Abraham Lincoln: The Greatest President

In November 1860, shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, a self-taught lawyer, politician and outspoken critic of slavery, was elected the 16th president of the United States. Lincoln proved to be a shrewd military strategist and a wise leader: his Declaration of Emancipation paved the way for the abolition of slavery, while his Gettysburg Address is one of the most famous pieces.

In April 1865, with the Union on the verge of victory, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth. The assassination of Lincoln made him a hero to the cause of liberty, and he is widely known in U.S. history as one of the greatest presidents.

Lincoln opposed the expansion of slavery to the colonies, like his Whig idols Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, and had a grand vision of the expanding United States, with an emphasis on trade and towns rather than agriculture.

On February 12, 1809, Lincoln was born in a single-room log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky, to Nancy and Thomas Lincoln. In 1816, his family moved to southern Indiana. As he had to work tirelessly to support his family, Lincoln's formal education was reduced to three short intervals in local schools.

Lincoln towards Politics - Lincoln won the U.S. presidency. House of Representatives in 1846 and, the following year, started serving his term. Lincoln was unpopular with many Illinois voters as a congressman for his firm stand against the Mexican-American War. He returned to Springfield in 1849, pledging not to seek reelection.

The 1860 Presidential Campaign of Abraham Lincoln

In early 1860, after he gave another rousing speech at New York City's Cooper Union, Lincoln's popularity grew even higher. That May, Republicans choose Lincoln as their presidential nominee, passing over New York Senator William H. Seward and other popular candidates with only one undistinguished congressional term under his belt in favour of the rangy Illinois prosecutor.

The Civil War and Lincoln

The election of an antislavery northerner as the 16th president of the United States pushed many southerners off the brink, following years of sectional tensions. Seven southern states had seceded from the Union and established the Confederate States of America by the time Lincoln was inaugurated as the 16th U.S. president in March 1861.

The Murder Of Abraham Lincoln

The actor and Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth slipped into the president's box at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. on the night of April 14, 1865, and shot him in the back of the head, point-blank. Lincoln was taken from the theatre to a boarding house across the street, but he never regained consciousness, and died on April 15, 1865, in the early morning hours.

The murder of Lincoln made him a national martyr. A train bearing his coffin left Washington, D.C. on April 21, 1865. He was on his way to Springfield, Illinois, to be buried on the 4th of May.

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