Abraham Lincoln is one of the most important and greatest Presidents that the United States ever had. He is sometimes also described as being perhaps the wisest and most influential person to have occupied that position. He has become an icon of some sort and his face is seen on coins used in the country. He also has a famous memorial site dedicated to him and there are several books and films about the story of his life. His contributions to preserving the unity of the country can never be forgotten. Born on the 12th of February, 1809 he went through a long journey which later culminated in his ascending to the seat of President of the country in November 1860 which was just before the outbreak of the civil war. He was a lawyer, legislator before winning the presidential elections. It was reported that due to the fact that he had to work hard constantly to help out in the family, his formal schooling was limited to three brief periods. When his family moved to the town of New Salem, Illinois he worked as a shopkeeper and postmaster and got involved in local politics later on. He eventually went on to win the elections into the Illinois State Legislature and also studied Law eventually passing the bar examinations in 1836. After a few years, he contested elections into the U.S. House of Representatives and won. Due to his rise in national politics and popularity, he was nominated by the Republican Party to vie for the position of President which he eventually won. He got
married to Mary Todd in 1842.
He has been named as a very important part of American history by many scholars and to a large extent; this is the view of a whole lot of Americans. Some of the reasons adduced for this are discussed below in this article.
His VisionAbraham Lincoln was a visionary leader and this still makes him one of the most important leaders of the United States. As President, he was faced with the greatest crisis in the nation's history which was the civil war. He committed himself to its unity and did all he could to ensure that the Union was preserved. Almost immediately after he was elected, the States of the Deep South had seceded from the Union. When faced with various pressures such as generals who were not willing to fight, threats of assassination, infighting among his cabinet members and resistances from several groups, kept to his vision and was able to rally the public to support his vision. He fought the war until the Confederates were defeated. Most of his first term in office as President was primarily focused on fighting the civil war.
His character and personalityHe has been described by many as a honest and truthful person who valued integrity. He is seen as a role model for future generations. His character stands out when compared with those of our present-day political leaders. Many also view him as a very wise leader and love to quote him. He was also a good leader who had excellent qualities in leadership and this endeared a lot of people. Abraham Lincoln is generally described as skillful and highly moral. He was also able to handle and resolve conflicts easily. Many today appreciate the struggles he went through in life until he rose to the top. This shows that he was very ambitious and willing to work hard in order achieve his dreams in life. A lot of reports indicated that he taught himself and eventually becoming a lawyer.
Abraham Lincoln was also a great speaker who gave a lot of speeches during his presidency.
His domestic and foreign policies
- The National Banking ActThis provided for the establishment of a network of national
banks and a uniform banking system. The main purpose was for promoting opportunity and a stronger Union. He hoped that this would help create a reliable influence in support of national credit and to protect the people against losses in the use of paper money.
- The Homestead ActHe signed the Homestead Act which allowed government-owned land to go to small family farmers. It allowed any person who was the head of the family 160 acres to utilize for faming for five years. The individual had to be 21 years of age and was required to build a house or property. Abraham Lincoln and the pro-Western Republicans saw it as an opportunity to pass a law that opened the West to settlement.
It is reported that over 15,000 made homestead claims in territories which now make u Kansas, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado and Montana.
- Morrill Tariff of 1861He signed this to support the establishment of manufacturing and agricultural companies. Industrialists and factory workers were happy about it as it would help foster industrial growth.
- Emancipation ProclamationThis was announced in 1862 and set a date on which about 3 million black slaves in the United States would be free. It also allowed black soldiers to join the army in order to defeat the Confederates.
- The Thirteenth AmendmentHe supported this amendment which also helped in ending slavery in the country.
He was also very successful in implementing and managing his foreign policies which ensured that no foreign country intervened in the civil war.