Easy 6 pages Book Essay on "Abraham Lincoln The American Presidents Series"


Question Description

Ebook is provided. Basically you don't need to "write" anything. You only need to put in many quotes from instructed chapters that answers each of the following questions. Remember, no outside sources. I do not need your writing, just give me quotes only from this book. And please provide page number.

Feel free to ask me questions.


Instructions: Using George McGovern's Abraham Lincoln, write an essay (6-page minimum) that answers all of the following questions:

  • Lincoln’s personal history. What professional and political experience did Abraham Lincoln accumulate before becoming President? (Ch.1—Humble Beginnings, pp.15-29; Ch.2—Making of a Statesman, pp.30-35)
  • The main conflict between North and South that led to war. What was the Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854)? The Dred Scott decision (1857)? Why did each one bring Lincoln out of private life and "rekindle" his political career? (Ch. 2—Making of a Statesman, pp.35-41)
  • Why saving the Union was important. What arguments did Lincoln make against southern secession? In what ways did he repress civil liberties during the war and otherwise "stretch the limits of presidential authority"? (Ch.3—Lincoln and the Union, pp.48-63)
  • Freeing the slaves. McGovern states that the Emancipation Proclamation "transformed the meaning of the war and redefined…the notion of freedom in America." What was Lincoln's early attitudes toward slavery and racial equality? On what grounds did he justify emancipation? (Ch.4—Lincoln and Emancipation, pp.64-72)
  • How the North won the war. McGovern states that Lincoln began the Civil War advocating "limited war" but later replaced it with "total war." What does he mean by these? How did Generals Ulysses S Grant and William Sherman implement the policy of total warfare? (Ch.5—Lincoln and Total War, pp.80-87, 92-96)
  • Republican reform. What major domestic reforms were passed during Lincoln's 1st and 2nd terms? (Ch. 7—Rising Above the Fray, pp.119-122)

  • Your essay must be typed and double-spaced.
  • Use Question-Answer format—write out the question, then write a short essay answering it. Do that for each question.
  • Use quotes and page citations (essays that don’t will be graded down).
  • Your essay must be a minimum of six pages (one page = roughly 24 lines of essay).
  • All answers must come from the McGovern biography. Don’t use outside sources.

