If posterity were to retain of the nineteenth century only the memory of a single man, it would only be that. Lincoln never cared to embellish his life and actions. The facts speak for themselves.
Abraham Lincoln was born in a cabin in Kentucky in 1809 into a household of illiterate lumberjacks. Despite family difficulties and misfortunes, he learned to read, began to study law and settled in Springfield, where he became the model of an honest and compassionate lawyer.
Rather ugly in the face but endowed with a bewitching voice, Abraham Lincoln expresses himself with words understandable to all and reasoning of a very high standard. This earned him being elected on August 4, 1834 to the Illinois Congress in the ranks of the Whigs (Liberals), a young party that opposed President Jackson's Democratic Party.
On August 3, 1846, he was elected to the Federal Congress in Washington. Opposing the war against Mexico in 1847, which he considered immoral, he had to give up representing himself before his electors, who were outraged by his positions.
However, the publication in 1851-1852 of the novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (La Case de l'Oncle Tom ) revived the debate on slavery in the United States.
On May 30, 1854, Democratic Senator Stephen Douglas' Kansas-Nebraska bill allowed voters in those states to choose whether they were free or slave states.
The decision contravenes the "Missouri Compromise" which established in 1820 that new states would be mandatorily free north of the Mason & Dixon Line and slave-owning south.
Outraged, Lincoln returned to politics and vigorously fought Stephen Douglas. There followed a split in his party, the Whig Party , and the birth of a new party, the Republican Party .
For the presidential election of 1860, the democrats are divided (on the one hand the partisans of the right of the States to choose their mode, on the other the hard slaveholders).
The Republicans choose Lincoln, who, thanks to the division of the adversaries, is elected on November 6 with only 40% of the votes!
South Carolina and ten other states seceded to preserve slavery and even more so their agrarian and aristocratic civilization threatened by the racketeering of industrialists from the North.
Abraham Lincoln wants more than anything to preserve the unity of the country. In his inauguration speech, March 4, 1861, he proposed to the South to keep slavery under certain conditions. But Southerners are unwilling to trust him and reject his openness.
The Civil War between the North and the South becomes inevitable. From the start, President Lincoln took strong action and was not afraid to imprison thousands of suspects without trial.
After four years of deadly fighting, a prefiguration of the world wars of the 20th century, the civil war ended on April 9, 1865.
A few days later, on April 14, 1865, the 16th American president went with his wife to Ford's Theater in Washington. There his assassin awaits him... The next day, April 15, 1865, the world cries on learning of the death of Abraham Lincoln .
His tragic end has the effect of bringing Americans together and making people forget the innumerable hatreds that were centered on his person. Its action finds a posthumous culmination with the vote of the XVIIIth amendment to the Constitution of the United States, on December 18, 1865, which abolishes slavery.