Lincoln Chapter 2
- In our reading of chapter 2 from Lincoln by George McGovern we learn all about Lincoln's political views and stances as well as his actions during this time, being the 1840s to 1850s. During the 1840s from what we read we learned that lincoln was part of the Whig Party and that he was part of the House of Representatives for Illinois. During this time we also learned that lincoln had some wins and loses like when he lost to Stephen A. Douglas when running for senator for Illinois. In the reading we also reading about problems with slavery during this time period and Lincoln's views/thoughts on the matter. But what we learn when reading is that lincoln during the 1840s and 1850s wasn't like the lincoln we know of during the 1860s. Lincoln called himself anti-slavery and not an abolitionist as his thoughts on the subject were that he didn't want slavery to spread to the west but that black people were still not equal to white people. And even though today we would think that he is a racist by today's standard during his time it was the norm idea.
- To me the author's purpose during this section of reading was to show us that our thoughts of lincoln and what we learned throughout our time in school wasn't the whole thing. Most people including me might think Lincoln was just a tall and honest guy that won the presidency and fought to free the slaves. But from this reading we learn that lincoln was many bumps throughout his way to becoming president and that this abolitionist idea we had about his was wrong and that he himself even had racist views and thoughts about slavery.
- During our in class discussion we were shown many pictures of maps depicting the political state of the us during the 1840s and 1850s as wells as maps showing what states are free and which ones were slave states. From these maps we can draw connections to what we read based off of the Kansas-Nebraska act. This act, from we read and understand, allowed the people of the state of Kansas to vote in their constitution as whether or not they will be a free or slave state. This is due to kansas being in the middle of the imaginary line that divides the "north" and "south" of the US and that since it was in the middle no one knew whether it should be free or not. Because of this act we read of many people from all over the US moving to Kansas so that they can vote on slavery.
- Many questions came up in class such as "Why did Lincoln not say he was an abolitionist?", for that question we learned that back then Lincoln didn't want to become an extremist and that being an abolitionist would count as being an extremist. Another question asked was "why did lincoln not identify with being northern or southern?" and we learned that lincoln identified himself as being on the side of the country as itself. One last question that had been asked was "why did Lincoln have racist thoughts about slavery and black people?" which we were told that during his time those thoughts he had was the norm so he wasn't called a racist.
- What is it that eventually make Lincoln change his views on slavery? Another question I have is what would lincoln have been like if he never lost to Douglas for Senator of Illinois?