Abraham Lincoln
Abraham lincoln.jpeg
Mr. Lincoln
Political party: Whig (1834–1854)

Republican (1854–1865) National Union (1864–1865)

Profession: Lawyer


Religion Unclear [1]
Born February 12, 1809
Died April 15, 1865 (aged 56)

Abraham Lincoln was a great, liberal President who is most notable for freeing the slaves. He was a Republican in his day, back when "Republican" meant Liberal. Lincoln was first elected President as a moderate Republican, but would leave the Republican Party in 1864 and be re-elected as a member of the National Union Party. He would most likely be ashamed to see the modern GOP and the acts of George W. Bush and Donald Trump.

He was the first president to be assassinated and the first with a beard.

Abraham Lincoln is on the US Penny ($0.01) and the $5 Dollar bill.


Abraham Lincoln's politics can be challenging to define. He was the first successful Presidential Candidate of the new Republican Party. Within the Republican Party of the time, Lincoln was known as a moderate. He was definitely Liberal, but the Republicans of the time contained a radical wing.

  • Free Soil Republican - he believed in stopping the spread of slavery to new territories or States. At the time, free soil Republicanism was the single issue that seemed to unite the Party.
  • Unionist - Above all he believed in the preservation of the Union. He was willing to compromise many of his personal political goals to preserve the Union, and in 1865, he ran for re-election as a National Union candidate. For example, he was willing to accept the Corwin Amendment if it would maintain the Union.[2]
  • On Slave Trade - For many years prior to Lincoln's Presidency, the Atlantic Slave Trade, though illegal, had been allowed to continue through lack of enforcement. Lincoln favored the enforcement of these laws.
  • Compensated Emancipation - He was a long time advocate of Compensated Emancipation. He'd written several plans for Compensated Emancipation throughout his political career. These plans called for the gradual elimination of slavery, payments to slave owners, and programs for either education and eventual franchise, or resettlement of emancipated people. None of the plans he had personally written were adopted, but a plan instituted in Washington DC had his input and support.
  • Protective Tariffs - Lincoln and the Republican Party supported Protective Tariffs. Protective tariffs had been perhaps the second most sectionally divisive issue of the pre-war Union. Protective tariffs were felt by Southerners to be as much a transfer of wealth from south to north as a source of revenue for government. Many Southerners felt that the spread of slavery was absolutely tied to resistance of protective tariffs, and saw the Republican platform combination of both free soil and protective tariff as a direct attack of their interests. The protective tariff plank was conspicuously absent in the National Union Party (Not the Republican Party, though supported by many Republicans) platform of 1864.
  • Extension of Political Franchise - Lincoln's Policies evolved over the course of his administration (that's what happens to liberals). He felt constrained both by the Constitution, and his perception of what society would accept, so his policies often differed from his beliefs. He did believe in extension of suffrage, but he also believed that the political franchise should not be extended to those people incapable of the responsible exercise of those rights and responsibilities. In the Campaign of 1864, Lincoln and his National Union Party advocated adoption of the 13th Amendment. Shortly before his death, he urged the States to extend the political franchise to the wisest of African-Americans and to African-American veterans.
  • Nationalist or Federalist? - He did support a stronger national Government, but was concerned about preserving States Rights. His choice of Andrew Johnson as running mate, and the Party of National Unity for his second term is indication of his reluctance to destroy the Federal system. He was not a small-government federalist, having signed the Land-Grant Acts, National Bank Acts, and Chartered the first Trans-Continental Railroad. Lincoln was a Nationalist, in resisting the dissolution of the Union. On the other hand he was no Nativist. Lincoln had considerable difficulty restraining the Native American Party (know Nothing) contingent within the new Republican Party.
  • First Federal Graduated Income Tax - In 1861, President Lincoln proposed and instituted a Graduated Federal Income Tax. This was not only a new form of taxation for the United States, it was progressive.
  • On Free Markets, Free enterprise and Capitalism -

"Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights. Nor is it denied that there is, and probably always will be, a relation between labor and capital producing mutual benefits. The error is in assuming that the whole labor of community exists within that relation. A few men own capital, and that few avoid labor themselves, and with their capital hire or buy another few to labor for them. A large majority belong to neither class--neither work for others nor have others working for them. In most of the Southern States a majority of the whole people of all colors are neither slaves nor masters, while in the Northern a large majority are neither hirers nor hired. Men, with their families--wives, sons, and daughters--work for themselves on their farms, in their houses, and in their shops, taking the whole product to themselves, and asking no favors of capital on the one hand nor of hired laborers or slaves on the other. It is not forgotten that a considerable number of persons mingle their own labor with capital; that is, they labor with their own hands and also buy or hire others to labor for them; but this is only a mixed and not a distinct class. No principle stated is disturbed by the existence of this mixed class.

Again, as has already been said, there is not of necessity any such thing as the free hired laborer being fixed to that condition for life. Many independent men everywhere in these States a few years back in their lives were hired laborers. The prudent, penniless beginner in the world labors for wages awhile, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land for himself, then labors on his own account another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him. This is the just and generous and prosperous system which opens the way to all, gives hope to all, and consequent energy and progress and improvement of condition to all. No men living are more worthy to be trusted than those who toil up from poverty; none less inclined to take or touch aught which they have not honestly earned. Let them beware of surrendering a political power which they already possess, and which if surrendered will surely be used to close the door of advancement against such as they and to fix new disabilities and burdens upon them till all of liberty shall be lost." Annual Message to Congress December 3, 1861[3]

  • Lincoln and Marx

We'll throw this one out there and let you research it for yourself. Lincoln was a free-thinker, a pragmatist, and a quick study.

Achievement and death

Lincoln’s most notable achievement was uniting the Union after the Confederate States split off. As Commander-in-Chief he won the American Civil War.

Mr. Lincoln was very strong executive, willing to consider opposing points of view, but unwavering in his resolve to preserve the Union. Many of his actions have to be considered Unconstitutional (actions in the border states), but whether those actions were rash or necessary to the preservation of the Union is the question we should hold in mind when judging his actions.

He was, unfortunately, shot and killed by an angry Confederate sympathizer and white supremacist who supported slavery and was angered after Abraham Lincoln got rid of it. Slavery is, and was, utterly Evil. Therefore, we can conclude that John Wilkes Booth, the man who shot him, was also evil (or didn't understand right from wrong), and that the lack of Lincoln's leadership may have contributed to the excesses of Republican Reconstruction.


"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time". Abraham Lincoln [4]

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." [5]

Abraham Lincoln's Religious Beliefs

Contrary to popular belief, Abraham Lincoln was neither an atheist nor a member of any Christian Church of his time, though his parents came from a Calvinist background. In his 1846 race for Congress, Lincoln faced had to respond to the then-damaging allegation that he was a Free-thinker who scoffed a Christian doctrine. Lincoln issued the formal reply, "That I am not a member of any Christian Church, is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures; and I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, nor of any denomination of Christianity in particular." He also indicated that "in early life, I was inclined to believe in what I understand is called the 'Doctrine of Necessity' - that is, that the Human mind is compelled to action, or held at rest by some power, over which the mind itself has no control," and that he had sometimes attempted to mantain such an opinion in argument. Lincoln found the emotionalism of frontier evangelists deeply unappealing. Despite this his parents' Baptist belief in predestination seems to have been a feature of his personal beliefs throughout his life (though in the form of being foreordaiend by immutable natural laws rather than by a personal Deity). Lincoln seems to have become more religious following the stresses of the Civil War and the death of his oldest son (according to his wife, at least). On the whole, his religious views seemed to have inclined from Deism towards some form of Gnostic Monotheism as his life wore on, and it is unclear how much he believed in his own political rhetoric on the subject to the Union at large (which seemed more specifically Christian at times).

Fun Section

His last words were "Good thing these tickets were free, Major Rathbone, this play su-"


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