This is an essay that is based on my opinion of Abraham Lincoln. I do not mean any offense to anyone but Lincoln. I just believe that people should know a little bit of truth behind the person who is considered to be the greatest president. MMOD
President Lincoln: Over-rated?
All through my school years I've been learning about what a great president Abraham Lincoln was: he freed the slaves, brought the Union back together and so on and so forth.
Now, being brought up basically by my dad and brother, I fell in love with history and learned about many different wars, the civil war being one of the main ones. Also, growing up around the south, I have read a lot of pro-confederate books on the civil war and the people who were involved in it.
I would like to believe that I've read and learned enough about President Abraham Lincoln to make an educated opinion that: President Lincoln isn't the guy everybody loves and the only thing that he had going for him was that he could write very inspirational speeches.
One of the so-called greatest things that Lincoln done as president was, freeing the slaves. He did write the Emancipation Proclamation and thus freed the slaves, but if you think about it, it was more of strategy to winning the war than an act of random kindness towards the slaves. I say this because, if you want to win a war, you try to take out your enemies' greatest weakness, and for the South, it was the slaves. Plus, he only meant the Proclamation to go only towards the Confederate states. Some would argue that he didn't want any of the Border States who owned slaves to join the Confederacy; I disagree with this statement for two reasons: one, because if Lincoln really did care about the slaves he would have freed all of them; and for two, let Lincoln tell you himself:
"I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races - that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything." Abraham Lincoln
So the great president, who "freed" the slaves, did not support their equality. Also while addressing a group of African Americans, he blamed them for the civil war starting and told them he wanted to deport them to another country:
"But for your race among us there could not be war, although many men engaged on either side do not care for you one way or the other. Nevertheless, I repeat, without the institution of Slavery and the colored race as a basis, the war could not have an existence. It is better for us both, therefore, to be separated. ...I suppose one of the principal difficulties in the way of colonization is that the free colored man cannot see that his comfort would be advanced by it. You may believe you can live in Washington or elsewhere in the United States the remainder of your life, perhaps more so than in any foreign country, and hence you have come to the conclusion that you have nothing to do with the idea of going to a foreign country. This is (I speak in no unkind sense) an extremely selfish view of the case." Abraham Lincoln
People say that Lincoln brought the Union together. He did, but after he started a war that killed 620,000 soldiers and an estimated guess of 80,000 citizens.
Before the war began, in Lincoln's first Inaugural Address, after seven states already seceded, he stated:
"I, therefore, consider that in view of the Constitution and the laws, the Union is unbroken; and to the extent of my ability I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States."
He basically said that he was going to force everybody to obey his law. Just about a decade or so before any states seceded he was quoted to have said this in Congress:
"Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right – a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people, that can, may revolutionize, and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit."
Lincoln was a hypocrite. He started the war that tore the Union. After the seven states seceded, they took control of all military forts in their territory. Ignoring the Confederate government warning, Abraham Lincoln sent supplies to the Union troops in Fort Sumter, who were ordered to not leave the fort, and thus, the first battle of the civil war began. Though the only casualty was one man, it was enough to make four other states join the Confederates.
Lincoln had also ignored the 9th and 10th amendments, which protect the states' rights and the unspoken rights of the people. It was within the state rights to secede from the Union. Invading the South was an act of war. In a letter to Horace Greeley in 1862, Abraham said that he would save the Union in the shortest way under the Constitution (5). When just the year before he suspended the writ of habeas corpus, the amendment in the Constitution that states that the people have the right have a court hearing to determine if they are being held lawfully. So when people in the Union didn't agree with what he was doing, he imprisoned them, and kept them there for as long as he saw fit. This is exactly one of the reason's why the colonies separated from the British to begin with.
This is my opinion of Lincoln, he was racist, hypocritical, and is one of the most over-rated people in the history of the United States. I believe that history classes in schools should teach all truths about a person, whether the truth about that person may be good or bad.