Abraham Lincoln: A Great President

1509 Words 7 Pages
When people think of the great presidents that this nation has had over the years, one thinks about great names such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and if they’re from Kansas, Dwight D. Eisenhower. No one can forget one of the most famous presidents, Abraham Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln is known as a great president for many reasons, but one of the main reasons is because of his influence on the emancipation of African Americans during the course of the Civil War. There is no argument that Abraham Lincoln did in fact play a large role in the freeing of the slaves, but the question that frequently comes around is did Lincoln think this was the best thing to do because that is what he truly believed should happen, or did Lincoln free the …show more content…
Lincoln however did believe that the slaves should be freed and should be sent back to Africa. The slaves were no longer becoming profitable and the best way to avoid the conflict of having them in America was to just simply send them back to Africa. Lincoln also showed that he only wanted to gain political power as when he was talking to people trying to convince them to vote him into the senate he would alter what he would say depending on the audience. “He opposed slavery, but could not see blacks as equal, so a constant theme in his approach was to free the slaves and to send them back to Africa. In his 1858 campaign in Illinois for the Senate against Stephen Douglas, Lincoln spoke differently depending on the views of his listeners” (Zinn 188). This shows that Lincoln could not always be trusted and many of the things that he was saying may not be considered as true because he would do many things to further his career. Also it shows that Lincoln thought that African Americans had no place in the American society and the easiest way to fix this problem would be to send them back to Africa after they were freed. Lincoln viewed African Americans as unequal to whites and the main reason he wanted to free them was simply to get them out of American so there would no longer have to deal with the problems of equality …show more content…
Although some see this as true there are several instances shown that Lincoln simply just wanted what was best for the Union as a whole. If that meant keeping the slaves then so be it and if it meant freeing the slaves then that would be alright too. Lincoln was not thinking of what would be best for the African Americans as a group of human beings, but he was simply thinking of what would be the best for the Union. Overall Lincoln knew that if the Union was successful then he could be assured that his job as a political leader would be insured also. In a letter addressed to Horace Greeley from Abraham Lincoln it states that “My paramount object 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 slavery, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about Slavery and the colored race, I do because it helps to save this Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union” (Zinn 191). This quote taken directly from Lincoln shows clearly that the only thing on Lincolns was what was best for the Union and not for the “colored race.” This is why the Emancipation Proclamation was

Related Documents