Abraham Lincoln

Early Life

Abraham Lincoln was born in Hodgenville, Hardin County, Kentucky on February 12, 1809. His family was poor and had to struggle hard to make a living. As a result, Abraham Lincoln didn’t get the chance to gain a proper formal education. However, he had a keen interest in books and reading from an early age. So he would read up different books many of which he borrowed from others.

Life in Illinois

While Abraham Lincoln was still quite young, he and his family moved to Illinois in search for better opportunities. In Illinois, Abraham Lincoln decided that it was time for him to make his own way and earn his own living. He worked as a postmaster, a shopkeeper and made his living chopping woods for a time. At the same time, he developed an interest in politics.

Career in Politics

Abraham Lincoln was elected to the Illinois State Legislature at the young age of 25. He was later re-elected many times to the Legislature. While serving as the member of the Legislative, Abraham Lincoln developed an interest in law and started studying to become a lawyer. He soon gained his law degree and started practicing law, becoming a rather successful lawyer.

At the age of 36, he ran for a seat in the U.S. Congress. He succeeded and became a member of the U.S. Congress in 1845. He later decided to run for a seat in U.S. Senate. As part of his campaign, he denounced slavery and frequently cited his support for anti-slavery legislation. However, his campaign failed and he couldn’t become a part of the U.S. Senate.

Election as the President

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln decided to run for the President of the United States. At this time, he was a part of the Republican Party which had grown very popular and was opposed to slavery. The Republican Party was of the opinion that slavery should not be allowed to spread in any other parts of USA and should remained confined to the southern states where it already was legal. Abraham Lincoln also supported this view. His presidential campaign succeeded and he became the President of the United States in March, 1861.

During the Civil War

The election of Abraham Lincoln as the President of USA was strongly opposed by the southern states which supported slavery. So upon his election, the southern states decided that they didn’t want to be a part of USA and broke away. They formed their own government called the Confederation.

The northern states, under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln, believed that the southern states had no right to break away from the Union. These disagreements led to the American Civil War which began in 1861 and ended in 1865.

During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln proved to be a very strong leader who led the nation through difficult times and despite a lot of opposition, kept fighting the south. During the War, he gave his famous Emancipation Proclamation which officially freed all slaves in the southern states. It was largely thanks to his leadership that the Union won the war and USA was saved from breaking into two pieces.


The American Civil War effectively came to an end on April 9, 1865 when Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered. Nearly a week later, a man named John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln while he was watching a play at Ford Theatre, Washington D.C. The incident took place on April 14, 1865. Abraham Lincoln died the next day.

Learn More about Abraham Lincoln and his role in the American Civil War