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Abraham Lincoln’s Political Party

Who Owns Lincoln Today Democrats Or Republicans

Abraham Lincoln and the Rise of the Republicans

On the third floor of the Fords Theatre Center for Education and Leadership, you will find an exhibit called Lincoln and the Presidency. This consists of two statuesFranklin Delano Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhoweras well as a series of panels on seven presidents and their connections to the memory of Lincoln.

The entire third floor highlights the prevalence of Lincoln in American culture including Lincoln Logs, comic books and cartoons. As the United States begins to prepare for the 2016 presidential election, this particular exhibit on Lincoln and the Presidency raises two interesting questions:

How have presidents or presidential hopefuls invoked Lincoln in contemporary political debate? In the 21st century, which party could or should claim ownership of Honest Abe?

The Centers exhibition demonstrates how a number of sitting presidents have engaged with Lincolns leadership and thinking. Some have contemplated how Lincoln would handle a particularly difficult situation. During hard times, Theodore Roosevelt looked to a portrait of the 16th president he kept behind his desk. Others, like Franklin Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, made trips to the Lincoln Memorial. Roosevelt visited to celebrate Lincolns birthday, while Nixon went after the invasion of Cambodia and Kent State shooting to talk with protestors.

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The Political Evolution Of Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln held many principles that would remain the same as he grew older, but his politics did change as the pre-Civil War political climate changed. As a young adult, Lincoln became a member of the Whig Party. When the Whigs disbanded, he joined the newly formed Republican Party. Nevertheless, Lincoln remained steadfast in his anti-slavery and pro-Union views throughout his life.

Fragment Of Lincoln Speech To Kentuckians

A fragment of President Lincolnâs First Inaugural Address is attached to this speech intended for Kentuckians, indicating that it was prepared prior to his journey from Springfield to Washington. The assumption is that Lincoln either planned to receive a delegation from Kentucky during his stop in Cincinnati, or to make a quick excursion into his home state to deliver the speech. The speech itself confirms Lincolnâs belief that there was nothing he could say to appease the South without betraying the principles upon which he had been elected.

Abraham Lincoln. Speech intended for Kentuckians, February 1861. Holograph letter. Robert Todd Lincoln Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress Digital ID # al0082p1, al0082p2

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Robert Lincoln And Edwin Booth

Robert Lincoln was once saved from possible serious injury or death by , whose brother, , was the assassin of Robert’s father. The incident took place on a train platform in , . The exact date of the incident is uncertain, but it is believed to have taken place in late 1863 or early 1864, before John Wilkes Booth’s assassination of President Lincoln .

Robert Lincoln recalled the incident in a 1909 letter to Richard Watson Gilder, editor of :

The incident occurred while a group of passengers were late at night purchasing their sleeping car places from the conductor who stood on the station platform at the entrance of the car. The platform was about the height of the car floor, and there was of course a narrow space between the platform and the car body. There was some crowding, and I happened to be pressed by it against the car body while waiting my turn. In this situation the train began to move, and by the motion I was twisted off my feet, and had dropped somewhat, with feet downward, into the open space, and was personally helpless, when my coat collar was vigorously seized and I was quickly pulled up and out to a secure footing on the platform. Upon turning to thank my rescuer I saw it was Edwin Booth, whose face was of course well known to me, and I expressed my gratitude to him, and in doing so, called him by name.

The Shifting Political Platforms Begin With Lincoln The Republican

Republican party founding

We know that big government, taxes, free schools, social justice over states rights, and other Lincoln-isms are easier to equate with a modern Democrat than a Republican, yet views on immigration and religion see more acceptance by the Anti-Federalists / Democrats than by the Federalists / Republicans. This means Lincoln had progressive stances akin to a modern progressive Democrat, but his party historically had many conservative views on authoritative government, anti-immigration, and pro-religion, and loyalty to Britain .

Following Civil War the political platforms begin to shift. In this Reconstruction era new issues began to take center stage and divide the country like immigration , religion , and crony capitalism . These old issues of new importance and weak Crony-based leadership result in the parties breaking down into factions, but not necessarily with parties switching members or platforms .

We simply cant say for sure where Lincoln would stand on 1900s immigration, temperance, the New Deal, or Great Society programs. We dont exactly know where he would have stood on the World Wars or later wars either. We can only assume that create tax, support central bank, start war over injustice, free slaves, support immigrants, middle road on religion translates to supporting all the aforementioned aside from temperance, .

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Us House Of Representatives

True to his record, Lincoln professed to friends in 1861 to be “an old line Whig, a disciple of Henry Clay”. Their party favored economic modernization in banking, tariffs to fund internal improvements including railroads, and urbanization.

