Leadership, the ability to inspire others to follow solely through the individuals actions and beliefs. It’s not everyday that great leaders are born especially ones that have an everlasting impact post death. In the near 1809 one of America’s greatest leaders was born. Hardin County, Kentucky, February 12th 1809 Abraham Lincoln was born and the rest is history. Lincoln’s life and everlasting impact support why he was one of the greatest leaders this world has yet to see.
After birth in Kentucky Lincoln and his family moved to Indiana in 1816. Lincoln and his family would move once again when he was a young man at the age of 21 years, this time to Illinois. Before Lincoln got his start in politics he held and array of occupations including a freight hauler, a postmaster, and a shopkeeper. Lincoln entered the world of politics where he would ultimately remain when he joined the Whig Party and was elected to Illinois legislature in the year of 1834. Throughout 27 years of politics in which Lincoln would hold various positions of office as well as becoming a self taught lawyer who passed the Bar exam in 1836 and in turn gained his nickname “Honest Abe”.
It was the United States Presidential election of 1861 that Lincoln earned the largest position to lead from as he became the 16th President of the nation just a month before the Civil War began. As a newly elected President, Lincoln’s ability to lead would be immediately put to the test as he faced the task of uniting a nation that was now divided and at war. During Lincoln’s four years as the commander and chief there are an innumerable amount of actions that displayed his great qualities of leadership but there are two that truly defined what kind of leader he was. The first that came was the Emancipation Proclamation. On September 22nd 1862. Lincoln drafted and issued the Emancipation Proclamation that in essence was the first order that jump started the abolishment of slavery in a country that had been driven by it since its inception. Lincoln’s standpoint on slavery was not popular among all but his belief that slavery had no place in our nation was a belief that would gain the support of millions. Lincoln’s decision to issue the Emancipation was one that required a true leader to carry out, he knew there would be resistance but he knew it was the right course of action. Lincoln’s second action that displayed his tremendous leadership would be the famous Gettysburg Address. Following a Union victory at the battle at Gettysburg which was one of the most brutal and important battles of the Civil War, Lincoln gave a speech that would forever be remembered. Shortly after a battle that left over 50,000 men dead from both sides, Lincoln would capture the nation in just 273 words. In Lincoln’s address he would tell a tale of what it was this war was for, and what the goal was when it was finished, these ideals were all based off the Declaration of independence’s words that “all men are created equal” and Lincoln’s interpretation that this meant all men regardless of color. Lincoln painted a post war picture that included a “new birth of freedom”. Within the address lied Lincoln’s beliefs of human equality and desire to preserve the government structure that was inscribed in the Declaration drafted in 1776. Lincoln did not have to say much and that was because his words were something he so strongly believed in and that among many other attributes made him one of the greatest leaders of all.
Editors, History.com. “Abraham Lincoln.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 29 Oct. 2009, www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/abraham-lincoln.
Editors, History.com. “Emancipation Proclamation.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 29 Oct. 2009, www.history.com/topics/american-civil-war/emancipation-proclamation.
Editors, History.com. “The Gettysburg Address.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 24 Aug. 2010, www.history.com/topics/american-civil-war/gettysburg-address.
...(download the rest of the essay above)