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Crisis in US History & Election of Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States in 1860. This election took place in the middle of the most serious crisis yet in American history. Lincoln had left politics in 1849. But the political crisis ten years later became a personal crisis and a turning point for Lincoln. Although he was a successful lawyer his beliefs led him to return to politics because he saw important legal, political, and moral questions that would have a permanent impact on the welfare of the whole country. This personal crisis can be explained by Erik Erikson's idea of developmental crises that occur at different stages of a person's life when he or she must make a decision. Lincoln was middle-aged and wanted to do more than just raise a family and be successful in his chosen career. He believed that he was capable of leading the country through its crisis. Not everyone feels the need to go beyond the ordinary behavior of this stage of development. But Lincoln possessed unusual gifts that can be defined as his charisma. The Bible defined charisma as "gifted grace" and it is commonly seen as a people's belief that an individual has a godly or special quality that no one else has. Lincoln's charisma was based on his reputation as a true man of the people with honesty, moral integrity, determination, and firmness. These were the qualities that a large number of Americans felt were needed in a president as the slavery crisis became worse in 1860.

Lincoln was never the most likely choice for the nomination of the Republican party in 1860. He had served only one term in Congress in 1947-48. His speeches against the war with Mexico made his supporters so angry that he knew he could not win again and so he returned to practicing law. But in the crisis over the extension of slavery Lincoln "discovered a cause and a moral energy which turned him from a local politician . . . into a statesman who held his cause to its principles thr...

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Crisis in US History & Election of Abraham Lincoln. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 01:07, March 26, 2019, from