Saturday, August 29, 2009

Abraham Lincoln Part Two

In this entry based on Abraham Lincolns life we will see, in more depth, how his childhood, education, and upbringing influenced the way he handled his presidency and the prosecution of the Civil War. In the previous entry we saw how he had only a combined total of one year of formal education and the rest of his younger years were filled by the dedication of his spirit to teaching himself. This driveness and determination, I believe, carried him through his presidency and the Civil War.

"President Abraham Lincoln had quite a bit to deal with: within the first four months of him becoming President seven states had already seceded from the Union, letting him know that he was not wanted as President. But Lincoln had a job to do: his main interest at this point was keeping the Union together, and he did not have any real concerns about abolishing slavery."

Abraham Lincoln entered into a very tough position. He knew that he was not particularly wanted by the south as President but he was not going to let that stop him, his determination shining through. It was guaranteed that they would try their best to pull away from the Union once he had been elected, the main reason being that they new his position of slavery.

"Lincoln's parents belonged to a faction of the Baptist church that disapproved of slavery, and this affiliation may account for Abraham's later statement that he was "naturally anti-slavery" and could not remember when he "did not so think, and feel."

This however was not President Lincoln's goal for the Civil War. Lincoln new that as the President his job was to keep the Union whole. He was not elected to lead half the country and not lead the rest of it. He would do anything he needed to in order to keep the Union whole and cohesive. As it says in the above quote, Lincoln did not originally plan on abolishing slavery, he did not want any states that were behind him in the war to pull away from him. He however did feel that slavery was wrong, so knowing that it was the right thing to do, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

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."

"As early as 1849, Abraham Lincoln believed that slaves should be emancipated, advocating a program in which they would be freed gradually. Early in his presidency, still convinced that gradual emancipation was the best course, he tried to win over legislators. To gain support, he proposed that slave owners be compensated for giving up their "property." Support was not forthcoming."

Basically, President Lincoln new deep down that slavery was wrong. He knew it from his childhood on until he died. He new that the best way to enforce emancipation was to gradually force the country to abide to it. Slowly but surely his plans worked and the Emancipation Proclamation was put into motion.

In this entry based on Abraham Lincolns life, we have seen how his upbringing and childhood really shaped his view on slavery. He developed a view that really put him in a tough position with the country but he followed his gut and new what was truly right. I completely admire Abraham Lincoln for his courage and above all his determination.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincolns backround, education, and upringing shaped who he was and how he led our nation as the 16th president. His education was restricted to one year of formal teaching because he was brought up in poverty, but that did not stop him from learning. The purpose of this blog is to view how Lincoln's upbringing, childhood, and education shaped who he was, what he believed, and how he led.

Abraham Lincoln was born on Febuary 12, 1809. He was born in a log cabin in Kentucky to his father, Thomas Lincoln and his mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln. Thomas was brought up in poverty as well but taught himself to be a carpenter and had owned three farms in Kentucky prior to the Lincolns moving out of the state. This must be where Abraham got his drivenness and dedication from. Little is known about his mother.

The letters written by Abraham Lincoln show how impacted he was by his early life. They show how his childhood and upbringing molded the man he grew up to be. "Lincoln seemed to be painly impressed with the extreme poverty of is early surroundings, and the utter absence of all romantic and heroic elements." (Herndon, 2)

Abraham Lincolns inability to go to school and recieve a full multiple year education did not stop him from trying to learn with all his heart. He would walk miles to borrow a book from a neighbor or friend, and would walk that many miles to return it. He did not have an arithmetic book available to him so he scrounged up a couple pieces of paper, which were not easy at all to come by, tyed them together with some string, and made his own. "Life and Memorable Actions of George Washington", "Robinson Crusoe", "Pilgrim's Progress", and "Aesop's Fables", were all some of Lincolns favorite books to get his hands on.

Lincoln basically taught himself all the knowledge he had. The one year of formal teaching somewhat layed the groundwork for his thinking, but his driveness and determination did not let him wallow in his poverty. He went out and made a great man of himself and his legacy is forever remembered. In a following blog we will continue on in seeing how President Lincoln became the man he was.