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 their land. 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
Slavery was then becoming a burning
question in American politics. Many people in the Northern states waited to
abolish it; the Southern states opposed the abolition. The Southerners said
that it weald mean economic rain for them. The reason was mat 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
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 Norm 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 mat 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.