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Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln, Abraham

A brief summary of the life of Abraham Lincoln from the UPSC perspective along with his philosophical beliefs.


Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865) was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the sixteenth President of the United States(USA) from March 1861 until his death in April 1865. During his presidency, Lincoln kept the Union together during the American Civil War, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the United States' economy. Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, at Hodgenville, Kentucky, to Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks Lincoln.
  • Lincoln grew up in a low-income home in Kentucky and Indiana. He had a younger brother, Thomas, who died while he was a child, and a sister, Sarah. Lincoln mother died when he was nine years old, and his father remarried a year later to Sarah Bush Johnston, a widow with three children. Due to land conflicts, Abraham Lincoln and his family relocated from Kentucky to Perry County, Indiana, in 1817. He attended school for a year and then continued to study on his own to further his education. In March 1830, his family relocated to Macon County, Illinois.
  • He worked as a mailman, surveyor, and shopkeeper, among other things, and volunteered for the Black Hawk War in 1832, where he was named commander of his company.
  • He was re-elected to the state assembly after being defeated in his first effort at becoming a legislator.
  • Lincoln began studying law books after studying grammar and arithmetic.
  • He passed the bar test and became a lawyer in 1836, and he began practicing in 1837. In 1842, Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd, and the couple had four sons. He returned to politics in 1854, enraged by the Kansas–Nebraska Act's opening of the prairie regions to slavery, and left in 1949. Lincoln became a leader in the newly formed Republican Party and stood for President in 1860, which he won. Lincoln enlisted the help of volunteers and militia to put down the insurrection and restore the Union. Lincoln maneuvered to end slavery by issuing the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, ordering the Army to protect escaped slaves, encouraging border states to outlaw slavery, and pushing through Congress the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which made slavery illegal throughout the country Lincoln was in charge of his re-election campaign. He attempted to mend his shattered nation by avoiding retaliation against the secessionists. On April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth, an actor, and Confederate sympathizer, shot and murdered Lincoln in his box at Ford's Theatre in Washington, becoming the first person to shoot an American president. As a pro-slavery fanatic, Booth believed Lincoln was hell-bent on destroying the Constitution and his beloved South. Abraham Lincoln is honored as the martyr hero of the United States. Abraham Lincoln is consistently regarded as one of the greatest presidents of the United States, both by academics and the general public.


  • On international and military affairs, Lincoln was opposed to the Mexican–American War, which he blamed on President James K. Polk's thirst for "military glory."
  • He supported the Wilmot Proviso, a failed plan that would have abolished slavery in any territory captured from Mexico by the US. Lincoln underlined his opposition to Polk by authoring and proposing his Spot Resolutions. According to Polk, Mexican forces "invaded our territory and shed the blood of our fellow people on our soil."
  • Lincoln requested that Polk show Congress the exact location of the slaughter and demonstrate that it took place on American soil. The resolution was not accept by Congress and the national press, and as a result, Lincoln's political support in his district deteriorated.
  • Later, due to a lack of possibilities, he quit politics and returned to his law business.


  • At his Springfield legal company, Lincoln handled every form of business imaginable for a prairie lawyer.
  • Twice a year, he appeared for ten weeks in a row in county seats in the mid-state county courts; this lasted 16 years.
  • Lincoln faced transportation challenges throughout the country's western expansion, particularly river barge clashes under the many new railroad bridges.
  • He then represented a bridge firm against a riverboat operator in a famous case involving a canal boat that sank after colliding with a bridge.
  • He received a patent in 1849 for a flotation mechanism that allowed boats to move in shallow water. Even though the invention was never commercialized, Lincoln became the first president to be granted a patent.
  • Abraham Lincoln appeared before the Illinois Supreme Court in 175 matters, 51 of which he was sole counsel in, and 31 of which were decided in his favor.
  • From 1853 through 1860, the Illinois Central Railroad was one of his most important clients.
  • Honest Abe got his nickname from his reputation as a lawyer.
  • During a criminal trial in 1858, Lincoln pleaded in favor of William "Duff" Armstrong, who was charged with murder.
  • After an opposing eyewitness testified that the crime was committed in the moonlight, Lincoln presented a Farmers' Almanac that showed the moon at a low angle, significantly decreasing visibility. Armstrong was found not guilty by a jury.
  • Lincoln boosted his profile in the run-up to his presidential candidacy by defending Simeon Quinn Peachy Harrison in an 1859 murder case, which he also won.


