16 July 2012
The Significance of Pre-Presidential Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the United States of America’s sixteenth president and the most iconic figure in the struggle to end slavery. Lincoln was born in Kentucky, which was part of the South and a Slave state. However, he moved to Illinois in 1830. Lincoln worked as a lawyer in Illinois and even served a term in the United States House of Representatives in the 1840’s. He was a member and leader of the Whig Party and eventually a moderate Republican. He idolized Henry Clay and believed slavery to be immoral, but he believed it needed to be a slow process so as not to uproot the status quo in Southern States. It was his wish for the institution of slavery to eventually be ended, but understood it’s importance to the lives of Southerners.
Early in 1854, Stephan A. Douglas routinely introduced a bill to the United States Senate to repeal the Missouri Compromise and allow the locals of the Nebraska Territory to decide whether their territories would be free states or slave states. Douglas’ bill would be enacted, but it would cause a “storm” of protests in the North. Northerners, for the most part, came to despised slavery. Many of them wanted it to be completely abolished, and almost none of them wanted it to expand to the new territories. This caused northerners to unite across party lines to eventually form the Republican Party. The process took about six years to truly unite the Republican Party enough to elect a president.
Lincoln, who was still a leader of the Whig Party during the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, was appalled by Stephen A. Douglas’ bill and his agenda. Lincoln began speaking out against slavery and the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Luckily for Lincoln he and Stephan A. Douglas shared the state of Illinois and Lincoln could actively speak against Douglas and the Kansas-Nebraska Act within days, and sometimes even within hours. Illinois was a pivotal...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document