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Lincoln vowed to preserve the Union even if it meant war. The first year of war was not promising for the Union, and with their defeat in at the Second Battle of Manassas Bull Run it seemed like the second year of war would not be much better. Riding momentum from this victory, Lee and the Confederates staged an offensive with the Maryland Campaign.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

However the Union victory at the bloody Battle of Antietam pushed the Confederates back across the Potomac and provided Lincoln with an opportunity he had been waiting for to announce his plans regarding slavery. In the early months of the war, Lincoln maintained that the war was a struggle only to save the Union.

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Officially on January 1, all enslaved people in the Confederate States of America were freed, signifying the Union's war aims had changed to include the abolition of slavery. In the effort to win the war, Lincoln assumed more power than any president before him, declaring martial law and suspending legal rights. He had difficulty finding effective generals to lead the Union armies until the appointment of Ulysses S.

Abraham Lincoln on the American Union: “A Word Fitly Spoken”

Grant as overall commander in By the beginning of his second term in March , the war was clearly in its final days, and in his inaugural address Lincoln summed up the policy he would follow in rebuilding the Union: "With malice towards none, with charity for all.

Lee surrendered the Confederate armies in Virginia, effectively ending the Civil War.

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Related Articles Go! As Lincoln hoped, the Proclamation turned the foreign popular opinion in the favor of the Union and its new anti-slavery cause. This shift in war goals ended any hope that the Confederacy had of receiving political and financial support from anti-slavery countries like France or Britain.

In Document B Lincoln demonstrates his commitment to the main purpose of the war: reuniting the Union; he places secondary importance on the emancipation of the slaves—this is only important to him because it will help weaken the South. Not only did issuing the Emancipation Proclamation weaken the South, but it also strengthened the Union government in many ways. First of all, it instilled nationalism in the hearts of many Americans.

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In this speech Lincoln used the anti-slavery fight as a call to defend the Union, which was his main ambition and purpose in the Civil War. As President of the United States, Lincoln upheld his office by keeping the preservation of the Union as his top goal throughout the Civil War. Lincoln also freed the slaves to benefit the Union in another important way.

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Although the Emancipation Proclamation itself did not legally free any slaves in the Confederacy, it eventually encouraged , blacks to serve as soldiers in the U. Another 19, served in the U.

Such was the dedication and level of commitment the black soldiers felt for the cause of the war. In these Documents, Lincoln once again demonstrates the importance he places on preserving the Union above all else. Lincoln was a political genius because of the way he was able to exploit the Emancipation Proclamation and the freeing of the slaves to work for the Union in so many differing and crucial ways.

GPS SSUSH 9b Lincoln's efforts to preserve the Union [Video 50]

He freed the slaves because he knew it would directly benefit the Union. Lincoln was successful at completing the main goal of his job as President: keeping the United States united. Previous Essay Next Essay.