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Abraham Lincoln As The Greatest President

2569 words - 10 pages

Abraham Lincoln is regarded by many Americans as the greatest president to ever hold office in the history of the United States, and his reputation is definitely well deserved. Lincoln wasn't scared to stand up and fight for what he knew was right. He was convinced that within the branches of government, the presidency alone was empowered not only to uphold the Constitution, but also to protect, and defend it. Lincoln was able to lead our country and preserve the Union, keeping the United States from splintering during the devastating times of the Civil War. As President, he built the Republican Party into a strong national organization, and he rallied most of the northern Democrats to the Union cause. On January 1, 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation that changed the war into a battle for freedom and declared forever free those slaves within the Confederacy. That November, Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address, which stated how a country must be dedicated to human freedom in order to survive. He dedicated the battlefield to the soldiers who had perished, and called on the living to finish the task the dead soldiers had begun. (Donald, 1995) Lincoln believed that democracy could be a lasting form of government. He showed a nobility of character that had worldwide appeal, and he was a man of great integrity. However, Lincoln was not only the 16th president of the United States, he was an American hero. Lincoln was a well-rounded individual and he had numerous outstanding qualities. However, it is important to remember that Lincoln also led a private life, complete with close friends and family.
Lincoln was born into a poor household on February 12, 1809 in a log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky on a cold winter's day. "Abraham Lincoln came into the world on the wings of a blizzard, -across the battlefields of ice and snow in the roar of the hurricane-frozen and starved." (Warren, 1926) He was born to parents Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, who made their living running a small farm as well as doing carpenter work on the side. Lincoln had an older sister, Sarah, and a younger brother, Thomas, who died in infancy. Little is known about Lincoln's mother and the Hanks ancestry. She was one of at least eight children named Nancy Hank's born during the 1780's. (Donald, 1995) His mother was reportedly an illegitimate child born out of wedlock, but it was a subject that Lincoln rarely discussed. Nancy died when Lincoln was only nine years old. Family meant a great deal to Lincoln, and he was unfortunately too young to actually know and remember his mother. A year after her death, his father Thomas married again and Lincoln became interested in new family relations. Lincoln and his stepmother were very close. She helped fill the void in his heart and the overall feeling loneliness after his mother's death. ...

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