Unformatted Attachment Preview

THE AMERICAN PRESIDENTS SERIES Joyce Appleby on Thomas Jefferson Louis Auchincloss on Theodore Roosevelt Jean H. Baker on James Buchanan H. W. Brands on Woodrow Wilson Alan Brinkley on John F. Kennedy Douglas Brinkley on Gerald R. Ford Josiah Bunting III on Ulysses S. Grant James MacGregor Burns and Susan Dunn on George Washington Charles W. Calhoun on Benjamin Harrison Gail Collins on William Henry Harrison Robert Dallek on Harry S. Truman John W. Dean on Warren G. Harding John Patrick Diggins on John Adams Elizabeth Drew on Richard M. Nixon John S. D. Eisenhower on Zachary Taylor Paul Finkelman on Millard Fillmore Annette Gordon-Reed on Andrew Johnson Henry F. Graff on Grover Cleveland David Greenberg on Calvin Coolidge Gary Hart on James Monroe Michael F. Holt on Franklin Pierce Roy Jenkins on Franklin Delano Roosevelt Zachary Karabell on Chester Alan Arthur Lewis H. Lapham on William Howard Taft William E. Leuchtenburg on Herbert Hoover Gary May on John Tyler George McGovern on Abraham Lincoln Timothy Naftali on George H. W. Bush Charles Peters on Lyndon B. Johnson Kevin Phillips on William McKinley Robert V. Remini on John Quincy Adams Ira Rutkow on James A. Garfield John Seigenthaler on James K. Polk Hans L. Trefousse on Rutherford B. Hayes Tom Wicker on Dwight D. Eisenhower Ted Widmer on Martin Van Buren Sean Wilentz on Andrew Jackson Garry Wills on James Madison Julian Zelizer on Jimmy Carter ALSO BY GEORGE MCGOVERN War Against Want: America’s Food for Peace Program Agricultural Thought in the Twentieth Century The Great Coalfield War (with Leonard F. Guttridge) A Time of War, A Time of Peace An American Journey: The Presidential Campaign Speeches of George McGovern Grassroots: The Autobiography of George McGovern Terry: My Daughter’s Life and Death Struggle with Alcoholism The Third Freedom: Ending Hunger in Our Time The Essential America: Our Founders and the Liberal Tradition Out of Iraq: A Practical Plan for Withdrawal Now (with William R. Polk) Social Security and the Golden Age: An Essay on the New American Demographic Ending Hunger Now: A Challenge to Persons of Faith (with Bob Dole and Donald E. Messer) Abraham Lincoln George McGovern Abraham Lincoln THE AMERICAN PRESIDENTS ARTHUR M. SCHLESINGER, JR., AND SEAN WILENTZ GENERAL EDITORS Times Books Henry Holt and Company, LLC Publishers since 1866 175 Fifth Avenue New York, New York 10010 www.henryholt.com Henry Holt® is a registered trademark of Henry Holt and Company, LLC. Copyright © 2009 by George McGovern All rights reserved. Distributed in Canada by H. B. Fenn and Company Ltd. Frontispiece: © Corbis Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data McGovern, George S. (George Stanley), 1922– Abraham Lincoln / George S. McGovern.—1st ed. p. cm.—(The American presidents) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN-13: 978-0-8050-8345-3 ISBN-10: 0-8050-8345-6 1. Lincoln, Abraham, 1809–1865. 2. Presidents—United States— Biography. 3. United States—Politics and government—1861–1865. I. Title. E457.M45 2008 973.7092—dc22 [B] 2008029869 Henry Holt books are available for special promotions and premiums. For details contact: Director, Special Markets. First Edition 2009 Printed in the United States of America 1 3 5 7 9 1 0 8 6 4 2 For Eleanor Contents Editor’s Note Prologue: The Greatness of Lincoln 1. Humble Beginnings 2. The Making of a Statesman 3. Lincoln and the Union 4. Lincoln and Emancipation 5. Lincoln and Total War 6. Politics in Wartime 7. Rising Above the Fray: Second Term 8. Victory and Death Epilogue: The Nation Lincoln Made Notes Milestones Selected Bibliography Acknowledgments Index Editor’s Note THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY The president is the central player in the American political order. That would seem to contradict the intentions of the Founding Fathers. Remembering the horrid example of the British monarchy, they invented a separation of powers in order, as Justice Brandeis later put it, “to preclude the exercise of arbitrary power.” Accordingly, they divided the government into three allegedly equal and coordinate branches—the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary. But a system based on the tripartite separation of powers has an inherent tendency toward inertia and stalemate. One of the three branches must take the initiative if the system is to move. The executive branch alone is structurally capable of taking that initiative. The Founders must have sensed this when they accepted Alexander Hamilton’s proposition in the Seventieth Federalist that “energy in the executive is a leading character in the definition of good government.” They thus envisaged a strong president—but within an equally strong system of constitutional accountability. (The term imperial presidency arose in the 1970s to describe the situation when the balance between power and accountability is upset in favor of the executive.) The American system of self-government thus comes to focus in the presidency —“the vital place of action in the system,” as Woodrow Wilson put it. Henry Adams, himself the great-grandson and grandson of presidents as well as the most brilliant of American historians, said that the American president “resembles the commander of a ship at sea. He must have a helm to grasp, a course to steer, a port to seek.” The men in the White House (thus far only men, alas) in steering their chosen courses have shaped our destiny as a nation. Biography offers an easy education in American history, rendering the past more human, more vivid, more intimate, more accessible, more connected to ourselves. Biography reminds us that presidents are not supermen. They are human beings too, worrying about decisions, attending to wives and children, juggling balls in the air, and putting on their pants one leg at a time. Indeed, as Emerson contended, “There is properly no history; only biography.” Presidents serve us as inspirations, and they also serve us as warnings. They provide bad examples as well as good. The nation, the Supreme Court has said, has “no right to expect that it will always have wise and humane rulers, sincerely attached to the principles of the Constitution. Wicked men, ambitious of power, with hatred of liberty and contempt of law, may fill the place once occupied by Washington and Lincoln.” The men in the White House express the ideals and the values, the frailties and the flaws, of the voters who send them there. It is altogether natural that we should want to know more about the virtues and the vices of the fellows we have