Research



·
Political Party: Republican

· Years in office: 1861-1865

· Brief historical background

o Path to president:
-Was a captain in the Black Hawk War
-Spent 8 years in the Illinois legislature
-In 1858, he ran against Stephen A. Douglas for Senator. He lost the election, but his debates with Douglas earned him the Presidential nomination in the Election of 1860.

o Highlights/Lowlights of career

-His election caused 11 Confederate states to secede from the Union.

-Started the Civil War because he wanted to preserve the Union.

-Suspended the writ of habeas corpus so he could imprison dissenters without a trial.

-On January 1, 1863, he signed the Emancipation Proclamation into law. This declared free all slaves in Confederate states.

-Convinced Britain to release two Confederate emissaries in the Trent affair. This could have expanded into a larger conflict, but Lincoln's tact caused the affair to end peacefully.

-Was elected for a second term in 1864, but he was assassinated on April 14, 1964 by John Wilkes Booth in Ford's Theatre. Booth thought he was helping the South by killing Lincoln, but he actually helped to do the opposite since Lincoln had a peaceful plan to reinstate the South to the Union.

-Rallied for the Thirteenth Amendment, which outlawed slavery. It was passed on January 31, 1865.



·
Two domestic policy issues

-Homestead Act of 1862 allowed any citizen 21 or older to acquire 160 acres of land for free if he lived on it for 5 years.

-Restoring the Union was Lincoln's first priority, not freeing the slaves, although he was against slavery.

Lincoln quote on slavery and the Union:



" My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that."


·
Two foreign policy issues

-Napoleon III violated the Monroe Doctrine by sending troops to Mexico. Once the war was over, Lincoln sent troops to intimidate Napoleon, and Napoleon withdrew his troops from Mexico.

-The Trent affair


Presidential Report Card
(Be sure to include a letter grade and at least two comments)


· Character: A+ Even though he disagreed with the Southern secession, Lincoln refused to be bitter towards them. "With malice toward none; with charity for all," he wanted to reinstate the South into the Union despite their disrespect for his leadership.

Also, when Ulysses S. Grant ordered that all Jews be expelled from the area of his command, Lincoln saw the injustice of the order and canceled Grant's order.

· Morals: A+. Lincoln was against slavery even though many in his own party and much of the South supported it. He also supported the 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery.



· Economics: A+. Lincoln created the income tax to finance the Civil War and kept the Union out of debt. The South, by contrast, was destroyed by war debt.



· Effectiveness: A. Lincoln did realize his goals to restore the Union. He also managed to free the slaves, even though that was not his primary goal. He was, however, assassinated, so he was not completely effective.



· Political Skill: A+.The Emancipation Proclamation was a clever political move because it temporarily satisfied the abolitionists who had been pleading with Lincoln to end slavery. It also provided legal grounds for the Union to invade the South. In the Trent affair, he managed to prevent further conflict by asking the British to release the Confederate officers.



· Vision: B+. Although Lincoln did have an impressive dream to unite the country, he was more of a moderate when it came to the slavery issue because he only supported a gradual assimilation of African Americans into society.



· Leadership: A+. Lincoln managed to keep the country together despite pressures from many different groups agitating for various causes. One of his cabinet members, Salmon P. Chase, was a one of Lincoln's rivals for the presidency. Abolitionists were pressuring Lincoln to end slavery. The South did not want to rejoin the Union and wanted to keep slavery. Anti-war leaders pressured him to end the war and forgo unity. Within his own party, the Jacobins, a group of congressional leaders, opposed Lincoln's policies and wanted to punish the South and free the slaves immediately. Yet through all of this, Lincoln kept the United States together.


·
OVERALL: A+ Lincoln freed the slaves and unified the country.