Lincoln

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Cultura y Civilización

“Abraham Lincoln became a controversial president after the Proclamation which helped him win the election in 1864. Democrats accused him of being a tyrant, disrespecting civil rights in a time of war. Which was the political atmosphere at the time?”

Firstly, we would like to explain how we have decided to carry out this project. Thus, we havearticulated the issue in two different parts:

1. Biography (familiar and political)

2. Political atmosphere: Abraham Lincoln “The American dream”.

The fact that being divided into two themes won´t be traduced in an isolation, otherwise, we will try to combined both aspects in order to give more sense to whole composition.

1.Biography (familiar and political)

Abraham Lincoln wasthe 16th president of the U.S (between James Buchanon and Andrew Johnson) and the first by the Republican Party and he was the central figure of the Civil War.

Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 in Kentucky. Abraham had an older sister, Sarah, and a younger brother, Thomas, who died in infancy. His father, Thomas, was a carpenter and purchased three farms in Kentucky before theLincolns left the state.

In 1816 Lincoln family moved to Indiana, partly on account of slavery but chiefly on account of difficulty in land titles in Kentucky. Land ownership was more secure in Indiana and moreover, the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 forbade slavery in the area. Indiana was a wild region, with many bears and other animals in the woods. There Abraham Lincoln's life was noteasy, he was raised to farm work and he was absolutely nothing to excite ambition for education. His mother died in 1818 and his father married a Kentucky widow, who proved a good and kind mother.

1. Political beginnings

In 1830 the Lincolns left Indiana for Illinois, he ran unsuccessfully for the Illinois legislature in 1832. Two years later he was elected to the lowerhouse for the first of four successive terms (until 1841) as a Whig. Lincoln's father was a Whig too. As a Whig, Lincoln supported the Second Bank of the United States, the Illinois State Bank, government-sponsored internal improvements (roads, canals, railroads, harbours), and protective tariffs. Thanks to his advocacy of better living conditions for blacks and his great eloquence, achieved a greatpopularity around the state. Slavery was the opposite of opportunity and mobility, and Lincoln stated his political opposition to it as early as 1837.

Encouraged by Whig legislator John Todd Stuart, Lincoln became a lawyer in 1836, and in 1837 he moved to Springfield, where he became Stuart's law partner. He meet Mary Todd, a Kentuckian of much more genteel origins than he, and they weremarried on November 4, 1842. They had four sons: Robert Todd (1843-1926), Edward Baker (1846-50), William Wallace (1850-62), and Thomas "Tad" (1853-71).

Disappointed, Lincoln retired from politics for six years and he worked as a paralegal. His return to public life came in 1854 when the issue of slavery return to political level, following the Kansas-Nebraska Act wishes to extendslavery to the north-western states. Lincoln "was losing interest in politics" when the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed by Congress in 1854, because this legislation opened lands previously closed to slavery to the possibility of its spread by local option. He saw this act, which had been sponsored by Democratic Senator Stephen A. Douglas, as a new and alarming development.
Lincoln competed forthe U.S. Senate in 1855 but eventually threw his support to Lyman Trumbull. In 1856 he joined the newly formed Republican Party, and two years later he campaigned for the Senate against Douglas. In his speech he expressed the view that the nation would become either all slave or all free.

Lincoln wished to share Douglas's fame by appearing with him in debates and Douglas agreed to seven...
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