Abraham Lincoln was a man who made great advancements in his life, particularly in the field of civil liberties.
Most people who have read just a little bit about the history of the United States already know that he was president during the Civil War. But exactly what can be said that Lincoln accomplished during this time period?
Well, first of all, slavery was obviously wrong. Therefore, Lincoln was correct in supporting the Union, which opposed slavery. He did not defend the Confederacy and the people supporting slavery.
He felt that it was extremely important for the United States to end slavery. However, he also realized that the seceded states should not stay that way forever. Once the war was over, he felt that it was crucial to reunite the Union and the Confederacy back into one United States. The actions he took to achieve this goal to reunite the U.S. were some of Abraham Lincoln's greatest accomplishments.
Some people think that the Emancipation Proclamation set the slaves free as soon as it was issued. However, that was not the case. The war was still going on when it was first issued on January 1, 1863. What this document did accomplish, however, was gave blacks the right to serve in both the Army and the Navy of the Union. This was one of Lincoln's greatest accomplishments. The blacks were happy to finally have this right and nearly 200,000 blacks join the armed forces. Therefore, Lincoln gave them the right to fight for their own freedom.
Of course, it did state that slaves were to be freed. However, this rule did not apply in any of the Confederate states nor did it apply in the border states.
As we said, the Emancipation Proclamation did not do a whole lot as far as actually ending slavery. The states that it applied to were virtually slave free, since they were all members of the Union. Furthermore, it could not even be applied to the border states. However, after the war, Lincoln continued to support legislation that would effectively and actually free the slaves. He was a great supporter of the 13th Amendment, which did wind up being the one to free the slaves.
Another event that Lincoln is very well known for is his presentation of the Gettysburg Address. Many people are familiar with the famous opening lines, "Four score and seven years ago..." Therefore, we can say that this speech was an accomplishment for what it spoke about at the time, but also for the impact that it has continued to have all the way up until today.
He spoke these words at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on November 19, 1863. This event occurred four months after the Union army defeated the Confederate army at the Battle of Gettysburg. He spoke about how freedom would come to the states for all, and how they would work more towards unity and less towards states' rights. He paid tribute and honor to the burial grounds of the soldiers. He also reminded the listeners what the country was founded upon and that he would continue to strive to reach those principles.
Although this speech is so well known, the exact words have been disputed.