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10. Presidents Day Blog.

3. Abraham Lincoln -- Created Equal

Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."
-- Abraham Lincoln (Gettysburg Address)

Abraham Lincoln took office as president of the United States in March 1861 to a nation deeply divided regarding the practice and idea of slavery. One month later, on April 12, 1861, Confederate soldiers attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina, which began a four year civil war that cost over a half million American lives. In hindsight, it would appear that Lincoln was given two main objectives during his presidency: 1. Keep America from dismantling, and 2. Come to some resolution regarding the practice of slavery.

Having been an advocate for the abolishment of slavery for many years preceding his presidency, the solution to the second objective was obvious, yet risky -- free the slaves. Lincoln felt it was his Duty to free the slaves even though doing so would certainly make him marked for assasination attempts. On January 1, 1863, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed 3 of the nation's 4 million slaves. In November, 1863 Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address which defended the freeing of the slaves by paraphrasing what the Declaration of Indepenence held true, "...that all men are created equal."

President Lincoln was assassinated in April, 1865 at Ford's Theater by John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate spy. His death may be viewed today as a reminder that Duty for one's country can carry with it a huge burden, but is often seen as a sacrifice for the greater good.

See more...

1. Featured Documents - The Emancipation Proclamation.
2. Transcript - The Gettysburg Address.
3. Biography - Abraham Lincoln.

09. Presidents Day blog.

2. Thomas Jefferson -- The Pen is Mightier

Thomas Jefferson.
Thomas Jefferson.
"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."
-- Thomas Jefferson

On June 28, 1776 Thomas Jefferson presented his first draft of the Declaration of Independence to a five-man committee for review. Six days later it was approved by Congress, making July 4, 1776 a date that would put the lives of the 56 signers in the crosshairs of the British crown. Although many of the Signers lost life and property as a result of their actions that day, none would have signed had they not felt that it was their Patriotic duty.

The words and ideas that Thomas Jefferson crafted into the document conveyed a simple message, "When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." Jefferson believed that the People should be in control of the Government and not the Government in control of the people. This radical vision would come to form the foundation of American politics.

Had Jefferson not taken a Patriotic stand against the tyranical British crown in writing the Declaration of Independence, our great nation would not have been formed.

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1. Short biographies of all 56 signers of the Declaration.
2. Transcript - The Declaration of Independence.
3. Biography - Thomas Jefferson.