Abraham Lincoln was considered by many historians as the Greatest American President. He was the sixteenth United States president, guided his country to the most devastating experience in its national history-the Civil War. Still, it can be said that President Lincoln went through several challenges even from his early age. Truly, we can learn many things from his life’s experiences and especially in his ideology, things that made him really worthy of being called the “Greatest American President”.
In order to appreciate and really learn from the life of Abraham Lincoln, let us look closely to the life of Abraham Lincoln, his difficulties and struggles and especially his achievements. February 12, 1809 on a Sunday morning, Nancy Lincoln, Thomas Lincoln’s wife had given birth to a baby boy named after his grandfather Abraham in a log cabin Hardin bed of poles on the farm of Nolin Creek near Hodgenville, Kentucky. This area is now part of Larue country, the area in which now is being considered the frontier. Bought of his parents are never had an education. His father Thomas worked as a farmer and a carpenter.
Nancy Lincoln, his mother could not even write. Definitely, Abraham grew up literally without having or experiencing a formal education until his early age. Amazingly, during the year 1815, Abraham Lincoln at a very young age had already learned his ABC’s through his effort and trough the help of his teacher named Zachariah Riney. He has spent his spare time on a log school house. He attended classes with Sarah his sisters two years older than him. They sometimes attended school taught by their neighbor Caleb Hasel. At the age of seven their family moved to southern Indiana where he continues school after their migration to Kentucky.
Abraham attends his school punctually, he always wears with him his raccoon cap, he only had his buckskin clothes and his pant that was wrecked as a marked of its age that by the time became too short for him that his calves were already exposed. At home Abraham heard verses and scriptures read from the family bible. The family of Abraham was all members of Baptist congregation and worshippers but due to the opposition to the slavery they had become separated in the congregation to another church. He was once saved from being drowned by his friend and Austin Gollaher.
His family decided to stay near Gentryville in the Southern Indiana late in the year 1816. Nancy, his mother had died on the 5th day of October due to a disease contracted by drinking poisonous milk from cows known as milk sicknesses. And because of poverty Abraham may recall by then carving pegs to be able to provide his mother a coffin. He drags the coffin which was made by a green pine. They buried her without having a formal funeral service. At later year his father married a widow Sarah Bush Johston, she stand as a good mother to them and Abraham loves her as his real mother.
She also encourages Abraham to education. On the following year-1821, Abraham because of his eagerness to gain knowledge, learn and be thought with by man things began to borrow books from their fellow citizen. With all of those available books he begins reading it all keenly. He read books such as Arabian Nights, Robinson Crusoe as well as books of fables or the Aesop’s Fables. It was 1882 when he first attended James Swaney’s classes and this last about four months. Although his school attended taught by Azel Dorsey ended quickly, he never stops learning and learning, he made his self-education rewardingly.
He read everything he could; he never stops reading and learning variety of subjects including mathematics, literature and law. Additionally, during his spare time he studied Law and become a successful Lawyer in the year 1836. On 1825 Abraham has been able to owned his personal book written by Parson Mason Weems “Life of Washington” which he worked and paid for the worth from Josiah Crawford, his neighbor when the book become soaked with rain. Abraham’s wife Mary Ann Todd was born on December 13, 1818. Abraham on 1831 decided to depart with his family and leave by his own.
He began to formulate his own opinions as he saw some abuse happening during his second time around flatboat trip to New Orleans. He then moved to Illinois and start on getting closer with Ann the daughter of the house he boarded. Aside from operating a store he also works into several jobs such as surveying and serving as a post master while staying at Illinois. The people were all get impressed by his good character she actually gained the nick name “Honest Abe”. Mary Ann and Abraham had four sons but Robert Lincoln was the only one who survived into adulthood.
Abraham believes that the government should be a force of good deeds and positive purpose whose desires are to serve the people. That is why he believes that he must have a high position to the government in order for him to be a more influential leader so that he can able to achieve his goal. And because of the eagerness he has in his heart his strong aspiration makes him entered politics. And to become the president of the United States becomes his burning desire. It was August 1, year 1831 when Abraham cast his first ballot. In 1832, at the age of 23 he unsuccessfully ran for Illinois Legislature.
After two years he became elected for the lower house 1834, 1836, 1838 until 1841 and won all 4 times for the first of four consecutive terms. He ran eight in the field of 13 candidates for the position. Lincoln being the member of a Whig party had become able to give his support to the Illinois State Bank, the second bank of the United States. It was 1856 when he was still a Whig member and soon became a republican. The government has sponsored internal improvements such as roads, canals, railroads, harbors, protective tariffs and other navigational improvements.
