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Accomplishments of Abraham Lincoln

Marian K Mar 9, 2020
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, has always been revered for his integrity, honesty and courage. His legacy of pioneering the abolishment of slavery, shall always be considered among the most important of human achievements.
"A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half-slave and half-free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved - I do not expect the house to fall - but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other."
- Abraham Lincoln (House Divided Speech, June 16, 1858)

Prior to Presidency...

Abraham Lincoln never let his humble beginnings as a son of two uneducated farmers define him. He complemented about 18 months of formal education with voracious reading and remarkable retention.
Prior to being elected as a president, Lincoln worked as a country lawyer, an Illinois state legislator and a member of the United States House of Representatives. His perseverance shines through two failed attempts to get elected to the US Senate.

During Presidency...

Initiation of 'Emancipation Proclamation'

On November 6, 1860, Lincoln, a republican candidate, was elected President of the United States. While he won the election with support from the northern states, the southern states made it clear that they would secede if he claimed the presidency.
On December 20, 1860, South Carolina carried out this threat. A few months later South Carolina and six other cotton-growing states in the South declared themselves to be a new nation - the Confederate States of America.
Though Lincoln and nearly every Republican leader denounced the secession, he believed that a peaceful solution was possible. Unfortunately, the hope for peaceful reconciliation was extinguished when Union troops were fired upon and forced to surrender at Fort Sumter.
Soon, Civil War broke out. In response, Lincoln along with the support of the governors, rounded up 75,000 troops from all the states to do all that was necessary to "preserve the Union".
In a short while, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas seceded too. Finally, on September 22, 1862, the Emancipation Proclamation was announced, and put into effect on January 1, 1863. One result of this was that black men could join the Union Army and Navy.
By end of the war, all the slaves (over three million) in the Confederate territory were freed. When this was done, Lincoln commenced the process of the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment to permanently abolish slavery throughout the nation. Eventually the Confederation was defeated and the North and South were reunited.
Abraham Lincoln's greatness lies not only in the way he held the Union together and led the North to victory, but also in the freeing of all 18,000 rebels who were arrested, excluding one who was exiled. Lincoln encouraged Southerners to lay down their arms and join in the reunion.

The Morrill Act, 1862

This act facilitated setting up of land-grant colleges in the fields of agriculture and mechanic art in different states of the US. Every eligible state was granted approximately 30000 acres of federal land for this purpose.
There was an overall distribution of approximately 17400000 acres of federal land after most of the states accepted the terms and conditions stated in this act.

Homestead Act, 1862

This act made millions of acres of land in the West available at very low prices. This act required it's applicants to be 21 years or above in age. They needed to pay $18 and apply for a homesteading land. Once the land was allotted, the applicant had to stay on the land for at least 5 years and make substantial improvements on it.
At the end of the term, he needs to submit affidavits from two witnesses stating that the land had been improved. If found satisfactory, a whopping 160 acres or more of federal land was allotted to him for free.

National Banking Act, 1863 and 1864

In a move that bolstered the economy, he signed this act which provided for creation of a network of national banks and established the first paper currency.

Pacific Railroad Act, 1862 and 1864

The enactment of this act helped to develop the transcontinental railroad system and telegraphic system all over the US. It authorized granting of huge land and government bonds to railroad companies in the US.

A Few More Feathers in The Cap...

Abraham Lincoln's strength and compassion was not only immortalized through his actions, but also through his powerful speeches and touching letters.  The Battle of Gettysburg though a Union victory, was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War.
In one of the most famous speeches in American history, the Gettysburg Address, he commemorated the sacrifice of the soldiers who died in battle. Similarly, Lincoln's letters to Fanny McCullough and Lydia Bixby have been reprinted and referred to innumerable number of times.
Abraham Lincoln will forever be upheld as an example of a good leader and a great human being. Often topping polls as America's favorite president, in him, the ideal of a politician with a conscience was given form.