Abraham Lincoln As A Dangerous Speaker

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     Many people remember President Abraham Lincoln as being a very gifted orator as well as a dignified leader of our country. Through his many speeches and writings, Abraham Lincoln captivated American minds and gained millions of followers. In Lincoln's "Perpetuation speech," given before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois, in 1838, Lincoln himself stated that our country was in great danger. He speaks of people such as Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Napoleon and then asks, "Is it unreasonable to expect , that some man possessed of the loftiest genius, coupled with ambition sufficient to push it to its utmost stretch, will at some time, spring up among us?" (Grafton, page 7). In this, he shares his fear that some man with great ambition and power could exist in this country who is not satisfied with just the power of the presidency and strive for more than that. I believe that Lincoln had the power to be one of those people. When Lincoln's orations and writings are carefully analyzed, one can see how he used his wit and intelligence to manipulate the American people. With his intelligence and immense popularity, Lincoln could have easily been one of the men that he spoke of. He used his gift as an orator to get ahead and that, I believe, made him a threat to American society.
     Abraham Lincoln was a very popular man among the American people. He was there for the country through the Civil War, whether good or bad times. In the North he was the great emancipationist. Lincoln was loved by many, and he could have used this to his advantage. One reason that he was so loved was because he had the ability to draw people's attention with his speeches. After his assassination and the reaction of the American people, the fact that he was so loved was a surprise to some people in Washington. There was a three week funeral procession where Lincoln's body was taken to the big cities by a special train so that the people could mourn him. "Democrat Charles Mason of Iowa thought the whole affair a political trick, like the 'crafty skill of Mark Antony in displaying to the Roman people the bloody mantle of Caesar'," (Donald, page 5). This analogy was made as an argument between political parties, but I think that it just shows how important Lincoln really was, being compared to the great Julius Caesar. It is widely believed that popular Presidents of our country have been able to do many things, undisputed. "Our great Presidents have joyously played the political piano by ear, making up the melody as they went, " (Donald, page 18). This can be seen as a threat. Some presidents, Lincoln specifically, could use their power to do whatever they wanted. This power can be used to different degrees. A modern day example of the Presidential misuse of power is the Bill Clinton scandal. Lincoln, in the people's eyes, was known as "Honest Abe," and was trusted not to use his power to his advantage, although he very easily...

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