Lincoln’s Evolution of Thinking
Lincoln had apt taste or concern for the advancement of humanity. Even with the development oriented notion, he proposed for just means of achieving so. In his speech in Wisconsin fair to the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, he states that labor is the source from which all human needs are supplied from. Labor is defined as a resource of achieving economic independence and prosperity. In its own respect, every person/farmer tries as much to get more labor at a cheaper cost to plough his land. Not mentioning the use of slaves as a free source of labor. Lincoln did not deny the presence of slavery in Northern America, but acknowledged the impact of the labor system. He proclaims for the use of capital for hiring the manual laborers who should work by their own consent. This presents a win-win situation, for the farm owner and the laborer. He/she will strive/work passionately when offered a reward, than when forced out of another’s volition to plough an acre just for their existence or recognition as human (A. Lincoln,63). In an attempt to preach slavery in the Wisconsin fair, Lincoln encouraged the use of machinery in the farming activities. He says the steam plough does thorough cultivation, putting the soil to the top of its capacity so that the farmer reaps maximum benefits from the acre. Wisconsin and other areas in North America predominantly practiced farming leading to the high demand for labor. That is why slavery became more common in such areas as slaves were seen as a source of free labor while reaping maximum benefits from the land. Lincoln came to adjust this. The expansive swathes of land in these agricultural states were poorly farmed. He proposed the use of smart farming. One that helped them to realize maximum remunerations from their lands. He compares this situation to a farmer who owned a large piece of land, farmed it and reaped well, but another farmer had a smaller piece which he also ploughed and reaped worth more than the one having the large tracts. Actually, he acknowledged that human labor was not efficient necessitating the use of machinery that increased farm efficiency (A. Lincoln,65). By advocating for machinery use, Lincoln was actually against slavery as it did nothing better, but rather demean and defraud a fellow human being. With regard to slavery, Lincoln depicts the essence of wage system. By paying a laborer his/her wages, he/she can be able to acquire more tools and land and continue with agriculture. This will bring greater development to the community and the American society as a whole rather than the other system of use of free labor (slavery).
In his Second Inaugural Address, an eighth of the population that attended the address were slaves donned in colorful outfits. They had become of interest, such to bring the civil strife between the Southern and Northern States. The government, tried as possible to limit these interests and restore original human order and law. Lincoln describes both the slaves and their masters as one created by the same God and read from the same Bible while offering their prayers to Him (Levin,96). It seemed incongruent for another man to earn his living from another man’s sweat. In their prayers, the slaves and their masters pray for exclusive purposes, each having opposing views, but God answers neither. Lincoln attempted not to judge any of this people for their mistakes. He understood how differing the opinions were and how precarious the situation was. He just warns everyone in the case that slavery is declared an offence, even goes further to warn the whole world in this case. Lincoln says that God willed to remove slavery that he gifted the war between the Northern and Southern States though he did not appraise of it. He reflected God’s judgment as right and flawless. They were approving of all human beings. He proclaims to work with and help those affected by the war in fighting against slavery, even those on the contrary alignment as it is God’s will and expectation to help all, non-discriminative of their inclination towards slavery so as to integrate the masters and their former slaves as one unit, a United America (Briggs,76).
In Lyceum Address, Lincoln advocated for democracy: a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Everyone must be given redress and basic rights in their daily dealings. Acts of injustice or perpetration of mob psychology were advocated against. Lincoln took the case of the states of St. Louis and neighboring states where Negroes and strangers going about their own businesses are hanged, just because of the mob law (Abraham Lincoln,136). He cites the example of McIntosh who had once gone about as free man, but was dragged off the streets and set in a bonfire. These acts are perpetrated due to the weak political institutions. Political institutions are to instill law and order in the society (Abraham Lincoln,148). Every person was accorded the same rights, of which none was to be abused by any person, regardless of their status, even the society. Violations of law have accosted the American much (A. G. Lincoln,36). Lincoln cites the belief the American have in their government, how they would readily suffer for it just to uphold its dignity. With this belief, he encouraged the Americans to believe in the proceeds of the law from the government. They have to acknowledge the power and control it has and should follow the right channels in the case of any violations or discontent with the law. A mobocratic spirit was eminent and predominant in the American society at the time. Men and women will gladly spill blood for the sake of their country, but Lincoln considered the lovers of peace and order in the society (Abraham Lincoln,84). To instill belief in the constitutes of the government, Lincoln used the Revolution as the pivot. He chanced everyone to swear by the blood from the Revolution to uphold the rule of law and never violate any constitutional provision. By doing this, Lincoln as actually instilling political leadership in the once mob-governed American society at the time. He even acknowledged the existence of bad laws. He appreciated the existence of misunderstandings, grievances and other redress that may not be addressed fully by the constitution. In the case of bad laws, he proposes repealing of such laws and creation of provisions for situations or circumstances not addressed by the constitution. Lincoln upheld the involvement of the whole society in the government (Briggs,54). He created a principle for political leadership in the American system at the time. He encouraged the citizens to become agents of change and seek for the advancement of humanity and development in the own country. In all their doing, correct justice was to be the only political religion known by the Americans.
Abraham Lincoln, Mario M. Cuomo, Harold Holzer, and G S. Boritt. Lincoln on Democracy. New York: Fordham University Press, 2004. Print.
Briggs, John C. Lincoln’s Speeches Reconsidered. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2005. Print.
Levin, Jack E, Mark R. Levin, and Abraham Lincoln. Malice Toward None: Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address . New York: Threshold Editions, 2014. Internet resource.
Lincoln, Abraham. Lincoln on Agriculture: Address, Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, State Fair, Milwaukee, September 30, 1859. Madison: Lincoln Fellowship of Wisconsin. Madison: Lincoln Fellowship of Wisconsin, 1943. Print.
Lincoln, Abraham, Gore Vidal, and Don E. Fehrenbacher. Selected Speeches and Writings . New York, 2009. Print.
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Lincoln’s Evolution of Thinking