During times of crisis, resilient leaders are imperative to the survival of our nation. Abraham Lincoln exemplified these leadership qualities. Lincoln participated in government prior to his election as president. He spent eight years in the Illinois legislature and had been involved in numerous court cases. In 1858, Lincoln ran against Stephen A. Douglass for the Illinois Senate. Although he lost the election, Lincoln gained national support and propagated his belief that slavery and liberty could not remain together. From this campaign, Abraham Lincoln became known as a statesman, a person who works for others (Ingersoll 4). In 1861, the United States selected Abraham Lincoln to be president. As he took office, Lincoln dealt with the secession of seven states ("Abraham Lincoln" 1). In addition, many cabinet members disliked him. Furthermore, the national treasury faced bankruptcy and many Union soldiers had been lost to the South. While attempting to conquer these problems, the Confederacy attacked the Union and war erupted. For the next four years Lincoln would lead his nation in the Civil War. As the war progressed, it seemed unlikely that Abraham Lincoln would be reelected by a nation weary of war. However, just before the election occurred Abraham Lincoln regained the support of his nation. Abraham Lincoln deserved to be reelected because he strove to preserve the Union and established the rights of slaves.
The preservation and reconstruction of the Union was the primary goal of Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. He declared that he would protect the Union at all costs. During his first inaugural address he said,.
"I therefore consider that, in view of the Constitution and the laws, the Union is unbroken; and to the extent of my ability, I shall take care, as the Constitution itself, expressly enjoins upon me, that the law of the Union be faithfully executed in all the states. Doing this I deem to be only a simple duty on my part; and I shall perform it, so far as practicable, unless my rightful masters, the American people shall withhold the requisite means or in some authoritative manner direct the contrary" (Qtd.