The Best President in American History: Abraham Lincoln

3551 words 15 pages
What defines a great President and what do we mean when we say someone is “the greatest”?
Firstly a great President must be viewed as person who has achieved success in the office they hold. That includes effective implementation of policies which are clearly expressed prior to election and that are in the interests of the people who elected them. This is the very foundation of Democracy within the United States and was defined by Abraham Lincoln as “government of the people, by the people, for the people”.
Throughout his presidency Lincoln never wavered in adherence to the principles he firmly believed in though he adapted and changed policies in the face of changing circumstances and experience to obtain his goals.
It can truly be
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He witnessed slaves being bought and sold and it had a major impact on him, reinforcing his genuinely held conviction that the institution of slavery was wrong.
At the age of 22 he left home for good and moved to New Salem Illinois which had a population at the time of only 100 people, but was the largest place he had ever lived in. After eight months he ran for the state legislature. This is itself was remarkable since he had barely established himself there. Although he failed to win, he received 277 of the 300 votes from New Salem itself. He easily made friends and loved to tell jokes and stories which people appreciated, while his whole body convulsed when he laughed. His sense of humor was an integral and essential part of his character, which he continuously used to entertain others or medicate the melancholy disposition he was predisposed to.
He ran again two years later and this time he won. Lincoln was clearly not a man to give up easily or dissuaded from his goal once his mind was set (he would later reply, when President, as to why he took so long to make decisions that he could not think of a time when he ever changed his mind once it was made up and this was born out in fact).
He became a member of the Whig party but being ever practical he had to pay the bills and so set out to become a lawyer. Once again he was self taught and so good that many other lawyers referred to him around

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