Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
Abraham Lincoln counts as one of the most important US Presidents in history- on one level with founding father George Washington and even higher that both Jefferson and the Roosevelts.
Lincoln grew up in a poor family, all of them neither being able to read or write. His political career was centered on the main problem of his days: the slavery issue which tore the American Union apart.
Lincoln, as a member of the Whig Party, was against slavery. Due to most of his followers disagreeing with him on this he backed out of his political engagement for more than ten years, yet still published his opinion on stopping slavery and not letting it spread further. This also being the opinion of the Abolitionists, he later joined the newly created Republican Party.
When nominated as the presidential candidate for the Republican Party in 1860, he was voted 16th US President. His presidency was identical with the time of the Civil War (1861-1865) which result was the secession of seven southern states which were called the Confederate States of America. Later, eight further states joined the confederacy which voted their first and only President, Jefferson Davis, in 1861, whose presidency lasted the usual four years. Richmond, Virginia became the Capital of the confederacy.
Lincoln worked hard against the, in his eyes illegal, secession of the southern states from the Union. When confederate troops attacked Fort Sumter in April 12th 1861, Lincoln reacted with arms himself. The final battle of Gettysburg brought the defeat upon the South and made it possible for Lincoln to be re-elected in 1864.
On April 14th of 1865, few days after Lincoln had achieved the South’s surrender in the Civil War, the southern assassin John Wilkes Booth mortally injured the President during a theater performance. It was the first time an American President had been assassinated. Abraham “Abe” Lincoln died the following day.
"Avoid popularity if you would have peace." (Abraham Lincoln)