President Abraham Lincoln During The Civil War Essay

1047 Words Nov 7th, 2016 5 Pages
The purpose and goals of President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War have been a hotly debated topic. On one end of the spectrum is the belief that the war began with the intent of preserving the Union, and ended with the intent of abolishing slavery. On the other end is the belief that goals in the war were consistently pointed towards the preservation of the Union. Abraham Lincoln, when inaugurated, fully intended to make it his only goal to preserve the Union, and to stay out of most affairs regarding slavery. While avoiding all affairs regarding slavery proved more difficult than anticipated, in the end, Lincoln stood by his main goal of preserving the Union. Lincoln’s primary goal in the beginning of the Civil War was to preserve the Union. In a letter to Horace Greeley in 1862, Lincoln stated, “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery.”1 Whether or not slavery was abolished was not of great concern to Lincoln in the beginning of the war. By the time Lincoln was inaugurated, seven states had already seceded from the Union.2 If Lincoln had desired the abolition of slavery over the preservation of the Union, he would have banned the practice, lost some of the border states to the Confederacy, and ended with a smaller, slave-free nation. But, despite this potential, Lincoln responded to the secession of the states in a message to Congress in Special Session that he not only thought of secession as the…

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