Abraham Lincoln democracy, fraternity and equality crusader

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Cast in a new mould, Abraham Lincoln was indeed one of the great leaders of all time. He led his country at the time of one of its greatest crises. It was a true leadership of firmness and moral rigidity, balanced by a passion for peace and forgiveness. As an iron man he suppressed the secessionists, but never hesitated to shower mercy on the mercy-seekers. 

Born on, February 12,1809, Lincoln never attended school a year, all told. Life was his school and he was his own teacher. A youthful giant at 6 ft 4, he was hired out by his own father to prosperous neighbors for his skill and power to face hardship. 

He took to studying law when he was keeping his own store in New Salem. Before he became a lawyer, Lincoln's neighbors elected him to the Legislature. It was like a university who never associated with educated people. And it was from there he straightaway became a leader of the Whigs. And finally he emerged as their candidate for Speaker.

The declaration for woman suffrage, and his stand against slavery made him a legislator worth of remembrance. Specially, even so many days after his death. It was Lincoln who made his life a living campaign for democracy, fraternity and equality. And he fought hard to turn them into a reality all throughout his life, till his death on April 15, 1865.

And these two significant moves made him the most prominent young lawyer in Springfield. It was his deep disliking against injustice and slavery that led this lawyer to enter politics. As the President in his later life, he freed millions of slaves by a stroke of his pen.

He joined the newly formed Republican party whose ideals suited him. He at once became its leader in Illinois. Lincoln became the President elect in 1860 as a minority candidate. It was at this time that the southern states finally decided to secede, or split up from the Union. In the year 1861 war broke out between the mineral-rich north and the slave-rich south in the farming belt. It was one of the most bitter civil wars of history. Many states dependant on slaves labors had already joined the southern confederacy. 

Lincoln was determined to save the Union. He prosecuted the war with the sole aim of forcing the south to surrender completely and break up their confederacy. He tried to prevent the nation going into war. But just did not succeed. Despite some initial success, the secessionists were finally defeated as the two superior generals of the southerners surrendered. They were Robert E. Lee and 'Stonewall' Jackson. And following this slavery was abolished by Lincoln in 1863 and the slaves in the south abandoned their masters. But the defeat was not taken by all with an equal spirit. Lincoln was assassinated on April 14,1865, five days after the surrender, and he died the next morning. 

The life of this great leader thus came to a shocking end. Though he came to Presidency without any previous executive experience, his greatness lies more in his simple humanity. It was his unshakeable faith in the right and in his leadership of the people. The secret of his leadership everywhere was the same - his kinship with the people, who never failed him.

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