The Role Of Abraham Lincoln In The Abolition Of Slavery

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Lincoln’s Role While liberated African Americans clearly played an enormous role in the American Civil War’s outcome, the extent to which the Union owed its victory to their contributions—compared to say, Abraham Lincoln’s political skillfulness—is debatable. James McPherson’s essay, "The Role of Abraham Lincoln in the Abolition of Slavery” argues that Lincoln was a “conservative revolutionary,” and while this description may seem like an oxymoron, it describes the unique shrewdness and forcefulness that made Lincoln successful as a President. While McPherson recognizes that liberated African Americans greatly impacted the Civil War, he credits Lincoln’s gamesmanship and opportunism most of all. On the other hand, Ira Berlin et al. paints a picture in their essay, “The Role of African Americans in the Abolition of Slavery,” that illustrates the manner in which liberated African Americans involvement in the war, on the battlefield as well as in the background, shifted in the Union’s favor, perhaps more so than any other factor. Of course, both essays indicate that both Abraham Lincoln’s political skillfulness and liberated African Americans’ innumerable contributions were assets to the Union. And while Berlin et al. are most convincing, in all likelihood, it is the culmination of both factors that turned the tide against …show more content…
While it is impossible to know how the Civil War would have ended if the United States had a less capable President, or if various policies hadn’t enabled liberated African Americans to contribute to the war effort as they did, it is clear that both of these factors, along with the sheer will of African Americans fighting for freedom, were pivotal towards the Union’s success and African

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