Abraham Lincoln’s effectiveness as president of the United States was so great that in all these years, and those before his time, no president has ever come close to equaling his achievements. Lincoln is known as a humble, honest man whose presidency irrevocably altered our society. He took office in a time of turmoil for our growing nation. During his administration he faught and won the bloodiest war in our history. Lincoln also passed through congress the most monumental piece of legislation for social change in our history.
As social and economic differences plagued our nation, Lincoln saught above all else to preserve the Union. As the south seceded from the Union, became the Confederate States, and the Civil War began Honest Abe’ held onto his goal. With fighting resolve through the battles of Bull Run, Antietam, and Gettysburg Lincoln switched generals seeking the best leaders for his troops. He then appointed Ulysses S. Grant who led the Northern armies to victory and enabled President Lincoln to preserve the Union. If Lincoln had let the south go without a fight, lost the war, or taken advantage of the south’s surrender, America as we now know it would not exist.
On January 1st 1863 the Emancipation Proclamation was put into effect, freeing all slaves in the rebellious southern states. Lincoln wanted the United States to be viewed seriously by other nations and thought that slavery was primitive and wrong. With the Emancipation Proclamation he freed over four million slaves and took the first step toward the social equality that now exists. Never before had any president had the courage, or the character, to take such a step and set in motion social change that resonates to this day. On November 19th 1863 after the Battle of Gettysburg, the Civil War’s turning point, Lincoln stopped to address a group of people at the battle site. He read to them some hastily written notes, sure that no one would ever remember this speech.
These poignant words spoke of hope, freedom, and democracy. In the somber atmosphere of the Gettysburg graveyard Lincoln’s humble, but profound words touched all who heard them. The Gettysburg Address is considered by many to be among the top ten speeches ever written in any language and holds democratic government to a high ideal that it ever strives to achieve. Lincoln will always be remembered for his strength of character, his great accomplishments, and his effectiveness as the leader of our nation. Without the preservation of the Union there would be no United States of America. Although his life was cut short by an assassin’s bullet, the spirit of freedom that he believed in will live on in our hearts and our minds.
His simple words at Gettysburg will inspire political thought as long as one nation remains free. Abraham Lincoln’s relentless dedication to purpose, far-reaching vision for social reform, and the ability to communicate these ideas to one and all, made him the most effective president this country has ever seen.