Abraham Lincoln, Slavery and the American Civil War Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1885 Words
Date:  2022-06-20


The American Civil War is among the most noticeable wars ever fought on the American Soil. Fundamentally, it began immediately after the clash between the Northern and Southern states. It is believed that the war was motivated by the issues that surrounded slavery in the United States. The rapid development of industries and agriculture in the north culminated the need to abolish the slavery and slave trade. In the southern economy, agriculture was predominantly being practice mainly because of the black African labor. Because of the abolitionists' movement, there was fear by southern states that their economy would collapse. Abraham Lincoln is among the major people who spearheaded such abolitionists' movements. His take on slavery is one of the most discussed issues in the US. Notably, his immediate foundation by was the need to bring about the eventual completion of slavery by stopping its further extension into any territory and proposing compensated emancipation in the early time of his authority as the president. Lincoln stood by Republican Party's platform of 1860 and stated that the slavery and slave trade should not be allowed to expand any more into U.S territories that had not experienced the slavery.

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Contributions of Lincoln in American Civil War

In his view, the expansion of the slavery and the slave trade to other new regions of the western land could prevent the free labor provided by the enslaved black Africans. In the 1850s however, Lincoln had demonstrated his abilities and view as an abolitionist, who was determined of bringing to an end the issue of slavery, which dominated significant parts of America. In his opinion, he viewed it as the abuse to humanity and thought it essential to administer a gradual end to the slavery through the process of emancipation as well as the voluntary colonization instead of forcing the rapid conclusion in the bondage. In 1863 Lincoln directed all the people who were enslaved to rebel in all the regions that supported slavery, "the Confederacy". He further stressed that millions of people who were previously subjected under serfdom were to be set free. As a tactful politician, Lincoln did not call for the immediate end of slavery anyway in the U.S the proposed 13th amendment became a significant way through which Lincoln got the chance to address the end in bondage. This is based on the fact that he did not want the immediate emergence of any revolution that would disorient all the activities that were taking place. The subsequent events that happened in the US propelled Lincoln towards involving himself in the advocacy of anti-slavery movements. His return to the political stage marked a critical turning point in his quest to bring to an end the issue of slavery. Notably, 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act enhanced the formation of the territories of Kansas and Nebraska and to permit the settlers to decide whether or not to accept the continuation of the issue of the slavery. However. In his view, any move to remove 1820 Missouri would lead to a significant compromise that had illegalized the slavery. In the course of the civil war, Lincoln utilized his powers as the president to issue and address the emancipation proclamation in January 1863. Previously, had provided a warning he would act in that manner in any case the confederate did not comply with his orders. It is, however, important to note that all the individuals who were enslaved stood and united to create a rebellion, which forced the former Confederacy states to abolish slavery. The Kansas-Nebraska Act, therefore, played a crucial role in facilitating the freeing of the vast majority of the blacks who were slaves in the former Confederacy.

Lincoln legal and political move

The idea of the Republican Party against slavery enabled Lincoln to come to prominence. As a member of the Congress, he issued written protest of the assembly's passage of the resolution, which addresses the need to initiate the end of slavery in Washington. As part of his political careers, Lincoln represented a black woman together with his children in the Bailey vs. Cromwell case, where the woman claimed that she had been freed and could not be sold or subjected again into slavery. He further successfully defended another black man, Marvin Pond in the case People vs. Pond based on the fact that Pond honored the fugitive slave, Hauley. Through collaboration with another abolitionist congressman such as Joshua R, Giddings, they together drafted a bill with the aim of challenging the slavery in the District of Columbia for the compensation of the slave owners who had agreed to stop the slavery.

Having left politics, he re-involved himself into Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 as it permitted different territories to decide their view on the issue related to slavery. In his argument, Lincoln was both opposed the spread of slavery and the slave trade that had dominated America at that time. With this in mind, Lincoln proceeded to repeat it during his bid for the presidency. In a speech in Kentucky, he managed to address various issues related to the Kansas Act having, declared indifference. However, he also had to subject it to meditation on how to convert the actual dream and ambition to an end of slavery.

Reasons for Lincoln's Participation in Abolitionists' Movement

As part of his political moves, Lincoln did not hide his feelings and view towards the entire issue of slavery and slave trade. Firstly, he believed that slavery was a kind of a monstrous injustice and the abuse of the fundamental principles of humanity. Secondly, Lincoln felt that slavery denied republican an opportunity to fight for the rights of the enslaved Black Africans in the United States. Through his letter to Joshua Speed, who was a personal friend and a slave owner at Kentucky, Lincoln stressed the rights and obligations of Joshua Speed under the constitution. About slave captured under Joshua, Lincoln explicitly confessed about his hatred of seeing the slaves being hunted down, caught and even carried back to their stripes. During the Lincoln-Douglas debate about anti-slavery assertions of 1858, Lincoln further demonstrated his view on slavery. Notably, Douglas championed for the independence, which would provide citizens with the exclusive rights to make their own decisions regarding slavery. Lincoln, on the other hand, advocated that Negroes were entitled to the rights to do things at their liberty. The Negro suffrage tremendously meant a lot to him other than an issue in the United States.

