Question of the Week: 10/24-10/30/22

In your opinion, what was the single most important month of Lincoln’s presidency? Why?

8 Responses to Question of the Week: 10/24-10/30/22

    1. Concur: the “most important month of Lincoln’s Presidency” was April 1865. The Rebellion was “all over, except for the crying” and The Grand Illumination took place in Washington D.C. celebrating the end of four years of war. Then, on April 14th President Lincoln was shot: with his death the following day, the Legend replaced the Man. All of the Good decisions taken by the fallen President were emphasized/remembered; all of the controversial decisions – Writ of Habeas Corpus; the Institution of the draft; his possible complicity in the Ulrich Dahlgren Raid – were relegated to the back burner “for a while.” The Supreme Leader dying at the pinnacle of achievement, briefly enjoying a high point in his popularity – with no opportunity for future mistakes — left Abraham Lincoln as a popular President whose apparent popularity only increased during the years following his martyrdom. April 1865 announced Paid In Full to the Good decisions of the previous 49 months; and still the Legend lives on.

  1. September 1862. After a brutal summer that saw several stinging defeats in VA courtesy of RE Lee, Antietam gave Lincoln the opportunity he desired to issue the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. The formal declaration issued in Jan. 1863 effectively provided the moral basis for preventing European intervention in the War on behalf of the Confederacy, as well as the proverbial ‘high road’ as far as overall Union aims.

  2. I’m going to enter a longshot and say July 1862. This was when Lincoln decided to expand the war aims to include emancipation, and then ended the experiment of him personally commanding U.S. forces. He also signed the Homestead and Morrill Land Grant Acts – both of which did so much for the future of the United States.

  3. October 1864: His election to a second term was on the ropes. In spite of Union advances on the battlefield, the Confederate forces were still hanging on and posing a significant threat. The turnabout victory at Cedar Creek seed the deal and put him over the top.

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