elected to govern us. As we know more about them, we will know more about ourselves. The French political philosopher Joseph de Maistre said, “Every nation has the government it deserves.” At the start of the twenty-first century, forty-two men have made it to the Oval Office. (George W. Bush is counted our forty-third president, because Grover Cleveland, who served nonconsecutive terms, is counted twice.) Of the parade of presidents, a dozen or so lead the polls periodically conducted by historians and political scientists. What makes a great president? Great presidents possess, or are possessed by, a vision of an ideal America. Their passion, as they grasp the helm, is to set the ship of state on the right course toward the port they seek. Great presidents also have a deep psychic connection with the needs, anxieties, dreams of people. “I do not believe,” said Wilson, “that any man can lead who does not act . . . under the impulse of a profound sympathy with those whom he leads—a sympathy which is insight—an insight which is of the heart rather than of the intellect.” “All of our great presidents,” said Franklin D. Roosevelt, “were leaders of thought at a time when certain ideas in the life of the nation had to be clarified.” So Washington incarnated the idea of federal union, Jefferson and Jackson the idea of democracy, Lincoln union and freedom, Cleveland rugged honesty. Theodore Roosevelt and Wilson, said FDR, were both “moral leaders, each in his own way and his own time, who used the presidency as a pulpit.” To succeed, presidents not only must have a port to seek but they must convince Congress and the electorate that it is a port worth seeking. Politics in a democracy is ultimately an educational process, an adventure in persuasion and consent. Every president stands in Theodore Roosevelt’s bully pulpit. The greatest presidents in the scholars’ rankings, Washington, Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt, were leaders who confronted and overcame the republic’s greatest crises. Crisis widens presidential opportunities for bold and imaginative action. But it does not guarantee presidential greatness. The crisis of secession did not spur Buchanan or the crisis of depression spur Hoover to creative leadership. Their inadequacies in the face of crisis allowed Lincoln and the second Roosevelt to show the difference individuals make to history. Still, even in the absence of firstorder crisis, forceful and persuasive presidents—Jefferson, Jackson, James K. Polk, Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush—are able to impose their own priorities on the country. The diverse drama of the presidency offers a fascinating set of tales. Biographies of American presidents constitute a chronicle of wisdom and folly, nobility and pettiness, courage and cunning, forthrightness and deceit, quarrel and consensus. The turmoil perennially swirling around the White House illuminates the heart of the American democracy. It is the aim of the American Presidents series to present the grand panorama of our chief executives in volumes compact enough for the busy reader, lucid enough for the student, authoritative enough for the scholar. Each volume offers a distillation of character and career. I hope that these lives will give readers some understanding of the pitfalls and potentialities of the presidency and also of the responsibilities of citizenship. Truman’s famous sign—“The buck stops here”—tells only half the story. Citizens cannot escape the ultimate responsibility. It is in the voting booth, not on the presidential desk, that the buck finally stops. —Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Abraham Lincoln Prologue The Greatness of Lincoln What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, our army and our navy . . . our defense is in the spirit which prized liberty as the heritage of all men in all lands everywhere. —Abraham Lincoln, speech in Illinois, September 1858 Two hundred years ago Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin in the Kentucky wilderness. From crude, disadvantaged beginnings he somehow recognized significant capabilities within himself and nurtured a determination to succeed. He rose improbably and unevenly, becoming a clerk, surveyor, businessman, lawyer, legislator, family man, statesman, and national political figure. From the heights of presidential power and privilege he led the country through its most terrible trial of civil war. In his resolve he maintained that no state or sectional interest could break apart a Union formed in perpetuity. In his genius he transformed the bloody struggle into a second American Revolution, a “new birth of freedom” that would finally allow fulfillment of the national promise of equality for all Americans, regardless of color. In life he was respected and ridiculed, beloved and hated; in death he was martyred. Lincoln is revered as our greatest president, but he is certainly more than that. He is an unparalleled national treasure, a legend that best represents the democratic ideal. Every generation looks to Lincoln for strength, inspiration, and wisdom. We want to know everything about him, and we wish we could be more like him. Why do we admire him so? Abraham Lincoln was a self-made man who rose above the circumstances of his birth. The son of antislavery Baptists, reared in the backwoods of Kentucky and Indiana, he led an unpretentious and obscure early life. He knew no privilege or advantage, and was taught no life lessons except the necessity of unrelenting work. His formal education totaled just one year, but from that brief experience in the schoolroom he learned that knowledge, no matter how acquired, would be the key to improving his station in life. He never stopped reading, absorbing, analyzing, and through dogged determination he grew in wisdom and stature. His unquenchable ambition came from within. Certainly he longed to remove himself from his father ’s world of drudgery and near-poverty. Perhaps he was inspired by his mother ’s, and then his stepmother ’s, gentle insistence that he could improve himself through reading, learning, and mental activity. Perhaps, too, he carried with him a measure of New England Yankee–style initiative and character and recognition of individual responsibility. Whatever the source, Lincoln was, in the words of one biographer, “the most ambitious man in the world.”1 He learned from all of his failures—and there were many. Dissatisfied with farm life, he left his father ’s home for good at age twenty-one, settling in New Salem, Illinois, a