How Should African Americans view Abraham Lincoln and his actions?

Essay by Wildflower09High School, 10th gradeA+, November 2003

download word file, 1 pages 2.6

Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth president of the United States. In history Abraham Lincoln is portrayed as one of the greatest presidents of the United States. President Lincoln is considered great because of emancipation and because he steered the Union to victory during the Civil war. But should Abraham Lincoln really be considered such a great emancipator?

In order to figure out how Lincoln should be viewed you must know background information on him. The Lincoln portrayed in history books is different from the real Abraham Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln didn't oppose slavery. The only reason Lincoln abolished slavery was because he wanted to ensure that the Southern states didn't secede from the Union. President Lincoln stated "My paramount objective in this struggle is to save the Union, not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing the slaves I would do it, if I could save the Union by freeing the slaves I would do it."

Lincoln didn't really have as much interest in freeing the slaves as most people thought he did. Abraham Lincoln believed that equality was improbable and that "there must be a position of superior and inferior and I am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race..." Lincoln also was "...not and have ever been in favor of bringing about the social and political equality of the black and white races."

Abraham Lincoln should be considered a reluctant emancipator by African Americans. He has been quoted as saying "the slaveholder has the same political right

to take his Negroes to Kansas that a freeman has to take his hogs or his horses. This would be true if Negroes were property in the same sense that hogs and horses are. But...