Who was Abraham lincoln?

Who was Abraham lincoln?

1 Answer
Dec 27, 2017


The American President during the Civil War


Abraham Lincoln was president of the USA from 1861 until his assassination in 1865. He is one of the most praised and yet controversial American presidents( and figures) in US History if not the most. He has received a tremendous amount of praise for the abolition of slavery(13th amendment) with which the Civil War resulted. He was also the first republican president.

Though not himself a proponent of abolition, the efforts he showed to maintain the Union after Southern Secession ended in the abolition of slavery. His opponents have stated that slavery could have been abolished without a Civil War(just like in Great Britain or France), that it would have much less costly both in lives and money and they quote his own words that his purpose was to "save the Union at all costs". He showed in private letters and in his inauguration adress that he did not oppose slavery in any sense.

Moreover, the first emancipation proclamation only freed slaves who lived in the Confederacy, Kentucky and West Virginia were not part of it and slavery thus remained legal there. The Morill Tarrif is often pointed at by revisionist Historians as the real cause of the Civil War. This new form of protectionism would thrust 80% of the tax burden on the South though it represented roughly 30% of the population(about 9 milllion people including 4 million slaves).

Tariffs had been a key element of discord between the South and the North for decades before the Civil War. The North was indeed industrial and needed protection from European competition(notably British) whereas the South relied on agricultural exports and advocated Free trade.

Lincoln was also blamed for his violation of the Bill of Rights and the suppression of Freedom of Speech( he was the only American president that had people imprisoned for political reasons) and his contempt of states' rights.