Born in poverty on February 12, 1809, Abraham Lincoln grew up to become one of America’s greatest presidents. He took office as the 16th president in 1861 and saw the Civil War break out just a few weeks later. During the war, which claimed 623,000 lives, Lincoln provided strategic military leadership to the Union (U.S. government forces) as he sought to reunify the nation.
“As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy,” Lincoln said. His Emancipation Proclamation freed the 3 million slaves who were living in the Confederate states, which were in rebellion. He supported passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which would abolish slavery throughout the United States, but did not live to see it take effect. Lincoln was shot to death by a Confederate sympathizer on April 9, 1865, just five days after the Confederacy surrendered. The constitutional amendment banning all slavery was adopted at the end of that year.
For more information, see the publication Abraham Lincoln: A Legacy of Freedom (PDF, 6.82MB).
Read more: http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/inbrief/2012/02/201202091003.html#ixzz1lzh3u5Es
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