Abraham Lincoln Essay, Research Paper
In Abraham Lincoln: The Man Behind the Myths, Stephen Oates interpretation of the Historical Lincoln had three examples of Lincoln’s actions; Moral decisions, his expression and progression. The first illustration that I see is his beliefs in moral determination. He not only believed that ethically slavery was wrong, but also believed that he could do something about it. One way that he tried to change peoples mind was to pass the Emancipation Proclamation Act. The proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” Even though this Proclamation did not immediately free a single slave, Lincoln believed that it was a start in ending slavery. Lincoln “…contended in any case that blacks who had tasted freedom would never consent to be slaves again” (p.115). He believed that once the “black’s” or slaves had a chance at freedom, Lincoln knew that they would never go back to being treated unequally. Lincoln was not much more than the simple saint, he was just an abolitionist. He was determined to stand by his word. He was willing to do anything and everything to get his beliefs out. Another action that I choose to illustrate his ways was his expressions. Lincoln felt so strongly about the Union that he expressed that the “…slaves were a tremendous source of strength…” (p. 105). He conjectured that having the slaves freed meant that the military would be much stronger. Even though this myth of Lincoln shows
that he is a sinner because he wants the slaves to enforce the military and not just to give them their freedom, he still shows us that he believes in equalization. He also expressed that women should have the right to vote “so long as all paid taxes” (p.53). Lincoln was very liberal minded in his way of expressions. In addition, Lincoln also shows us that he did everything that he could to have any kind of progression. He did this when he became President and signed the Emancipation Proclamation. He sustained that he would like everyone including the “Blacks” not only to be freed but also to be as equal as “White “ people. Lincoln believed “…that all men were created equal and entitled to liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (59). This meant that although Lincoln was raised to believe that black people were not as equal as he was, he grew up in believing what he thought was right and not what everybody else thought. Lincoln mentions that in this country “one can scarcely be so poor, but that if he will, ha can acquire sufficient education to get through the world respectably” (p.59). Another words, no matter the race or the color, if you are determined, you will reach whatever goal you might have. Lincoln was talking about the black people that were underestimated. Having such strong beliefs, as I read on, I would consider him not much more than a saint and certainly not a sinner. Lincoln was just a human being that felt that everyone should be treated as you would want to be treated “Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves”. He wanted to comfort the people that were unhappy. He also thought of the suffering that the black people were going through.
In conclusion, we may never know what Abraham Lincoln’s real determination was at the time of his presidency. We can only rely on myths and stories that are available to us. Even though through his beliefs in Moral decisions, his expressions, and his progression, these actions and so called myths, were proven to us through the “Emancipation Proclamation Act”. Usually when consistent myths are around for decades, it usually turns out to be somewhat true. As I mentioned previously, He was not much more than a saint and not a sinner that the myths suggested but he was just standing by in what he thought was right.
Abraham Lincoln: The Man Behind the Myths, Stephen Oates