Considering the essential role played by Abraham Lincoln in American history, there is no wonder that essays on his life and career are often assigned to high-school and college students. That is why we have prepared a short essay on Abraham Lincoln, which you can use as a source for your inspiration. If you wish to receive a unique paper crafted according to all your specific instructions, you can always place the order with us and get the essay done by the proficient expert.

Abraham Lincoln Biography Essay

An American banknote of $5 depicts a man about who, despite his origin and unusual appearance, managed to change the history of his country. These words refer to the sixteenth president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.

The fact that a guy from a poor farming family of the first settlers embodied the "American dream" and became the president of the United States sounds fantastic even for America at the beginning of the 19th century. Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, in Kentucky, in a devout Puritan family, which is why he received a biblical name. In 1816, the family of Thomas and Nancy Hanks Lincoln, the parents of Abraham, moved to southwest Indiana. All workers were in demand on the farm, and Abraham attended school for only one year. Starting an independent life at age 21, he tried many professions. He worked as a land surveyor, storekeeper, lumberjack, postal employee. In a word, he was an unremarkable American guy. The only difference was his very high growth and exorbitant physical strength. However, from his father, Lincoln inherited other qualities - exceptional decency and responsibility for the task entrusted. In his native state, he was called only "honest Abe." Already in 1834, Lincoln was elected to the Illinois State Legislature, and two years later passed the legal exam and obtained the right to practice law. In 1842, Lincoln married Mary Todd, the daughter of a planter from the South.

By the age of 30, he had achieved everything he could dream of. On its staff, "honest Abe" enjoyed such authority that in 1846, he was even elected to the US Congress. However, there he felt like a black sheep. There was no politician in the modern sense of the word. Lincoln, for example, unlike his colleagues, did not make fiery speeches, exposing slavery that flourished in the southern states. Lincoln returned to politics when the country was already on the verge of a split. In 1858, he was nominated as a Republican candidate in the Senate elections. His public debate with Democratic Senator Stephen Douglas from Illinois, held in seven state cities, attracted tens of thousands of people - they even came by special trains. Lincoln lost the election, but thanks to verbal battles, he became widely known in the country. In essence, he turned out to be the only politician who primarily defended the unity of the country. In the next presidential election, the American people supported him. On November 6, 1860, an "honest Abe" was elected president of the United States, receiving 180 electoral votes against the 123 cast for his rivals. The most exciting thing is that Lincoln did not participate in the election campaign at all. He did not have the necessary funds for this, and he considered it totally unacceptable to take money from sponsors.

Meanwhile, the split of the country could no longer be prevented. On December 20, 1860, South Carolina left the union, and for a month and a half, it was followed by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. Virginia, Arkansas, and Tennessee joined them later. The separated states seized almost all federal forts, arsenals, post offices, and customs, announcing on February 4, 1861, the creation of an independent state - the Confederate States of America with its capital in Richmond. His president was even elected - the former senator and Minister of War Jefferson Davis. According to the US Constitution, Abraham Lincoln took up the duties of the president only on March 4, 1861. In his inaugural speech, he once again expressed his position. In fact, many were skeptical of his words. For a long time, Lincoln did not resemble politics. His awkward, lanky figure was the subject of many jokes. Newspapers, for example, called Lincoln "the offspring of a happy marriage of a port crane and a windmill." Journalists anticipated events. President Abraham Lincoln actually began to act with the equanimous tenacity of the port crane and the tirelessness of the windmill. It turned out that this good-natured giant, whom the wife pushed around, could, if necessary, be very tough.

Nevertheless, the southerners attacked and captured Fort Sumter. Lincoln faced a difficult choice. The fact is that the US Constitution does not allow "the unlawful invasion of armed forces on the land of any state or territory, under whatever pretext it may be committed." Only two days after the capture of the fort, President Lincoln declared the Confederate states in a state of rebellion and appealed to his compatriots to defend the country. Seventy-five thousand volunteers heard his call. In the first months of the war, Lincoln needed to create an army, navy, restore the capacity of government agencies, and concentrate all resources for armed struggle.

Assessing the activities of Lincoln during the Civil War, researchers do not hide admiration. He not only proved himself to be a virtuoso politician, having lured almost the entire democratic party, who fought against him in the elections and even tearing several slave states (Kentucky, Missouri, Delaware, and Maryland) from the Confederation. For the first time in US history, he used the extraordinary powers of the president (by canceling the right of those arrested to a court hearing or introducing universal military service). However, he did not go a step beyond the framework of the constitution. Lincoln only grinned at his numerous accusations of violating the principles of democracy and of "political quackery." Moreover, the "honest Abe," who faithfully studied the history of world wars, proved to be an outstanding military strategist. The turning point in the war came in July 1863 at the Battle of Gettysburg (Pennsylvania), where two armies clashed with a total of 160 thousand soldiers, of which three out of four died three days later. The Confederates, led by General Robert Lee, were defeated, from which they could no longer recover.

On November 19, 1863, at the opening of a large military cemetery in Gettysburg, where soldiers from both opposing sides were buried, he delivered a speech that was included in the annals of history. Over the graves of the dead, Lincoln stated that the Civil War was called upon to defend fundamental democratic values: the equal rights of all people, their right to freedom, and nation rule. On April 9, 1865, the Confederate forces surrendered. The US Civil War ended, but the president was one of the last victims of this bloody war.