In 1843, Lincoln sought the Whig nomination for Illinois’ 7th district seat in the U.S. House of Representatives he was defeated by John J. Hardin though he prevailed with the party in limiting Hardin to one term. Lincoln not only pulled off his strategy of gaining the nomination in 1846 but also won the election. He was the only Whig in the Illinois delegation, but as dutiful as any participated in almost all votes and made speeches that toed the party line. He was assigned to the Committee on Post Office and Post Roads and the Committee on Expenditures in the War Department. Lincoln teamed with Joshua R. Giddings on a bill to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia with compensation for the owners, enforcement to capture fugitive slaves, and a popular vote on the matter. He dropped the bill when it eluded Whig support.

Abraham Lincoln The First Republican President

Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican President. Lincoln, a former Whig , favored social justice and federal power over states rights regarding slavery.

Lincoln protested the Mexican American War and opposed Free-Trade, and we can thank Lincoln for free public colleges, the income tax, and using federal power to defeat the socially conservative south and ensure the Union

Below we explain what it means that Lincoln was a former Whig and then Republican in the mid-1800s to get a sense of what parties Lincoln might have identified with today.

First lets start with a general introduction, then well get into the details.

Disney The American Presidents: Abraham Lincoln. A short introduction to Lincoln.

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What It Means That Lincoln Was A Republican

Lincoln was conservative in many ways, and a liberal in many others. He was a Republican by name, but being a Conservative Republican meant being like Hamilton or Clay, not like say Barry Goldwater. He wad more social liberal than classic liberal .

Since the time of Hamilton and Jefferson, all the way until after 1964s Civil Rights the Solid South stood with the Democrats , they embraced a Libertarian-like states-rights small government viewpoint which appealed to the American farmer in the South. They also fought for separation of church and state, were pro-immigration, and opposed to war with France. The Democratic-Republican President Jefferson even repealed parts of the Federalists Alien and Sedition Acts . They didnt need Northern trade, credit, or debt, and they didnt want British loyalty, they simply wanted individual liberty for all regardless of the cost!

As America started expanding westward, tension grew between the North and South. The Southern Democrats wanted states rights . The Northern Republicans wanted modernization .

Each state declared its secession from the United States following the of Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln to the U.S. presidency on a platform which opposed the expansion of slavery. The South formed the Confederacy in 1861 , and shortly after the North was dubbed the Union.

Where US Politics Came From: Crash Course US History #9.

Message On The Commemoration Of Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday

Their Party

THE SPIRIT of Abraham Lincoln more and more permeates the political ideals of our people. His greatness of heart, his wide comprehension of issues, and his patience, his belief in the people–are touchstones of democracy and of practical government.

Abraham Lincoln believed in party government. He held that government by the majority was one of the most essential principles of democracy, and that the majority could not express its will except through party organization. He believed that political parties must have a spirit as well as a program. He endowed the Republican Party with a great tradition, a sense of organization and a sense of responsibility to all the people which has dominated its spirit since his day.

It is a sure instinct and a worthy thing that brings the members of the Republican Party together each year to commemorate his birth. I would be glad if you would convey my greetings and good wishes upon this occasion.

Note: The message was sent to Ernest C. Moore, president of the Lincoln Club of Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif.

This message was distributed upon request to schools, and political and civic groups. Retained copies of correspondence in the President’s files show that various organizations and schools in California, Idaho, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington received copies to be read at meetings and other public gatherings.

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The Founding Fathers Disagree

Differing political views among U.S. Founding Fathers eventually sparked the forming of two factions. George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and John Adams thus formed The Federalists. They sought to ensure a strong government and central banking system with a national bank. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison instead advocated for a smaller and more decentralized government, and formed the Democratic-Republicans. Both the Democratic and the Republican Parties as we know them today are rooted in this early faction.

Abraham Lincoln Enters Politics

Lincoln won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1846 and began serving his term the following year. As a congressman, Lincoln was unpopular with many Illinois voters for his strong stance against the Mexican-American War. Promising not to seek reelection, he returned to Springfield in 1849.

Events conspired to push him back into national politics, however: Douglas, a leading Democrat in Congress, had pushed through the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act , which declared that the voters of each territory, rather than the federal government, had the right to decide whether the territory should be slave or free.

On October 16, 1854, Lincoln went before a large crowd in Peoria to debate the merits of the Kansas-Nebraska Act with Douglas, denouncing slavery and its extension and calling the institution a violation of the most basic tenets of the .

With the Whig Party in ruins, Lincoln joined the new Republican Partyformed largely in opposition to slaverys extension into the territoriesin 1856 and ran for the Senate again that year . In June, Lincoln delivered his now-famous house divided speech, in which he quoted from the Gospels to illustrate his belief that this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free.

Lincoln then squared off against Douglas in a series of famous debates though he lost the Senate election, Lincolns performance made his reputation nationally.

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Abraham Lincoln To Former Rival William H Seward

The fact that Lincoln and political rival William H. Seward closed ranks in the 1860 presidential campaign can be credited to the generosity of both men. When Seward campaigned in the West for the Republican ticket in late September and early October, Lincoln was among the crowd of well-wishers at the station in Springfield when Seward reached the Illinois capital. Republican victories in state elections in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana elicited Lincolnâs optimistic view of his partyâs chances in the upcoming general election, which was scheduled for November 6, 1860.

