Abraham Lincoln And Jefferson Davis And Their Work

1551 words - 7 pages

In this report I compare two great historical figures: Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president, steered the Union to victory in the American Civil War and abolished slavery, and the first and only president of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis. Abraham Lincoln was the President of the Union, and Jefferson Davis struggled to lead the Confederacy to independence in the U.S. Civil War. Lincoln was treasured by the African Americans and was considered an earthly incarnation of the Savior of mankind (DeGregorio 20-25). On the other hand, Davis was both admired and hated. Lincoln had a different view of how the U.S. should be in abolishing slavery. Davis was a politician, president of ...view middle of the document...

The major difference, personality wise, was Davis's weakness in his inability to get along with other people where Lincoln was a well liked and easygoing man.Both men shared a common bond in their education towards war. Davis served at frontier military posts and in the Black Hawk War before resigning in 1835. Lincoln gained the respect of his fellow townspeople and was elected captain of his company in the Black Hawk War. Lincoln started his political career running unsuccessfully for the Illinois legislature in 1832. Tow years later he was elected to the lower house for the first of four successive terms as a Whig. Davis moved to Mississippi where he managed a plantation and studied. In 1845, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat. He soon had to leave due to the Mexican War. Wanting to be made the commander of the Southern army, he was instead elected president of the Confederacy on February 8, 1861. In 1860 Republicans nominated Lincoln for the presidency on a platform of slavery restriction, internal improvements, homesteads, and tariff reform. He took oath of office on March 4, 1861. The Civil War started after Lincoln took oath, and the battle at Fort Sumpter occurred. The upper South had not yet seceded and when Lincoln took action to defend Ft. Sumpter, the Confederates opened fire starting the Civil War. The South, lead by Davis, suffered due to his poor health, which didn't make him an ideal chief executive. Davis became increasingly unpopular as the war continued. Both President Davis and President Lincoln still had to deal with Congress- in Davis's case with a weak one, in Lincoln's case with a much stronger one (Eaton 160-163).During the last year of the war, Jefferson Davis's speeches were in fact inspiring that spring of 1865. Davis was in poor health under the strain of war, he changed noticeably. He developed a closed sphinx like personality. The finally of the war happened at Appomattox. Lee, Davis's army commander, surrendered to Grant's army under Lincoln. When Jefferson Davis heard about Lee's surrendered he wept, but refused to admit defeat. The combined Union and Confederate casualties amounted to 33 to 40 percent of the forces involved. The northerners had lost 359,000 dead, the Southerners, 258,000 (Canfield 85-87).At the second inaugural, Lincoln summed up his attitude in the famous phrase 'with malice toward none, with charity for all.' Lincoln publically announced his support for black suffrage. This act sparked, the evil, John Wilkes Booth to take action on which he had been plotting for an attack against the president. John Wilkes Booth was a prominent Shakespearean actor with militant Confederate sympathies. He believed that most Americans hated Lincoln so adamantly that they would hail his assassin as a national hero. He was aroused by the prospect of votes for blacks, and he was determined to carry out his assassination scheme. Lincoln was shot at Ford's Theatre in Washington D.C. on...

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