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Abraham Lincoln - Essay Example

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Had Abraham Lincoln died in the spring of 1860, he would today be a forgotten man; it was his handling of the greatest crisis ever faced by America that sparked the continuing interest in his life."Whatever made Lincoln's life memorable occurred in the brief but eventful time between the summer of 1860 and the spring of 1865."…
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Download file to see previous pages Had Abraham Lincoln died in the spring of 1860, he would today be a forgotten man; it was his handling of the greatest crisis ever faced by America that sparked the continuing interest in his life."Whatever made Lincoln's life memorable occurred in the brief but eventful time between the summer of 1860 and the spring of 1865." "With the possible exception of the depth of Confederate resolve, nothing shaped the Civil War more than the United States Constitution." (Neely, Mark E, Jr.; "The Last Best Hope of Earth: Abraham Lincoln and the Promise of America"; Harvard University Press; pp.91) "The four-year presidential term assured that Lincoln would be in office throughout the war's duration. The Constitution 'put the army and the navy in the hands of a determined Republican commander-in-chief." (Neely, Mark E, Jr.; "The Last Best Hope of Earth: Abraham Lincoln and the Promise of America"; Harvard University Press; pp.91-92).Little wonder, therefore, that "Lincoln was the only United States President whose entire time in office was bounded by war". (McPherson, James M.; "Abraham Lincoln: A presidential Life"; Oxford University Press; pp.5). His administration synchronized with "the crisis created by South Carolina's blockade of Fort Sumter, and ended with his assassination five days after Lee's surrender at Appomattox; at his death, Confederate armies were still in the field". (McPherson, James M; "Abraham Lincoln: A presidential Life"; Oxford University Press; pp.5). ...
dependence all they needed was to defend their territory; the Union forces had to dislodge them while fighting through hostile countryside." (McPherson, James M; "Abraham Lincoln: A presidential Life"; Oxford University Press; pp. 15-16).The personnel disadvantage was that "at the outbreak of hostilities, the military was overwhelmingly Southern, and three quarters of the officer corps were Democrats. And then, there was the question of competence: when Lincoln assumed office, the general-in-chief was Winfield Scott, 75 years old, weighing over 300 pounds, suffering from edema and vertigo, and with a disconcerting propensity to fall asleep during meetings." (McPherson, James M; "Abraham Lincoln: A presidential Life"; Oxford University Press; pp.17-18). In the political realm, Lincoln was forced to deal with "political appointee generals of limited military skills, chosen because their local following enabled them to raise troops in the days before the Union instituted a draft". (McPherson, James M; "Abraham Lincoln: A presidential Life"; Oxford University Press; pp.18-19) Both political leaders and political press, especially the influential Horace Greeley of The New York Tribune, anticipated "Lincoln's every move, particularly on emancipation; further, as Union losses surged, and Lincoln had to navigate a rising anti-war movement among Democrats sympathetic both to the South and to slavery, a movement that raised doubt about his prospects for re-election." (McPherson, James M; "Abraham Lincoln: A presidential Life"; Oxford University Press; pp.20-21) As chief executive, Lincoln "defined the nation's war aims: to preserve the Federal Union and the country as a republic based on majority rule; he coined the term 'war powers' to justify extra-constitutional executive ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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