Was Lincoln an inspirational figure?

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This question is, of course, asking for interpretation and opinion. To represent one interpretation, one could say that Lincoln was indeed inspirational due to his innate decency, wisdom, and leadership skills.

The Sixteenth President of the United States combined all these qualities and more in a way that is unusual for most people, let alone occupants of the highest office in the land.

Political foes and opponents alike constantly underestimated him, but during his presidency, which almost exactly corresponded with the Civil War, Lincoln showed them what he was made of, with his skill, determination, and ability to lead.

In the years since his tragic assassination in 1865, Lincoln has continued to inspire with his wise words, captured in numerous famous sayings such as

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

The inspiring words of Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address in 1863 have also passed into history as one of the greatest speeches ever made. In just a few words, delivered in a matter of minutes, Lincoln articulated the new purpose of the still ongoing Civil War. What had started off as a battle to save the Union was now something much more, nothing less than an epic struggle for "a birth of freedom."

Because of his remarkable achievements such as abolishing slavery and presiding over the Union victory in the Civil War and because of his undoubted goodness, wisdom, and humanity, Lincoln still inspires today. It is no surprise, then, that the general consensus among historians is that he was the greatest American president of all time.

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