The sacrifice Abraham Lincoln gave to the country did not just involve his time, but his life as well. Leading up to his death, Lincoln became known as many things, a leader, an orator, and a martyr. There is extensive research into his life on the type of man he was and had to become through the war. He had to change from a lawyer to a man willing to go above and beyond for his homeland. Many argue that he was a God-fearing man, others that he did not have a God to even believe in. The main idea though that stayed constant during the war was his great desire to keep the Union together. Other viewpoints had to grow and progress just as Lincoln had to up until his death.
Lincoln’s call for a strong Union was seen when looking through his works well before the Cooper Union Address which launched him to presidency, and particularly in his “House Divided” speech (Witt). Within this speech it was also found that the argument that Lincoln was an atheist could be quickly dismissed. In his speech, Lincoln used popular Bible quotes and was known to call to his fellow countrymen to keep the nation as one whole. He knew that the nation would not be able to stay strong with the division between those with slaves and those without. Nationalism was seen as an important attribute of Lincoln because he was able to see what was best for the American people, a trait that helped others see him as a potential candidate for presidency.
Shift to March 1860, a war had not even crossed the minds of many, though secession was growing to be an option for the Southern states. The Republican Party was still new, but searching for someone to be their candidate. Abraham Lincoln, a self-taught lawyer, needed one good speech to push him closer to candidacy and the Cooper Union Address was just the one (Anonymous). Lincoln began his speech using his opponent Stephen Douglass’s words against himself, repeating the phrase “...showing that, in their understanding, no line dividing the local from federal authority, nor anything else, properly forbids the Federal Government to control as to slavery in Federal territory” (Lincoln, Cooper Union Address 2). Lincoln already had in his mind the idea that the spread of slavery needed to be stopped where it was, but it was not his ultimate goal to remove it from the nation. He needed the support of all in the Republican Party to gain candidacy, and calling for a full scale removal of slavery was not the route to go.
Later on his speech continued to beg for the unification of the nation. He asked that the Northerners to not submit to the demands of the South, at the same time he asked the Southerners to realize that they were going against their fore fathers’ wishes. In these last two sections of the Cooper Union address it is once again seen that Lincoln truly had a sense of nationalism before he was even considered to become the president. The deep respect and love he had for the fore fathers and America was unmatched....