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There’s probably no other American hero who better embodies Jefferson’s assertion in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” than Abraham Lincoln, who lived and died by these words. A brilliant lawyer, debater, speaker, writer, and finally, president, Abe Lincoln, kids will discover here, stood behind the ideals of freedom and equality that he believed in – even though it resulted in the Civil War, and later, his untimely death. The life of Lincoln, for kids, is shown here to be a perfect model of the incredible changes the country went through during the 19th century: Lincoln was born in a log cabin in Kentucky in 1809, when most Americans were farmers, but by the time he became president in 1861, the nation was crisscrossed by train tracks and telegraph lines and fully in the throes of the Industrial Revolution.
The quick growth of the period alienated the mostly rural southern states and brought the issue of slavery to the forefront of national debates about states’ rights. When Lincoln, an avowed abolitionist, took office, several southern states seceded in protest. Soon after, war broke out, but Lincoln did not back down; instead, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing over three million slaves, and eventually led the Union forces to victory. In 1865, however, the victory proved short-lived after John Wilkes Booth assassinated Lincoln. For kids seeking heroes today, however, Lincoln’s spirit and ideals live on in our country’s ongoing battles for racial equality.