The Purpose And Goals Of Abraham Lincoln During The Civil War

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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 …show more content…
But this isn’t to say that Lincoln lost sight of the importance of bridging the gap between the North and the South. Rather, he began to see how the abolition of slavery was necessary in order for the Union to be reconnected. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued as a “fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion”- the same rebellion as was found at the beginning of the war.7 This statement is ultimately Lincoln’s realization that, while he had originally wished to avoid abolishing slavery where it was already established, there was more at work than he had realized in his early years as president. The war had been raging on for nearly two years, with no clear end in sight. Lincoln still desperately desired the Union to be reconnected, so he resorted to stronger military efforts in order to achieve this goal. Lincoln had always understood that America could not survive with half of its people believing in slavery, with the other half abhorring the practice.8 Though this was not an act Lincoln had originally planned, it was necessary to achieve the end goal of the war. Lincoln often used humor in his daily life in order to lift spirits under undesirable circumstances.9 This …show more content…
After all, Lincoln stated outright in his first Inaugural Address that he had, “no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”10 Yet just two years later, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves from rebelling states. The statements from within this document differ greatly from those within the First Inaugural Address, signifying what appears to be a clear-cut change in war aims. However, this was not the case. Lincoln used whatever methods were available to him in order to achieve his goal. If his soldiers had run out of guns, they would have turned to the use of swords. In the same manner, when fighting to bring rebel states back to the Union failed, Lincoln was forced to find a new method that would bring the states back. The rebel states were given one hundred days to either choose to come back to the Union, or else the slaves would be proclaimed free.11 By doing so, Lincoln ultimately issued a massive economic crash for rebel states, as without the slaves, there was no economy. Without an economy, the South would be incapable of fighting the war. Though, this was not all. Lincoln also stated that all freed slaves from rebel states would be legally able to serve in the Union army or navy, thus vastly increasing

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