tiny village that was, like him, rough, undeveloped, and facing an uncertain future. He purchased an interest in two small general stores, but chose unreliable and perhaps dishonest men for partners who left him with a staggering debt that took him years to pay. At various times he worked as a field hand, postal clerk, blacksmith, and surveyor, positions that at best brought temporary satisfaction but left him feeling unfulfilled. He was gawky, shambling, and homespun. He lacked confidence, particularly around women, and Ann Rutledge, alleged by some to be his first true love, died of typhoid in 1835. In 1832 he lost the first political contest he entered, for the Illinois state legislature. But Lincoln would not resign himself to failure and loss; instead he learned from each experience and carried on. People, he found, liked him despite his rough exterior—or perhaps because of it. They laughed at his jokes and liked to be around him. He inspired trust. He paid his debts. He ran again for the state legislature in 1834 and was elected, and then reelected four more times. He threw himself into the study of law, spending nearly every waking moment reading and analyzing the rules of pleading and practice, and became an attorney in 1836. He earned a reputation for honesty and sincerity, and he parlayed his standing in legal circles and his political connections into election to Congress in 1846. He shook off his broken heart over the death of Ann Rutledge and in 1842 married the vivacious Mary Todd, perhaps the most enchanting young lady in Illinois, who would fuel his driving ambition. During most of his life Lincoln suffered from recurring bouts of emotional depression or what he and his associates called “melancholy.” This is a malady that can result in agonizing, even paralyzing, despair. That Lincoln was able to contain, if not conquer, this dread affliction is a huge tribute to his strength and character. Perhaps the best account of his depression is by the historian Joshua Wolf Shenk, who wrote of Lincoln: He told jokes and stories at odd times—he needed the laughs, he said, for his survival. He often wept in public and recited maudlin poetry. As a young man he talked of suicide, and as he grew older, he said he saw the world as hard and grim, full of misery, made that way by fates and forces of God. “No element of Mr. Lincoln’s character,” declared his colleague Henry Whitney, “was so marked, obvious and ingrained as his mysterious and profound melancholy.” His law partner William Herndon said, “His melancholy dripped from him as he walked.”2 In 1841, at the age of thirty-two, Lincoln wrote: “I am now the most miserable man living.” During his days in the Illinois legislature, his friend Robert L. Wilson said that while Lincoln was often humorous and fun-loving, he once took Wilson aside to confess that he was a victim of depression so painful that he didn’t dare carry a knife lest he commit suicide. Lincoln suffered grievously. It is Shenk’s view that this suffering refined and strengthened Lincoln’s greatness.3 Lincoln’s obvious sadness drew his associates and many citizens to him. Given his determination to control his emotional life and to move from challenge to challenge and from battle to battle, it may well be that he converted an apparent handicap into a political asset. His sad countenance, reflecting his internal depression, doubtless touched the hearts of many voters who came to love and admire the tall, lean, sad-faced man from Illinois. Various factors could have contributed to Lincoln’s depression: heredity, deaths in the family, business failures, election defeats, even bad weather. His law partner William Herndon reported that Lincoln believed he might have contracted syphilis in 1835 or 1836. If so, this might account for some of his anxiety about marriage. Many of the men in Lincoln’s time had some kind of sexually transmitted disease or feared that they did.4 Despite his struggle with depression, Lincoln took advantage of his opportunities. Although he served but a single term in Congress—he took the unpopular stand of opposing the war with Mexico—he reentered the political arena in 1858, challenging the feisty Stephen Douglas for the U.S. Senate. He lost the election but won the admiration of many who heard him speak passionately about the country and its future, and he most assuredly caught the attention of national political leaders. Riding a wave of good publicity after a speech at New York’s Cooper Union in February 1860, where he declared that “right makes might,” he sensed that the time was his. His name was bandied about for the Republican presidential nomination while his Democratic opponents bickered, hopelessly splitting their party along North-South lines. Lincoln’s Republican adversaries for the nomination were not as talented and well positioned, and he became the ideal compromise candidate at the party’s convention. A few months later, he was elected president of a country that seemed bent on destroying itself. As a self-made man, Lincoln had a higher view that was not constricted to his personal success. His American Dream was that all men and women should have equal opportunity to improve their lot. He believed that each American had the right to eat the bread for which he or she toiled—a controversial view, given the racial issues that divided the country. Government’s role, he said, was to “elevate the conditions of men—to lift artificial weights from all shoulders—to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all, to afford all, an unfettered start, and a fair chance, in the race of life.”5 When these paths were cleared, he believed, any man could, through diligence and dedication, become “self-made.” Lincoln was absolutely determined to preserve the Union. He was supremely committed to this goal and he vowed to accomplish it no matter how long or costly the task. At his inauguration in March 1861, he swore a sacred and solemn oath —“registered in Heaven,” he said—“to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.” By his lights this meant preserving the Union as well. Yet by the time he became president, Lincoln’s conception of the Union, and of its democratic politics, was inseparable from his deep opposition to slavery—and his adamant conviction that slavery should be, as he often said, placed on the road to extinction. Like his fellow Republicans (and unlike more radical abolitionists), Lincoln believed that if the slave system could be confined to the Southern states, it would eventuall ...
Purchase answer to see full attachment