  • From 1834 until 1840, Abraham Lincoln was a member of the Illinois state legislature. In the 1830s and 1840s, he also practiced law in Illinois, becoming one of the state's most known lawyers at the time.
  • He entered national politics for the first time in 1847 when he was elected to Congress for a single term. Lincoln ran for the Senate in a highly publicized election in 1858, which he eventually lost but propelled him to national political prominin
  • Abraham Lincoln was the Republican Party's founder and a political moderate.
  • He argued that slavery should be restricted to the states where it existed, and Lincoln described slavery as a problem that needed to be solved in 1854.
  • Despite losing a senatorial race in 1858, he achieved a national reputation as a formidable political force. At the Republican National Convention in 1860, he was nominated as the Republican Party's presidential candidate, and he ran a successful presidential campaign.


The Southerners responded angrily to the election of President Abraham Lincoln. They thought the country had chosen an abolitionist for president. The South saw secession as the only possible choice. The South saw itself as having the right to split from the Union. According to the Declaration of Independence, the people have the right to replace or abolish a government that denies its citizens' rights. They feared Lincoln would revoke their privilege to keep slaves.
  • • In 1860, South Carolina seceded from the Union and was followed by Alabama, Florida, Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi by February 1861.
  • Abraham Lincoln played an important role in keeping the United States of America together.
  • He would not allow southern states to split from the Union; and
  • His greatest contribution to humanity was the elimination of slavery.
  • Following the civil war, citizens of all states in the United States were awarded citizenship and equal rights
  • The statement "government of the people, by the people, and for the people" is attributed to Abraham Lincoln.

Religious and philosophical beliefs

Lincoln was a religious skeptic as a young man and never joined a church. Though, later in life, Lincoln's frequent use of religious imagery and language may have been a strategy for reaching out to his listeners. He was well-versed in the Bible. He kept his ideas to himself and respected the beliefs of others. Lincoln believed in an all-powerful God who affected events, and by 1865, he was publicly articulating those ideas in significant speeches. In the 1840s, Lincoln subscribed to the Doctrine of Necessity, which held that the human mind was under the direction of a higher authority. With the deaths of his sons Edward and Willie, Lincoln may have sought solace in religion. At the time, he stated that God "might have saved or destroyed the Union without a human contest."
Lincoln believed in popular governance despite opting to lead our country to war to maintain the Union, his secularism (or perhaps even atheism) amid strongly religious elements in this political speech, and his great dedication to civil liberties as he suspended habeas corpus. His dedication to learning despite a complete lack of formal education, his philosophy, and his speech. Gini reveals Lincoln as an actor whose philosophy was founded on rationality and a juridical interpretation of the founding articles of the United States (USA), rather than an idealistic attachment to abolitionism, religion, or the Union. Lincoln's commitment to personhood and the protection of the individual guided him through brutal war and a strained and painful peace.


  • On February Nine, 1861, seven southern states declared their independence from the Union, establishing the Confederate States of America, a Southern republic.
  • The Confederacy of the Confederate States of America drafted its constitution. Jefferson Davis was its president.
  • The Civil War began in April 1861, when the Confederates attacked a US garrison (Fort Sumter) in South Carolina. The Confederacy acquired four more states, bringing its total to eleven
  • Abraham issued the Emancipation Proclamation in September 1862, releasing millions of slaves.
  • Nearly 50,000 men died in the Battle of Gettysburg.
  • Abraham Lincoln delivered the historic Gettysburg Address, in which he charged the nation with preserving the Union and democracy. His ideal was of a government-administered by, and for the people
  • The war was declared over in 1865 when all Confederate troops surrendered and the Confederate government disintegrated. General Ulysses S Grant accepted the surrender of General Lee's Confederate army.


  • Juneteenth is an amalgamation of the words June and nineteenth, and while it is not a federal holiday, it is observed as a state holiday in more than 45 states across the United States.
  • In the United States, June 19 is the oldest officially recognized commemoration of the abolition of slavery. Emancipation Day is another name for Juneteenth Independence Day.
  • On January 1, 1863, then-President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that "all individuals held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and shall henceforth be free".
  • Nonetheless, the many slave owners kept their captives prisoner for another 2.5 years following Lincoln's proclamation by concealing this knowledge from them and keeping them as slaves for one more harvest season.