Abraham Lincoln to William H. Seward, October 12, 1860. Holograph letter. Digital ID # al0073_01, al0073_02

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Family And Early Life

Urmaddad T

Robert Todd Lincoln was born in , on August 1, 1843, to and . He had three younger brothers, , , and . By the time Lincoln was born, his father had become a well-known member of the and had previously served as a member of the Illinois state legislature for four terms. He was named after his maternal grandfather, .

When his father on the eve of the , Lincoln was the only one of the president’s three children to be largely on his own. He took the entrance examination in 1859, but failed fifteen out of the sixteen subjects. He was then enrolled at to further prepare for attending college, and he graduated in 1860. Admitted to , he graduated in 1864, and was a member of the and the . Welsh author wrote that Robert Lincoln “having failed fifteen out of sixteen subjects in the Harvard entrance examination, got in at last and emerged an unsympathetic bore.”

After graduating from Harvard, Lincoln enrolled at . When he initially expressed interest in the law school to his father, President Lincoln made reference to his own pleasant, but informal legal training by stating “If you do, you should learn more than I ever did, but you will never have so good a time.” Robert Lincoln attended Harvard Law School from September 1864 to January 1865, and left in order to join the . In 1893, Harvard awarded Lincoln the of

On September 24, 1868, Lincoln married the former , daughter of Senator and Ann Eliza Peck of . They had two daughters and one son.

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Democrats Split Over Slavery

The Democratic Party was in shambles in 1860. They should have been the party of unity, but instead were divided on the issue of slavery. Southern Democrats thought slavery should be expanded but Northern Democrats opposed the idea.

States rights were also hotly debated. Southern Democrats felt states had the right to govern themselves while Northern Democrats supported the Union and a national government.

With such confusion among the ranks, it was unclear how the Democratic Party would ever nominate a candidate for the 1860 election. But on April 23, 1860, they met in Charleston, South Carolina to decide their platform and identify a nominee.

Stephen Douglas was the frontrunner, but Southern Democrats refused to support him because he wouldnt adopt a pro-slavery platform. Many walked out in protest, leaving the remaining delates without the majority needed to nominate Douglas the convention ended without a nominee.

The Democrats met again two months later in Baltimore. Once again, many Southern delegates left in disgust, but enough remained to nominate Douglas as their presidential nominee and his running mate, former Georgia governor Herschel Johnson.

Southern Democrats nominated John Breckinridge, a supporter of slavery and states rights, to represent them in the election. Oregon senator Joseph Lane was his running mate.

What Is Abraham Lincolns Legacy

For many, Abraham Lincoln has gone down in history as something of a martyr for his country. Thats in part because of his assassination by John Wilkes Booth, which happened to occur on Good Fridaya connection that has been drawn time and again. But Lincoln had already begun to be mythicized during his lifetime, some of his contemporaries drawing parallels between him and figures like George Washington. Lincoln had his critics as well, particularly in the South: there were those who regarded him as an opponent to the values of personal freedom and states rights.

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How Abraham Lincoln Became President

The passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 was pivotal in Lincoln’s political evolution. It catapulted him back into politics with his “Peoria Speech,” in which he publicly voiced his opposition to allowing the newly minted states to decide whether to allow slave ownership.

The Act also caused a fatal division in the Whig Party, whose members were irrevocably split on the slavery issue. The demise of the Whigs made way for Northern politicians to form the new Republican Party, based on a strong anti-slavery stance. Lincoln did not immediately join, worried that the new party was too extreme in its views.

In 1856, Lincoln spoke at the Bloomington Convention, a political event where the Illinois Republican Party first garnered recognition. State legislators nominated Lincoln for the U.S. Senate. His opponent, Stephen A. Douglas, defeated him, but the campaign put Lincoln in the spotlight as a potential presidential candidate.

What Did Lincoln Accomplish

How the Republican Party went from Lincoln to Trump

One way to understand Lincoln is to understand his major policy accomplishments, and it is here more than anywhere else that he comes across as more progressive than moderate.

When the South seceded upon Lincoln taking office, it opened the door for the North to pass progressive and protectionist policies, and eventually to end slavery.

  • Lincoln signed the second and third Morrill Tariff in 1861 .
  • Lincoln signed the Revenue Act of 1861, creating the first U.S. income tax, a flat tax of 3% on incomes above $800 at the time .
  • Lincoln also signed the National Banking Act of 1863 and 1864, creating national banks .
  • And of course, Lincoln signed one of the most famous executive orders in United States history, the Emancipation Proclamation, on January 1, 1863 . This of course was the order that changed the federal legal status of enslaved people from slave to free in the 11 Confederate states in rebellion .

In other words, the North passed a bunch of socially liberal and protectionist policies via their Republican controlled congress under Lincoln. Then, by 1863 drew a line in the sand marking the start of the outlawing of slavery by federal law.

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