What is it about Abraham Lincoln that has captured the hearts and minds of the American public since his assassination nearly 150 years ago? After all, one could argue -- rather persuasively -- that our 16th president was the least qualified candidate ever elected to high national office; in fact, his public service record included just four terms in the Illinois state legislative, one unremarkable term in the House of Representatives, and two unsuccessful bids for the US Senate. In addition, he had virtually no executive experience and, as his contemporaries invariably pointed out, Lincoln seemed wholly unfit to lead the...
Yes, slavery was referred to, but it was not named as such, usually the Constitution uses words like "such persons," and "such persons" could refer only to slaves. And, yes, Lincoln and the majority of Republicans were merely attempting to stop the spread of slavery into the territories. The Republicans hoped that this would eventually force the South to give up slavery. Read contemporary documentation like the Cooper Union speech and the Declaration of Causes. They all point to one thing: The major issue of the day and major issue of the secessionists was slavery, particularly its extension into the territories, which the Republicans adamantly opposed.
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