• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Abraham Lincoln has been depicted as the American Hero who abolished slavery.

Extracts from this document...


Abraham Lincoln has been depicted as the American Hero who abolished slavery. The American public, even today still believe that 'Honest Abe' was exactly that. Modern historians though have started to question this myth. Was Lincoln using the slavery issue to promote a 'United States of America'? Was he really bothered about the slaves or was he a closet racist? The one thing that is unquestionable is that after the civil war slavery was abolished and America was united. Unfortunately, Lincoln did not see this as he was assassinated on 14th April 1865. The fact that Lincoln was President for only five years has left a lasting impression on Americans' even today. Even today, Americans still look to Abraham Lincoln as the Icon of Americas' past. They believe that they are right, honest and lawful in all their actions, especially on moral grounds. This indoctrination starts virtually at birth, continues throughout their academic careers and beyond. It is now even shown in animated television programmes like "The Simpsons".1 The crowd around Lincoln's memorial asking for his advice is huge., however when the character "Lucy" went to Jefferson's memorial there was nobody around. The answer to her question, which she had to reproduce in class, caused uproar. This shows that the writers of this program see Lincoln as the ideal role model for American society today and possibly as their First President. ...read more.


This they cannot be to any extent, if slavery shall be planted with them. Slave states are the places for poor white people to move from...New Free states are the places for poor people to go and better their condition."6 This statement defined the Republican parties' views on slavery. It proved that the people that were against the expansion of slavery were protecting the 'white man' and not out of any concern for the 'black man'. Lincoln appeared to be a very pragmatic man with his dealings on slavery. In 1852 he delivered a eulogy to Henry Clay where he praised Clays' policies on the slave issue. In this eulogy Lincoln claimed that like himself, Clay had a "deep down devotion to the cause of human liberty"7 Even though Clay was a slave owner, he believed that to end slavery would cause greater problems than it would solve. It appears that Lincoln was playing both sides of the issue. On one hand saying that it is wrong to own slaves but on the other saying that it is not worth ending slavery. As Dilorenzo puts it, "...a clearer example of circular reasoning."8 There is no doubt that Lincoln was opposed to the abolitionists that wanted to grant immediate racial equality to the slaves. ...read more.


If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race I do because I believe it helps to save the Union,..."13 This shows that Lincoln was willing to do anything to save the Union. It also reflects his thinking and attitude to the slaves. In fact, Lincoln does not really seem bothered what happens to them at all as long as the Union is saved. His emancipation proclamation shows his true feelings about slavery; they would remain slaves as long as their owners were loyal to the Union. Throughout his political career Lincoln does refer to the constitution, saying about equal rights for all men. Being a realist he keeps the issue of slavery at arms length. Yes he agrees that it is wrong, but also says that they cannot be the white mans equal. Even when he does free the slaves he manages it so that it does not affect the people that voted him into office. He does want to free the slaves as long as they leave America. Lincoln in a sense was right, even today there is not total equality throughout America. The first 'Black' President may well change that but until that time 'The Blacks' in some American eyes will always be second rate. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level History of the USA, 1840-1968 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level History of the USA, 1840-1968 essays

  1. Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln Essay.

    Lincoln also has a sense of vigor in his tone which shows how the soldiers 'nobly advance' and which portrays the strength of his own voice as well corroborating other people simultaneously. Religious and biblical manners are used by both speechmakers, which has a great impact on the nation at

  2. Linguistic Study - Linguistic Analysis of Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream', and ...

    As this was an important event, and attracted a lot of attention, there would have been many journalists and television channels as part of a wider audience too. Martin Luther King was recorded and would have been seen on television and heard on radio by many other people.

  1. What did the Compromise of 1850 offer to people who supported slavery? What did ...

    Those who supported slavery had been settlers from Missouri and those who opposed it were newcomers from northeastern states. Fighting broke out between the two groups and continued for several years, which ultimately led to the Civil War. This had obviously been an unintended result of the passage.

  2. Was there any truth in the Southern claim that slavery was both a benign ...

    However, slaves were used in factories and in coal mining in other areas of America - slavery was adaptable - but while the demand for cotton continued; and the Southern economy continued to grow; there was simply no need for the South to consider moving from agriculture to industry.

  1. The abolition of slavery 1833.

    In my essay I shall write about each reason and write my opinion on which one I think most important. The campaign to abolish slavery was the first popular peaceful mass protest movement of modern times. Slave rebellion had an importance on the decision to abolish slavery, but other factors

  2. What was the short term significance of settlement in Kansas in the 1850s and ...

    territory, '...Kansas is the future seat of empire; she will yet give tone and law to the entire West; and they who are fighting there, in behalf of humanity and justice, do not fight for themselves alone but for a large posterity.'

  1. To what extent did the American Civil War succeed in removing the two main ...

    People still believed that what they had fought for wasn't morally wrong and... that Africans were meant to be slaves." Thus, as Cable writes "the ex slave was not a freeman, only a free Negro." These ideas were furthered by evidence from sociologists, anthropologists and psychologists who presented what they

  2. Civil Rights Revision Cards 1945-68

    SNCC & CORE Beliefs 1. Members of SNCC were impatient at slow progress towards equality. Angered by lack of federal protection in Mississippi (1964 Freedom Summer). Turned to more militant leader = SC = Stokely Carmichael. CORE also turned to a more militant leader = FM = Floyd McKissick (replaced James Farmer).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work