Each volume in the American Presidents Reference Series is organized around an individual presidency and gathers a host of biographical, analytical, and primary source historical material that will analyze the presidency and bring the president, his administration, and his times to life. The series focuses on key moments in U.S. political history as seen through the eyes of the most influential presidents to take the oath of office. Unique headnotes provide the context to data, tables and excerpted primary source documents.
Abraham Lincoln, born in 1809, served in the military for several months during 1832. He was a failed businessman who lost his first bid to serve in the Illinois state legislature. In 1834 he ran again and won. He was reelected several times and even served as Whig floor leader. In 1846 Lincoln was elected to one term in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he denounced the U.S. role in the Mexican War. In 1856 he joined the newly created Republican Party and campaigned for the 1856 presidential candidate John Fremont, who would lose to James Buchanan. In 1858 Republicans nominated Lincoln for U.S. Senator. It was this race that he would participate in the now famous debates, with his opponent Stephen Douglas. In these debates he would question the morality of slavery and territorial expansion. Douglas, however, emerged victorious. But in 1860, Lincoln became the sixteenth president with less than 40 percent of the popular vote. The threats of secession during the race quickly came true when South Carolina left the Union; the Civil War began in April 1861.
The struggle to win on the battlefield and to preserve the Union weighed heavily on Lincoln and was answered in some of America's most profound documents: the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address, and his second inaugural address. Lincoln won reelection in 1864 and saw the end of the war on April 9, 1865. Less than a week later, while watching the play Our American Cousin at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., Lincoln was assassinated by actor John Wilkes Booth. He is considered by many to be America's greatest president.
This new volume on the presidency of Abraham Lincoln will cover:
- The social, political, and personal turmoil of the Civil War
- The role of his family