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Abraham Lincoln - Slavery and Race

            The life of Abraham Lincoln can be linked with the development of the question on whether the institution of slavery could grow with the nation or not. An interrelated issue that was linked to this issue was the issue of race. Examining Lincoln's attitude toward slavery also opens up political and cultural contentions at large in the American nation. Abraham Lincoln is often referred to as the Great Emancipator, yet, he did not publicly call for the emancipation throughout his entire life. He claimed to be "anti-slavery" in the hope that the expansion of slavery would be stopped, but would also adhere to the Constitution as the people have the right to property and opponents would argue that slaves are property. From 1837, when Lincoln first attacked slavery as bad politics, his thoughts evolved from thinking that slavery would eventually die out by compromising that southern states could have its slaves without expanding, to 1854, when the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed, as it stated Congress had no right to prohibit the expansion of slavery to federal territories, and this would radicalize Lincoln's idea of a southern conspiracy that threatened the ideas of the Founding Fathers, which gave him a distinct moral conviction and tone to his political argument.
             Now in order to understand Lincoln's opinion on how the issue of slavery should be dealt with while adhering to the Constitution, one must look at Lincoln's opinion of race. In 19th century America, nearly any white person was a racist. Lincoln believed that whites were fundamentally superior to blacks and was opposed to them holding office, the right to vote, and the right to serve on a jury in the years before the Civil War. This is true because Lincoln himself supported a law in Illinois that forbade intermarriage relations between blacks and whites, stating in one the Lincoln-Douglas debates to counter Douglas's argument that he was favoring the social equality of black people.

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