Tutor Answer

School: Rice University


Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln’s personal history


The main conflict between North and South that led to war


Why saving the Union was important


Freeing the slaves


How the North won the war


Republican reform



Abraham Lincoln
Institution Affiliation



Lincoln’s personal history
“Two hundred years ago Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin in the Kentucky
wilderness. From crude, disadvantaged beginnings he somehow recognized significant
capabilities within himself and nurtured a determination to succeed. He rose improbably and
unevenly, becoming a clerk, surveyor, businessman, lawyer, legislator, family man, statesman,
and national political figure (p. 18).” “In his genius he transformed the bloody struggle into a
second American Revolution, a “new birth of freedom” that would finally allow fulfillment of
the national promise of equality for all Americans, regardless of color (p. 18).” “At various times
he worked as a field hand, postal clerk, blacksmith, and surveyor, positions that at best brought
temporary satisfaction but left him feeling unfulfilled (p. 19).” “Lincoln, a thoughtful lawyer and
one ordinarily dedicated to the preservation of civil rights (p.23).” “As an attorney he immersed
himself in the nuances of the law, giving extra attention to areas in which he had little experience
(p. 24).” “Lincoln’s most questionable judgment during the Civil War was his suspension of the
writ of habeas corpus (p. 23).” “Lincoln further clouded his stature as a champion of the Bill of
Rights when he ordered some newspapers critical of his policies to be closed down (p. 23).”
“Although understandable, his lifting of the right to habeas corpus and closing down several
critical newspapers were at least questionable actions (p. 26).” “Lincoln became a new kind of
American hero who, in his words, stirred the “better angels” of the American people and instilled
in them a passion for universal freedom (p. 26).”
The main conflict between North and South that led to war
“Lincoln firmly believed that slavery in the various states was protected by the
Constitution and that Congress had no power to interfere with it there (p. 42).” “But Linco...

flag Report DMCA

awesome work thanks

Similar Questions
Related Tags

Brown University

1271 Tutors

California Institute of Technology

2131 Tutors

Carnegie Mellon University

982 Tutors

Columbia University

1256 Tutors

Dartmouth University

2113 Tutors

Emory University

2279 Tutors

Harvard University

599 Tutors

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2319 Tutors

New York University

1645 Tutors

Notre Dam University

1911 Tutors

Oklahoma University

2122 Tutors

Pennsylvania State University

932 Tutors

Princeton University

1211 Tutors

Stanford University

983 Tutors

University of California

1282 Tutors

Oxford University

123 Tutors

Yale University

2325 Tutors