During Republican Party presidential nomination in 1860, the party was entirely committed to ending slavery. In this sense, therefore, Lincoln's victory in 1860 elections made the Southern states triggered by secession acts. This is one of the primary reasons addressed in the presidential debate, which stressed mainly the regions towards the west, such as Kansas. Having been won the party nomination, he opposed any subsequent spread of slavery into other areas. The US government, however, was already prevented by the constitution from illegalizing slavery in states where it was already being carried out. Lincoln primary motive was to make slave owners malt its spread. He further wanted the government to provide financial compensation to those who previously owned slaves, especially in those in the states that agreed to abolish slavery.

Anti-slavery Contributions during Lincoln's Presidency

Having ascended to power, Lincoln wrote a letter to Senator Lyman Trumbull, giving the direction about the complete end of slavery in the United States. Another note to Mr. John A. Gilmer of North Carolina further stressed the need to set free all the previously enslaved Negroes. In the letter, Lincoln explicitly mentioned and indicated that the only difference that existed between North and the South was the idea behind slave slavery. On a broader note, the North believed that it was right while the south perceived it as wrong and something that required a complete abolition entirely. Similarly, the same statement was extended to Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia at a speech in the independence hall in Philadelphia 1861. As part of the speech, Lincoln reconfirmation that his captivity sprang from sentiment expressed regarding the declaration of independence. It was also believed to be the slavery and its continued occurrence of the US. He affirmed that liberty is for all and not to the country alone.

Ways in which Lincoln spearheaded the end of slavery

Before Lincoln became president, The Corwin amendment was ratified by the Congress at the same time approved by the two states. Suddenly, it was abandoned immediately the civil war began. Notably, it was meant to prohibit congressional interferences especially to the countries where it already existed. During his inauguration address 1861, he talked of such provision being implied constitutional law he had no objection when it is made express and irrevocable. Undeniably, the amendment was as a measure of reassurance to the bordering states that the federal government had no objective to do away with their powers. There was a full attack on Lincoln regarding civil war and his anti-slavery views.

Through emancipation, Lincoln was determined to fight slavery to the end. He planned to get rid of slavery in Columbia district. Immediately after the beginning of civil war in April 1861, he prohibited his generals from setting free the slaves in the captured territories. Surprisingly, August 30th, 1861 major general john the commander of the UN army ordered all slaves owned by Confederates in Missouri were free. In his view, Lincoln opposed this based on the fact that the military officers would have more authority by doing executive actions not granted by government. He further believed that only slaves owned by Missourians working for the south were to be set free. This was however ignored by Fremont thus being replaced by the conservative General Henry Wager Halleck.

In 1862, the situation repeated itself when General David Hunter started enlisting black soldiers in the districts under his control. He declared all slaves owned by confederates of Georgia and South Carolina to be freed. However, this was not welcomed by Lincoln since according to him, this approach was weak. Furthermore, he stressed that freedom could only be valid and legal when the whole exercise is grounded in the president's constitutional authority. This was confirmed through his response letter to the editorial by Horace. After writing the letter, Lincoln went ahead to issue his first pronouncement, stating that he will use his war powers to free all slaves in states that were still experiencing the revolution. Moreover, he wrote a letter to Albert G. Hodges, where he expressed his moral opposition to slavery which was evident that he was indeed against slavery.

Under reconstruction of December 1863, he used his authority and went ahead to proclaim amnesty and rebuilding. This move guaranteed southern states to peaceably unite with the union provided they had abolished slavery through taking oaths during the formation of the thirteenth amendment. This happened after Lincoln had accepted the nomination for the union party to run for the presidency in June 1864. Notably, this was the time he called for the passage of the thirteenth amendment to the United States Constitution to immediately abolish the constitution.

Through compensated emancipation, Lincoln made numerous proposals whereby the federal government was expected to purchase all the slaves and free them, however, the state government refused to act. Later in his letter to the U.S Congress, he stressed that emancipated slaves would create inconveniences thu...

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Abraham Lincoln, Slavery and the American Civil War Essay. (2022, Jun 20). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/abraham-lincoln-slavery-and-the-american-civil-war-essay

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