Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, near Hodgenville, KY. He died on April 15, 1865, Washington, DC. He was American statesman, the sixteenth President of the United States (1861-1865, a Republican). During the Civil War, the government held a series of Lincoln’s democratic reforms; in particular the adoption of laws on the Homestead Act, the abolition of slavery, ensured the defeat of Confederate troops.

The son of a poor farmer, a descendant of the first American settlers and pioneers of the West, Abraham was not able to attend school regularly, but to educate ourselves, was an avid bookish. In 1816, his family lived in Indiana. From the early years, the boy helped the family on the farm, worked day laborer on nearby farms, loggers, craftsmen. In 1831, Abraham Lincoln settled in New Salem (Illinois), where he worked in the store, and then a surveyor.

In 1832, a rebellion broke out in Illinois Indians led by Black Hawk, who did not want to leave their homes and move to the west of the Mississippi River. Lincoln, like most white men, joined the militia, was elected captain, but was not involved in the fighting. In 1833-1836, he worked as a postman, independently studied law and in 1836 was admitted to practice law. Integrity, sound and sharp wit, insight and brilliant oratorical skills led to the rapid growth of its authority. In the district, he was known as “Honest Abe.”


During these years, he began his political career. Abraham Lincoln was elected a legislature in Illinois (1834-1842) of the Whigs party. In 1837, he established the state capital of Springfield, in 1842, married Mary Todd. Then Lincoln represented Illinois in the House of Representatives (1847-1849), opposed the war with Mexico, and supported the requirement to provide voting rights to women. In subsequent years, practiced law and became one of the leading State Bar, was legal adviser to the railway “Illinois Central.” In 1856, he joined the established in 1854 the Republican Party that opposed slavery, and in 1858 was nominated for a seat in the U.S. Senate.

His opponent was Stephen A. Douglas. Series of debates between Abraham Lincoln and Douglas, in which the candidates were discussing the issue of slavery, became widely known. Lincoln was never an abolitionist, but opposed slavery on moral grounds. He considered slavery a necessary evil in the plantation economy of the South. Trying to challenge the arguments of Douglas, who accused his opponent in a dangerous radicalism, Lincoln assured that there are advocates for blacks of political and civil rights. The question of slavery, in his opinion, is the responsibility of the individual states and the federal government has no constitutional right to interfere in this issue. However, Lincoln firmly opposed the spread of slavery into new territories, undermining the foundations of slavery, because it required extensive character advancement to undeveloped lands of the West. Douglas won the election, but Lincoln’s anti-slavery speech “House Divided”, in which he proved the impossibility of the existence of the country in a state of “semi-slavery”, widely distributed in the U.S., creating the author’s reputation fighter against slavery.

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln became a candidate for the Republican nomination for President, and managed to beat three opponents (including Stephen Douglas), having obtained an overwhelming majority in the electoral college (despite the fact that voted for it and only two-fifths of the voters). His stay at the White House on March 4, 1861 April 15, 1865 coincided with the American Civil War. Lincoln’s election, despite his moderate views in relation to slavery, fueled separatist sentiment in the south and slave states began secession (secession from the United States), which culminated in the proclamation of February 1861 the Confederate States of America. Abraham Lincoln called for a peaceful solution to the conflict, but armed rebellion Southerners led him to take drastic measures to restore the unity of the country.

The beginning of the Civil War happened for northerners fail. Southerners, seizing the initiative, took the time to break the Union troops before the North will learn to make full use of its economic and military potential. Subject to sharp criticism for the military defeat and economic difficulties, Lincoln, despite the lack of military experience, demonstrated extraordinary qualities of military organizer, took decisive steps to establish effective army, not stopping even to limited civil liberties, or the expenditure of funds not yet approved in the budget of the Congress. An important achievement of the Lincoln administration was adopted in May 1862, Homestead Act, which gave the opportunity for any U.S. citizen to receive the allotment of 160 acres (65 hectares). This law radically solved the agrarian problem by directing the development of American agriculture by farming the way, and, in addition, has provided support to the president of the general public.

As the events of moderate compromise position on the issue of slavery, Lincoln changed. Its main goal is the restoration of the Union – was unattainable without the abolition of slavery throughout the country. To realize this Abraham Lincoln did not come immediately. At one time, he played for the gradual emancipation of slaves on a reimbursable basis, but he realized that “slavery must die so that the nation might live.” September 22, 1862, U.S. President announced that from January 1 next year, all slaves “now and forever will be free.” December 30, 1862, he signed the “Emancipation Proclamation.” 1863 brought the Union Army victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, after which the course of the Civil War turned in the North. Speaking November 19, 1863 at the opening of a military memorial cemetery at Gettysburg, Lincoln said that the soldiers resting here gave their lives that the country had a “new birth of freedom,” and “it is government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth”. This brief, only 10 sentences, it became a manifesto of American democracy and Lincoln consolidated his fame brilliant orator.

In the elections of 1864, despite the objections of Republican leaders and their own doubts, Abraham Lincoln decided to run again for president and defeated his Democratic opponent, General George B. McClellan. At the urging of the president, Congress January 31, 1865 adopted the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery in the United States and entered into force after ratification by the states in December of the same year. In early 1865, the victory was never in doubt Northerners and was a matter of a short time. Lincoln in December 1863 promised amnesty to all the rebels, but their leaders, if taking an oath of allegiance to the United States and the recognition of the abolition of slavery. Acts of secession of the southern states he considered legally invalid, and was convinced that their cancellation automatically means the recovery of these states in the U.S. In his second inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln called upon to give up thoughts of revenge, set the goals of modernization and reconstruction of the South, building a harmonious Union. “Not to anyone harboring malice, full of mercy, firm in the truth,” Americans need to “bind up the wounds … the country to do everything possible to gain and maintain a just and lasting peace in the house and all the people of the world.” Five days after the end of the Civil War, April 14, 1865, Good Friday performance at Ford’s Theater in Washington, fanatical supporter of Southern actor JW Booth entered the presidential box and shot Abraham Lincoln in the head.

The next morning, without regaining consciousness, the president died. Millions of Americans, white and black, came to pay their last respects to the president during which lasted two and a half weeks of traveling funeral train from Washington to Springfield, where Lincoln was buried in Oak Ridge. The tragic death of Lincoln helped to create around him the halo of a martyr who died for the liberation of slaves. The memory of Lincoln immortalized in the memorial, which opened in the U.S. capital in 1922. Inside this white marble structure sculptor Charles D. French placed six-meter statue sitting in meditation president liberator. On the inner walls of the memorial under allegorical paintings reproduced texts Gettysburg and Lincoln’s second inaugural speech.