His first flat forms announced that, time and experience verified that the poorest and the most thinly populated countries would be greatly benefited by supporting this improvement on the Sangamon River because he believed that it will allow those poor areas near the river to flourish by attracting steamboat traffic. Lincoln is not like most politicians in his time, he considered everyone to be equal. He recognized the presence of everyone in the community, he even considered farmers as no more or less than anyone else. He had sympathy to labor; evidence that he did not forget his past and that humility is still in his personality.
As early as 1837, Lincoln stated his opposition to slavery stating that it was the opposite of opportunity and as well as mobility. Lincoln ran and the United States House of Representative and has won it in 1846. He became popular for opposing slavery and Washington’s Mexican War. He returned home and practiced hi Law and tried to have more focused on it more than before. Unfortunately, the next following years for him were the year of struggles. But because of his determination and eagerness to pursue things he begin he never let all of this down failed and discouraged him in reaching his dreams.
Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854 renewed his interest in politics. Though he became unsuccessful in his ran for the bid for the U. S. Senate in 1855, in the year 1856 nomination for the Republican vice-president he by then received some support. In the same year he also have his speech of opposing the Dred Scott decision in the year 1857 known as the “Lost Speech”. He had also given his legendary speech, the “House Divided” June 16, 1858. Furthermore, Lincoln had also engaged in series of debates also on the year 1858 with Stephen A. Douglas who won the Senatorial race.
He was definitely not an abolitionist but just in opposition to the increase of slavery into the country. In 1860, he has received national recognition and promotes his national reputation in New York at the Cooper with a successful speech. His perseverance and hard work paid of when he finally became the sixteenth president of the United States. However, during this time the due to the south is dependent on slavery in order to prosper and because of this conflicts arise between the north and south and the south decided to form their own union.
Being the newly elected president of a United States, Abraham Lincoln prioritized saving the original union even if this means the start of the civil war. The civil war arises in 1861 and on the 19th of November 1863, Lincoln delivered a speech on a battle field that is near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The said speech is said to have shaped the United States’ destiny and is known as the “Gettysburg Address”. The speech contains Lincoln’s vision of a nation that is conceived by liberty and equality among its citizens.
In his Inaugural Address, he warned the South saying, “In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war, the government will not assail you. ” (Bush, 2007). Lincoln added, “You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect and depend it” (Bush, 2007). Even without that much experience, the succeeding years of civil war had proved that Lincoln is one the most extraordinary leaders that the United States had ever seen.
Lincoln had shown good leadership ability, morally and also politically. He saw that the war is a fight against secession and not against slavery and on September 1862, he announced the Emancipation Proclamation that interprets the war as a form of crusade against slavery. In 1865, slavery was legally ended through the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. It is also in the Gettysburg Address that the famous idea of Lincoln of “government of the people. by the people, for the people” had been made known and he define the civil war as a struggle against such idea of the government.
Civil War were lasted for about four long years and this years of struggles were ended in 1865 and cause the death of American people of more than half a million lives. Still, the president’s view and dream of a nation was realized, a nation that is united where people are free from slavery. President Lincoln, together with his wife went to Washington, DC in the Ford Theater to celebrate the end of the civil war. However, the victory of the president in uniting the nation does not pleased everyone and one of them is John Wilkes Booth, an actor of the play in Ford Theater. Booth shot President Lincoln that cause the president’s death.
Up to now, the memory of President Lincoln still lives in the heart and memories of his fellow countrymen, guiding every American and the whole world to create a good nation and a better world where everyone is equal regardless of our distinction. President Abraham Lincoln is truly one of a kind and deserves our respect and the honor given to him, even greater. Not only his views and principles are admirable but also how he achieved his dreams and everything the he went through makes him even more worthy of our respect. References A&E Television Networks. (2007). Abraham Lincoln Biography (1809-65). Retrieved
December 02, 2007 from http://www. biography. com/search/article. do? id=9382540. Bush, J. W. (No Date). Abraham Lincoln. Retrieved December 02, 2007 from http://www. whitehouse. gov/history/presidents/al16. html Cyber Nation. (2004). The Compelling Story of Abraham Lincoln. Retrieved December 02, 2007 from http://www. cybernation. com/lincoln_bio. html Norton, R. ,J. (2007). An Overview of Abraham Lincoln’s Life. Retrieved December 02, 2007 from http://home. att. net/~rjnorton/Lincoln77. html Norton, R. , J. (2007). A Brief Biography of Abraham Lincoln. Retrieved December 02, 2007 from http://members. aol. com/RVSNorton/Lincoln23. html