federal government in his efforts to keep the union together.

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Abraham Lincoln was president of the United States during the Civil War. Though he had little military experience, he pursued the war to the end, thus reuniting the North and the South. Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the slaves in the rebellious Southern states. This set the precedent for ultimately freeing the slaves through the Thirteenth Amendment after Lincoln's death. Lincoln also armed black soldiers to fight for the Union army.

Lincoln was the first successful Republican Party candidate for president. Lincoln passed the Homestead Act of 1862, which gave Western land to anyone willing to live on it and make improvements. Though few took advantage of this during the Civil War, millions moved to the Plains after the war in order to make the United States into the "breadbasket" of the world.

Lincoln is also remembered for what could have been had he survived both of his terms instead of being assassinated in 1865. Lincoln desired a bloodless peace—his Reconstruction plan was quite forgiving in contrast to the Radical Republican one that was used during Reconstruction. Thanks to Lincoln not insisting on revenge, there were no further civil wars or former Confederate leaders turned into martyrs. Lincoln instituted the first income tax in order to pay for the war and also popularized the greenback in order to have enough money in circulation to pay soldiers. Lincoln instituted a draft in 1863, which set a precedent for future US drafts. Lincoln also instituted marshal law in the border states in order to ensure that states like Maryland did not join the Confederacy.

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Abraham Lincoln changed the world by fighting for the rights of slaves to be free. Though he had to proceed slowly and cautiously at times, the result of the Civil War was the emancipation of all the slaves. He came to the belief that the slaves should be free over time. At first, he believed that the expansion of slavery should be halted, but he came to believe that slavery had no place in American democracy. As a result, he moved the United States closer to the promise of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" that is part of Jefferson's Declaration of Independence.

In addition, Lincoln vastly expanded the role of the federal government. He instituted the first national income tax, and he declared martial law and suspended the writ of habeas corpus in the border states (see the source below). He deemed these measures necessary to keep the union together. As a result, he expanded the role of the American government--a role that would continue to expand under presidents in the years after Lincoln.

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Abraham Lincoln played a very important part in ensuring the Union survived its greatest challenge during the American Civil War. It was his fight for the abolition of slavery, an important issue during the war, that helped change the world. He managed to become the president in 1860 despite running his campaigns on a highly contentious issue. His victory encouraged Southern states to band together against him. The Northern states supported him, but different factions had conflicting issues, which he managed to handle for the benefit of his cause.

He instituted the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and sounded the death knell for slavery in the United States after he successfully supported the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. When slavery finally ended in America, supporters of human liberty around the world were encouraged to continue agitating for freedom and equality.

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Abraham Lincoln changed the world with his ideas and actions. Lincoln first appeared on the national scene in the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858. In the debates, Lincoln spoke of the evils of slavery. He made it clear that he didn’t want it to spread. While Lincoln lost this election, it set him up for the presidency two years later in 1860.

When Lincoln was president, his actions made him famous and showed his brilliance. He didn’t attack the South at Fort Sumter. He made the Confederate leaders decide if they would attack. He didn’t allow Maryland to leave the Union when he arrested lawmakers who supported secession. He understood the need to end slavery but knew the timing had to be right. That is why he waited until 1863 to issue the Emancipation proclamation.

The Emancipation Proclamation was symbolic in nature. It freed the slaves in the South. However, since the South was not part of the Union, it had no effect in the South. However, it made it clear to the world that President Lincoln wanted slavery to end. It made it clear the United States was fighting, in part, to end slavery.

President Lincoln also skillfully ended the war. He knew the peace treaty with the South shouldn’t be too harsh. He understood the need for reconciliation and healing. This was another example of his leadership skills.

President Lincoln showed the world how to fight for what is right and how to stand up for what a person believes. He showed the world how to successfully achieve goals through skilled leadership and wise decision-making.

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