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Greatest Presidents of the United States of America

Essay by   •  December 15, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  1,396 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,382 Views

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The President of the United States is a very honorable title to hold. If one holds this position, he is responsible for the United States as a whole. The president is head of state and head of the government of the United States. He leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces. America started having presidents to govern them from the 1700's. In the year of 1776, after the Americans got their independence, the American Colonies needed a new government and decided to unite into one nation. They needed a head of state and they decided to go with an elected president. The presidency of the United States started with George Washington who became the president on April 30. 1789. From George Washington, our first president, to Barak Obama, our current forty-fourth president, we have had many great presidents in between. However, out of the forty-four presidents we have had, the two that stand out the most would be Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Known as a great leader, Abraham Lincoln or "Honest Abe" was our 16th president (1861-1865). He radiated a quality of being an honest person that all people liked, which is one of the things that made him a successful president. Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12th 1809. His mother's death when he was nine years old affected him greatly and put a strain on his relationship with his father. A love of knowledge made Lincoln into an intelligent, well-spoken, and popular young man. When Lincoln talked, people listened, that is how much he was respected. After being elected into the Illinois state legislature in 1834, he decided to teach himself law. And in 1858 he decided to challenge Steven Douglas for his seat in the U.S. senate. The Lincoln-Douglas debates were a series of seven debates. Both candidates were trying their best for their respective parties to win control of the Illinois legislature. The main issue discussed in all seven debates was slavery. These debates previewed the issues that Lincoln would face in the aftermath of his victory in the 1860 presidential election. However, Lincoln lost the election, which was his biggest political defeat. Because of this, he got the attention of national republican leaders, and won the parties nomination for president in 1860.1 Lincoln won the election as president with Hannibal Hamlin as his vice president. However, his views on slavery did not make him a welcome leader in the south. On April 12th 1861, the confederacy fired on port Sumter, and began America's most deadly war, the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln was an unfaltering commander in chief during the Civil War, which kept the United States as one nation.

As president, Lincoln built the Republican Party into a strong national organization. He rallied most of the northern Democrats to the Union case. And on January 1, 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which began the process of freedom for America's slaves. The Emancipation proclamation was his best policy in his presidency. He was easily re-elected for his second term as president with Andrew Jackson as his vice president. On Good Friday, April 14, 1865, John Booth, who somehow thought he was helping the South, assassinated President Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in Washington. An article about the biography of Abraham Lincoln states, "The nation lost a great leader at the time they needed him most"1. One of his famous quotes from his second Inaugural Address states "With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds... " The author of "The American President" writes, "From the time when the heroes of the revolution died out, no President except Abraham Lincoln, displayed rare or striking qualities" (Kunhardt, 51) Abraham Lincoln is truly America's greatest hero because of his distinctive charm.

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