Abraham Lincoln

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Savannah Gore

Mrs. Rich/ Per. 2

January 15, 2009

Abraham Lincoln and the Struggle for Union and Emancipation

        President Lincoln knew that he would not have an easy job when he took the Presidency.  South Carolina had threatened to secede if Lincoln was elected into office and true to their word; South Carolina seceded four days after Lincoln was sworn into office. Then within the following six weeks, six more states also seceded from the Union. And with this, President Lincoln made it his goal to preserve the Union, through any means necessary.

        Lincoln admitted in a speech to a Committee of Religious Denominations in Chicago that slavery was the root of rebellion and that “The ambition of politicians may have instigated them to act, but they would be impotent without slavery as their issue.” (Document B). However, Lincoln also knew that he would not have full support if he declared that a goal of the war was to free the slaves. So in the beginning of the Civil War, the goal was simply to preserve the Union. This tactic worked in favor for the president because if not, he might have lost support from the Border States of Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware.

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        President Lincoln was willing to do almost anything and everything in order to keep the Union together, so he sent troops to western Virginia, which did not want to secede like the rest of the state, and he sent troops to Missouri to secure those areas. As well, President Lincoln declared Martial law in Maryland. Some of these acts were of dubious legality, but it just showed how determined the President was at trying to preserve his country. He even tried to propose a plan that would appeal to the states that had already seceded by proposing to Congress to ...

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