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  • Aanya M.

Why Abraham Lincoln was the most effective president


Abraham Lincoln was the most effective president. Lincoln was an effective communicator, faced many challenges, and was able to accomplish many things while in the Civil War. When Lincoln was inaugurated seven states had seceded from the Union. Lincoln was able to lead the Union through the Civil War, free the slaves, as well as accomplishing many other things.


Lincoln was an effective communicator. The history of our nation was greatly influenced by Lincoln's leadership and effective communication. On August 22, 1862, Horace Greeley, an editor for the New York Tribune, sent a letter to Abraham Lincoln stating that he thought that Lincoln's stand against slavery was too moderate. He demanded Lincoln did more about abolition. Lincoln replied, saying, My paramount objective in this struggle is to save the Union and is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it. And if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it. And if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. Lincoln clearly communicates the ultimate purpose in the war is to unite the Union. [housedivided.dickinson.edu] In January 1863, Lincoln gave the Emancipation Proclamation. This speech is another example of Lincoln's successful communication. The Emancipation Proclamation marked an important point in the war. The war, which was originally fought to preserve the Union, became a war to end slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation also ensured that the escaped slaves could help the Union by enlisting in the Union Army. This resulted in the south suffering heavy losses due to lost labor. Additionally, nations of Britain and France, who had once considered supporting the Confederacy to increase their power and influence, retreated due to their strong opposition to slavery. [history.com] Many soldiers died during the Civil War, yet he was able to continue to motivate soldiers. In November of 1863, Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address. This speech highlighted Lincoln's communication skills. Lincoln communicated to the Union soldiers to motivate them to keep fighting for what the fallen soldiers lost their lives for. He said, “these dead shall not have died in vain.” With his effective communication in the speech, he managed to motivate the Union to keep fighting for what they believed in. [abrahamlincolnonline.org]


Lincoln faced many challenges in the office. The first state to secede from the Union was South Carolina. They seceded on December 20, 1860. Lincoln was inaugurated on March 4, 1861. By then seven states, including South Carolina, had seceded. Lincoln immediately took control of the problem at hand. [ushistory.org] He did this in his First Inaugural address. There are two major points in the speech. The first being that Lincoln has no plans to abolish slavery. That was the main reason the South seceded from the Union. The second point he made was that secession is illegal and unconstitutional. He says “In your hand, my fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect, and defend it… We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.” [history.com] Six weeks later the Confederates fired on Fort Sumter, and the Civil War began. The Civil War is one of the biggest challenges any president has had to face during their presidency. The Civil War was America's bloodiest conflict. 620,000 people died. Taken as a percentage of today's population, the toll would have risen as high as 6 million people. [battlefields.org] Another challenge was that many people didn’t support the war. Some people opposed the war on principle or religious conviction; others were scared of dying or saw no compelling reason to risk themselves for emancipation, states' rights, slavery, sectional particularism, or the concept of an "indivisible" Union. They expressed their dissent in many ways. Some deserted, some protested, others sympathized with the other side or expressed their opposition in the political arena. [encyclopedia.com]


Lincoln accomplished many things during the Civil War. He did more than end slavery. He signed the first of the Homestead Acts. This allowed economically disadvantaged people to obtain land. Signed into law in 1862, the homestead act gave the applicant ownership of land for little or no cost. [archives.gov] This included free slaves and women. Another thing he accomplished was signing the Morrill Land Act. This act set aside federal lands to create colleges. President Lincoln signed the bill into law on July 2, 1862. [senate.gov] On May 15, 1862, Abraham Lincoln established the Department of Agriculture. When about half of all Americans lived on farms. It is a federal agency that proposes programs and implements policies and regulations related to American farming, forestry, ranching, food quality, and nutrition. [investopedia.com]


No President in American history ever faced a greater crisis and no President ever accomplished as much as Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln once said “I walk slowly but never backward” This means making positive improvements in one's life whether they be big or little can dramatically enhance one's quality of life. To this day the accomplishments of Lincoln improved Americans' lives.


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