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Abraham Lincoln 1809-1865 16th PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES Lincoln entered office at a critical period in U S history just before the Civil War and died from an assassins bullet at the wars end but before the greater implications of the conflict could be resolved He brought to the office personal integrity intelligence and humanity plus the wholesome characteristics of his frontier upbringing He also had the liabilities of his upbringing--he was self-educated culturally unsophisticated and lacking in administrative and diplomatic skills Sharp-witted he was not especially sharp-tongued but was noted for his warm good humor Although relatively unknown and inexperienced politically when elected president he proved to be a consummate politician He was above all firm in his convictions and dedicated to the preservation of the UnionLincoln was perhaps the most esteemed and maligned of the American presidents Generally admired and loved by the public he was attacked on a partisan basis as the man responsible for and in the middle of every major issue facing the nation during his administration Although his reputation has fluctuated with changing times he was clearly a great man and a great president He firmly and fairly guided the nation through its most perilous period and made a lasting impact in shaping the office of chief executiveOnce regarded as the Great Emancipator for his forward strides in freeing the slaves he was criticized a century later when the Civil Rights Movement gained momentum for his caution in moving toward equal rights If he is judged in the historical context however it can be seen that he was far in advance of most liberal opinion His claim to greatness enduresThe future president was born in the most modest of circumstances in a log cabin near Hodgenville Ky on Feb 12 1809 His entire childhood and young manhood were spent on the brink of poverty as his pioneering family made repeated fresh starts in the West Opportunities for education
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