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The First President Abraham Lincoln

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Abraham Lincoln was the first president to do many things: he was the first president to have a beard, the first to be assassinated, the first born outside of the 13 original states, the first, and only, to have a pet cat eat at the White House dinner table with him, and he was the only president to have had anything patented.

Lincoln is the most remember president of the United States of America. As the 16th president, he is also known as the most influential to have ever been elected into the United States office. He lived a short life of 56 years, after being born on February 12, 1809, he was then elected into office, becoming the first Republican president at the age of 51 on March 4, 1861, and winning with over 40% of the popular vote. He upheld the office position until he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth on April 15, 1865, at the Petersen House in Washington, D.C. Abraham Lincoln was the greatest and most significant president because during his presidency he carried America through their Civil War, and while doing so he preserved the Union, modernized the economy, gave strength to the federal government, and issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which was the beginning to freeing the slaves.

The Civil War was one of America’s lowest points in history, but winning this war was a major key in Lincoln’s success as president. Although by deciding to fight this war Lincoln separated the nation, he also did everything in his power to win and bring the everybody in nation back together as one. When nobody else had, the faith needed to win the war, Lincoln was there to tell everyone it was possible. By doing this he showed a true sign of leadership and integrity. Not only did Lincoln show his love for America by winning the Civil War, he showed it by presenting his foreign policy. His foreign policy was so successful that it convinced the other nations that the North’s cause for fighting was solely based off the idea of emancipation, and although emancipation seemed to be known as “the impossible” of the time, they worked together to win the war against the South, and take back the freedom for African Americans.

This shows what was best for the nation because Lincoln knew that if they won this war, it wouldn’t only effect America it would also effect people from around the world, and give them hope for the better. Lincoln also had a huge part in maintaining the name “America, land of the free and home of the brave.” One way he contributed to this was passing the Emancipation Proclamation, and being a huge supporter in the 13th Amendment. Both of these in which had to do with the freeing of slaves; the Emancipation Proclamation was a great start to freeing the slaves, and the 13th Amendment was the end to legal slavery. Although the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t free all of the slaves, Lincoln was also a major supporter in the 13th Amendment; sadly, he was assassinated just months before the passing of the amendment. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery entirely in all parts of the United States, and was meant to make all of America free.

Granted some people rebelled against this amendment because they did not agree with the terms that slavery should be illegal. A very powerful quote by Lincoln stated, “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” This wise quote left such an impact because it really shows Lincolns true character; it shows that all Lincoln wanted was for everyone to be free and no one to go through life thinking about their limitations. This quotation, to put in modern-day terms, is similar to the quotation “treat others the way you want to be treated” which now-a-days is a rule of thumb they teach you all the way starting in Pre-Kindergarten. Abraham Lincoln is not only the most quoted president; he is the most quoted individual around the world. A few of his quotes being, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” This quotation is so important because even after Lincoln gained his power and fame, he stayed an honest, trustworthy man, and he didn’t get power hungry like many presidents in the past have. A few more of Lincoln’s famous quotations are, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be,” and “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

These quotes by Lincoln are so powerful because they show that he wanted everyone to live their lives to the fullest, and to be happy. They demonstrate that he didn’t want the people of America, or himself to do anything wrong, he just wanted America to live its life to the fullest and make everything count. Another thing these quotations show is, what a strong leader Lincoln was, and how he wanted what was best for the people, which was a major asset in him being the finest president. Another “most” that Abraham Lincoln maintains is that, he is the president that gave the most memorable speeches that impacted the greatest number people.

For example, The Gettysburg Address, not everyone may know this speech by its name, but if someone were to state the words “four score and seven years ago…” most people would recognize it. In this speech Lincoln stated, in summary, that he was grateful for all the people that fought in the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War, and that him, along with the rest of America were in mourning of all the lives lost in this battle.

Throughout this speech Lincoln reminded everyone what these soldiers were fighting for, freedom, national unity, and for everyone to be treated equally. These three topics were what Lincoln’s presidency was based off of; his main focus was freedom, and equality for everyone residing in the United States of America, not just white men. Abraham Lincoln also modernized the economy during the war by passing a bill that chartered the first transcontinental railroad.

This railroad created the opportunity to advance trade throughout the United States, and the world. Along with trade brought more federal income, which also contributed to giving power to the federal government. He also was the first to issue a required income tax to pay for the war.

Although it was only 3% tax on incomes greater than $800, this was the basis of the tax system that America still uses today. Another major thing he did for the economy was creating the first form of paper currency, which were called “legal tenders”. In 1862, he signed The Legal Tender Act, and by doing so he issued an authorized currency, also to help pay for the war, which the people called “greenbacks.” This system is still used in the United States today, although it has been modernized the concept stays the same for trade throughout the U.S, income tax, and legal currencies. Lincoln was and still is a memorable role model that not only kids, and adults look up to, but also a role model that other presidents try to emulate. Known as honest Abe, Lincoln is a trust worthy, and significant president that still lives on in everyone’s memories, and daily lives.

By leading America through their Civil War Lincoln showed true integrity, and guidance for the nation. Comparing Lincoln’s strong leadership to others, it shows how good of a president he was and how no other can compare. Abraham Lincoln is truly the best president, by maintaining the Union during America’s lowest point in history he showed real integrity that should set an example for everyone to follow.

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