The Politics, Morality, and Ethics of Abraham Lincoln Analytical Essay by DrM

A look at the political and moral reasons that President Lincoln favored abolishing slavery.
# 150959 | 1,718 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2012 | US

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On November 6, 1869, President Abraham Lincoln was elected as the 16th President of the United States.  Lincoln is credited with maintaining the Union during the US Civil War, initiating the Emancipation Proclamation to free the slaves of the South, writing some of the greatest and most moving speeches ever delivered, and with exemplifying strong and honorable leadership in times of crisis.  Paper #150959, "The Politics, Morality, and Ethics of Abraham Lincoln", examines this great US President and the politics, morality, and ethics that motivated his brand of leadership.  The paper provides a compelling portrait of one of the greatest men in US history along with information on Lincoln's background, life influences, and the political environment of his time.  "The Politics, Morality, and Ethics of Abraham Lincoln" provides an informative and intelligent glimpse of a fascinating US President and leader.


This paper examines and analyzes President Lincoln's personal beliefs and morals regarding the institution of slavery and the political circumstances of the times that led him to support the abolishment of slavery. The paper opines that Lincoln had always opposed slavery on both moral and practical economic grounds, but did not formally endorse its immediate abolition until 1862 after coming to understand that he would need the support of the Northern abolitionists to win the war.

From the Paper:

"By the time of the Civil War, a liberal, free labor ideology based on Enlightenment principles was a key advantage for the North, including its capacity to attract and absorb immigrants and appeal to working class and middle class whites. Of the nine million people in the South, over four million were slaves who were not likely to volunteer to fight for the cause, nor were Confederate leaders eager to arm and train them to fight in the war--for obvious reasons. On the other hand, the North began to free the slaves and arm them, starting with the Emancipation Proclamation in January 1863, and this was a strategy the Confederacy could not match. Lincoln did not begin the war with the goal of abolishing slavery, but only to prevent it from expanding any further to the West. He had even been willing to offer the South a constitutional amendment to guarantee slavery where it already existed, but this proposal was rejected. Later, he offered compensated emancipation to slaveholders in the Border States, but once again met with refusal. "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • American Enlightenment Thought. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Archiving Early America.
  • Brinkley, Allen. American History: A Survey, 14th Edition. McGraw-Hill, 2012.
  • Equiano, Olaudah. (1789). The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. London, 1789.
  • Foner, Eric. Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party before the Civil War. Oxford University Press, 1995.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

The Politics, Morality, and Ethics of Abraham Lincoln (2012, May 15) Retrieved June 10, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The Politics, Morality, and Ethics of Abraham Lincoln" 15 May 2012. Web. 10 June. 2023. <>