Abraham Lincoln

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Describe how two important people from Lincoln's life  impacted him both personally and politically.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I would say that Lincoln's father was a person who impacted his life personally and politically.  From a personal point of view, the little that is known about Lincoln's father is that he had a " reputation for instability and indecision."  This is something of which Lincoln, himself, sought to represent the opposite.  Lincoln recognized the power of being stable in decision- making, often times making the toughest of decisions in the toughest of moments.  It can be presumed that Lincoln saw his own father's inability to make critical decisions as something that he did not want to embody.  Even when failure hit Lincoln, he never wavered in his beliefs in seeking political office.  It is here where I think that Lincoln's penchant for stable decision making, almost in opposition to his father, can be seen in a political sense.  Lincoln governed with a stability that provided grounding in an unstable political setting.  Lincoln understood with steady resolve that decisions as to the Union and the issue of slavery cannot be made in a tepid manner.  He was committed to keeping the Union together, and thus, remained committed to his decisions throughout his Presidency.  When one sees his father as being unstable and indecisive, I think that Lincoln's own political and personal temperament can be seen as evident, influencing him on both levels.

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