Abraham Lincolna And Abolition
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The Role of Abraham Lincoln in the Abolition of Slavery
I am going to analyze the essay, “The role of Abraham Lincoln in the Abolition of Slavery.” This was written by James M. McPherson, and he tries to let the reader understand what Abraham Lincoln had to do with the abolition of slavery. McPherson wants the reader to understand that Abraham Lincoln was a crossbreed between a conservative and a revolutionary thinker. He wants the reader to know that the slaves would not have been freed if it were not for Lincoln, but that he was not the sole factor in the event. The emancipation proclamation shows Lincoln’s push for this to happen, and the fact that it worked gives him a placed in history forever.
The author wants to make clear that even though Lincoln was a large part of freeing the slaves that it was not his intent as president or for the war. The author states that although this revolutionary achievement was made, it was not part of Lincoln’s war aims. This gives Lincoln some conservative credibility, which is a great tactic to use to persuade the audience that Lincoln is not a full breed revolutionist. Another point that McPherson makes to prove his argument that Lincoln is a conservative is when he points out that Lincoln stated, “I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.” Then follows it up by saying that Lincoln’s conflict was that as president he could not act officially on his private judgment concerning the moral issue of slavery.
McPherson relies upon quoting Lincoln for most of his argumentative evidence. There is no quantitative evidence, nor does there need to be. Also, there are very little generalizations. He uses specific statements and political beliefs of the time period to persuade the reader that Lincoln was a conservative revolutionary. For example, when explaining how Lincoln wanted Congress to endorse his plan for gradual emancipation...
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