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Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer, peacemaker, and President of the United States from 1861 to 1865. He is responsible for ending the Civil War and keeping the United States as one country. A “civil war” is a war where the people of one country are fighting other people of that same country. Lincoln is also responsible for ending slavery in the United States.
Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809. His father was a farmer and his family was very poor. He did not go to school as a boy, but somehow he learned to read and write. Studying was very important to Lincoln, so as he grew up, he had a job but also studied. When he was an adult, he became a lawyer. In 1860, Lincoln ran for President of the United States. He won and became President in 1861.
Abraham Lincoln was from the state of Illinois. This state is in the northern part of the United States. Throughout the history of the United States until the 1860s, the northern and southern states were very different. The northern states had big cities. The southern states were mostly big farms called plantations. These plantations grew food and other crops (plants) like tobacco and cotton.
The people who worked on these plantations were slaves. This means that the farmers owned them just like they owned horses or cows. The farmers thought of slaves as animals and not people.
Many people in the northern part of the United States, like Abraham Lincoln, disagreed. They thought that slaves were people and should not be owned. They thought slaves should be free.
When Lincoln was elected president, many farmers in the southern states became worried that Lincoln would pass a law and take their slaves away. This would mean that they would have trouble growing their crops. They decided to secede (leave) from the United States and start their own country called the Confederate States.
Lincoln believed that slavery was wrong. He also believed that the United States should stay as one country and not be divided into 2 separate countries. Lincoln did not want to go to war with the South. However, he would not allow them to secede and form their own country. He was forced to go to war.
The Civil War lasted for 4 years. During this time many American men died. In 1863, Lincoln gave one of his most famous speeches – the Gettysburg Address. Many men had died at Gettysburg while fighting. In his speech, Lincoln said that the men would never be forgotten because they had died for their country.
Also in 1863, Lincoln made a very important change to United States law. He said that slavery, or owning slaves, was not legal anymore. This meant that all slaves were free men and were not owned by the farmers. This was called the Emancipation Proclamation.
The Civil War ended in 1864 and the northern states won. Lincoln was able to keep the United States as one country.
Many southern people did not like this. In 1865, one of these people killed Abraham Lincoln.
Today, Lincoln is thought to be one of the best presidents of the United States. He not only freed the slaves, but he also kept the United States together as one country.