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Abraham Lincoln by Abraham Lincoln the 16th president of the United States was very important to the past history of our country He helped to abolish slavery in this country and kept the American Union from splitting apart during the Civil War At 22 he moved to New Salem Illinois With his gift for swapping stories and making friends he became quite popular and was elected to the Illinois legislature in 1834 In his spare time he taught himself law and became a lawyer In 1847 he was elected to the US Congress but returned to his law practice until 1858 when his concern about the spread of slavery prompted him to return to national politics and run for the US Senate Lincoln rose to greatness from a humble beginning Born in 1809 in a log cabin in Kentucky Lincoln spent most of his childhood working on the family farm He had less than a year of school but managed to educate himself by studying and reading books on his own He believed that slavery and democracy were fundamentally incompatible In an 1858 speech he said What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independance It is not our frowning battlements our bristling sea coats our army and our navy Our defense is in the spirit which prized liberty as the heritage of all men in all lands everywhere Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism at your own doors Familiarize yourself with the chains of bondage and you prepare your own limbs to wear them World Book Encyclopedia He lost his campaign for the Senate but during the debates with his opponent Stephen Douglas he became well known for his opposotion to slavery The southern states which believed they depended upon slavery to remain prosperous in the cotton tobacco and rice industries threatened to secede from the nation if Lincoln won
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