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Abraham Lincoln

Born: 12 February 1809

Died 15 April 1865

Nationality: American

Abraham Lincoln is one of America's greatest heroes famous for leading the country during the American Civil War. His leadership in the North helped the country to remain strong and defeat the South keeping the country united. He also pushed for the freedom of all slaves throughout the nation.

He won a seat in the Illinois Legislature when he was 25. During that time he studied the law and began to work as a lawyer. He ran for the U.S. Congress in 1845. He won the election and served as a congressman for one term. Later, Lincoln ran for the U.S. Senate, he did not win but he did gain national recognition for his arguments against slavery. In 1860, Lincoln ran for President of the United States. He was a member of the fairly new Republican party which strongly opposed allowing any of the southern states to secede. The republicans were also against slavery. They said they would allow for slavery to continue in the southern states, but that it would not be allowed to spread to new U.S. states or territories.

Lincoln won the 1860 election. The southern states did not agree with his policies. Before he was officially in office, they began to secede. The first state to leave was South Carolina, but soon six more states followed and together they formed a new country called the Confederacy. The Civil War began in 1861 in South Carolina just a month after Lincoln took office. Lincoln was determined to maintain the "Union" of the states. What followed was a bloody war that lasted four years and cost the lives of 600,000 Americans.

On January 1, 1863 Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation - an order that freed the slaves in the Confederate States. Although not all the slaves were immediately set free, it paved the way for the 13th Amendment which would free all slaves in the United States a few years later.The Civil War finally ended in 1865. President Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth while attending a play at the Ford Theatre in Washington D.C and he died the next day.

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