Lincoln, the 16th president of the US, is renowned for his role in leading the nation through the Civil War, abolishment of slavery, modernization of the economy and stabilization of the US federal government. This paper aims to provide a brief history of Abraham Lincoln’s life as well as a comprehensive analytic review of the argument that he is among the most important and prominent leaders in the history of the US.
Abe Lincoln was born in Hardin County, Kentucky on 12 February 1809. According to Schwartz and Howard, his family had a low social standing and in fact, they lived in a single room cabin with his parents and two siblings. His family later moved to the state of Indiana in 1816 when he was 7 years. In order to support his family, Lincoln had to work at a young age, helping his father in doing farming chores. This had a significant adverse impact on his education, with historical research suggesting that he went to school for only a single year as a child.
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Later on in 1830, his family moved again to Macon County in Illinois. He became employed as a hand on a riverboat that was in the business of freight transportation along the Mississippi River (Burlingame). He later settled in New Salem, a town in Illinois, where he worked as a postmaster and a shopkeeper. This is where Lincoln began his political career, supporting the Whig party. He lost his first election race in 1832 when he vied for the Illinois state legislature. However, he later won the election in 1834 and become a prominent fixture of his party for eight consecutive years.
Notably, Lincoln was a self-taught lawyer. As aforementioned, his stay in school was short. However, the education he received was sufficient to read and write and during his childhood and early adulthood, his interest in law contributed to his pursuit of a career in the field (Nicolay). In spite of his focus on politics, he continued to study and in 1837, he was admitted to the bar. He moved to Springfield in the same year.
In 1842, Lincoln married his wife, Mary Todd. Together, they had four children, all sons, two of whom died at a young age. Later, in 1846, he was elected to the US Congress, at which point he moved to Washington D.C. in order to complete his term. Lincoln, along with other politicians such as Daniel Webster and Henry Clay, strongly opposed slavery and in fact, he attempted without success to abolish slavery in the state (Foner).
In 1849, Lincoln decided to resume his law career and devote more time to his family. He went back to Springfield and his career in politics seemed to be at an end.
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