Abraham Lincoln is the most famous
example of the **American dream». Many Americans think that in their country a
man may rise from the lowest to the highest position in th*irland. That was
exactly what Lincoln did. He was born in 1809 in a small farm in Kentucky. When
Abraham was quite young, the family moved to the wild forest land of Indiana.
He hardly had any education; he only learned to read and write and do simple
arithmetic. In 1830 Abraham left his father's farm and went to Springfield,
Illinois. There he became a clerk in a store and worked hard to improve his
education. In 1836 he became a lawyer.
He entered politics, too, and in
1834 became a candidate to the Parliament of Illinois. He soon became a force
in the political life. In 1847 he went as a Congressman to the National
Assembly (National Parliament).
Slavery was then becoming a burning
questions American politics. Many people in the Northern states wanted to
abolish it, the Southern states opposed the abolition. The Southerners said
that it would mean economic ruin for them. The reason was that the prosperity
of the South was based on cotton-growing, and only Negroes worked there. The
Southerners threatened that if the
North didn't cease its fight against slavery, the Southern states would leave
the Union. They wanted to form an independent «confederacy»*. In 1860 Lincoln
was elected President of the USA. In 1861 seven states left the Union and
elected their own President, Jefferson Davis. The Confederacy was formed.
Lincoln was strongly against slavery
and even more strongly against the break-up of the Union. In 1862 the American
Civil War between the North and the South began. At first the war went badly
for the North. The Southerners headed by General Robert Lee and Colonel Jackson
won some brilliant victories. But Lincoln did not lose courage. On April, 9
General Lee surrendered. The Civil War was over. Lincoln tried to convince
former enemies that they should live in peace.
On April, 14 the President and his
wife visited a theatre in Washington. During the performance Lincoln was shot
by an actor who supported Confederacy. Abraham Lincoln died next morning.
People admire Lincoln for political moderation. They admire him because he tried
to preserve the nation. He is a symbol of American democracy.
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