Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States of America. He was elected into presidency on November 6, 1860. Many of the southern states were unsupportive of Lincoln becoming president because he had run on an anti-slavery platform. Lincoln being elected into presidency caused states such as South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas to split from the Union. In his inaugural address Lincoln proclaimed it was his duty to maintain the Union; a month later the Civil War began. Although Lincoln did many great things for our country, his vital role in the Civil War is what most likely lead to his assassination.
Many people believe that the main reason for the Civil War was to end slavery. However, it is known that Lincoln proclaimed that the reason for the Civil War was to maintain the Union and that he had no intension of ending slavery where it had existed. While Lincoln was trying to maintain the Union the start of the Civil War caused four more states (Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee) to leave the Union. In order to keep the remaining states loyal to the Union, Lincoln assured them that the war was not about slavery or black rights but to maintain the Union.
Although Lincoln had insisted that the purpose of the Civil War was to save the Union, since the South was using their slaves to aid in the war, he was considering freeing them as a necessary step toward winning the war. In July of 1862 Lincoln presented his first draft of the Emancipation Proclamation to members of his cabinet. It warned the Confederate states to surrender by January 1, 1863 or their slaves would be freed. The proclamation declared, “all persons held as slaves within any States, or designated part of the State, the people whereof shall be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free” (pbs.org) Lincoln stood by his word and on January 1, 1863 he issued the final Emancipation Proclamation and he officially freed all slaves that were being held in the states that were in rebellion and not in the Union. However, the Emancipation Proclamation did not free all slaves in the United States. It declared that only slaves living in states not under Union control be free. This officially changed the purpose of the Civil War. The North was no longer only fighting to preserve the Union but also to end slavery. The Civil War continued for the next four years, ending on April 9, 1865. Legal freedom for all slaves did not come until the final passage of the Thirteenth Amendment in December of 1865. President Lincoln was a strong supporter of the Thirteenth Amendment; however, he was assassinated before its final presentation.
It was on April 14, 1865 that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Lincoln went to see a play with his wife at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C. During the play a man by the name of John Wilkes Booth snuck in and up the steps that lead to the balcony where...