Articles on Abraham Lincoln

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President Abraham Lincoln in 1865 and Vice President Joseph Biden in 2019. Library of Congress, photo Alexander Gardner; AP/Nati Harnik

Abraham Lincoln, Joe Biden and the politics of touch

The news is filled with stories about inappropriate touching by politicians. But touch by politicians was long important in the US, and Abraham Lincoln's handshake helped engage and guide the nation.
President Donald Trump, former President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton, during the funeral for former President George H.W. Bush. AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool

Must the president be a moral leader?

Presidents Day celebrates the American president – not only as a political leader, but as a moral leader. But can a president be a person of strong moral character, as well as a strong leader?
Supporters and opponents of marriage equality demonstrating in front of the Supreme Court. Reuters/Joshua Roberts

Are you suddenly interested in the Supreme Court? You’re not alone

Americans have rediscovered the Supreme Court, as they do periodically when it's at the center of controversy. With a president who attacks the legitimacy of courts, will their attention be benign?
The nation was bitterly divided over slavery in 1860, when this political cartoon was published. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Lincoln’s ‘House Divided’ speech teaches important lessons about today’s political polarization

Lincoln's description of the Union as a house divided is well-remembered today. But many Americans fail to heed its lessons about equality and the moral foundations of popular government.
Preparing to decorate graves, May 1899. Library of Congress

The forgotten history of Memorial Day

Memorial Day, a holiday that began 150 years ago, was born out of generous gestures after the Civil War: Southerners decorated graves of Confederate soldiers as well as those of former Union enemies.
President Lincoln was represented by a lawyer who didn’t vote for him The White House

When presidents lawyer up: A brief history

President Trump is having trouble finding a lawyer. But other presidents, including Abraham Lincoln, have obtained outside legal counsel easily, even from attorneys who disagree with their politics.
Lincoln in 1858; Trump in his official White House portrait, 2017. Abraham Byers/unknown

Five lessons Trump could learn from Lincoln

The most hated president in US history could teach our new leader a few things.
Humility might have gone out of politics. But why does it matter? Charles Mostoller/Reuters

Why America needs the virtues of humility

At a time when politics is showing its most divisive side, a scholar argues that embracing humility could help us deal with hidden biases.
Ninian Reed flickr

The political work of the Confederate flag

Public opinion on the flag may have shifted with lightning speed, but how did it hold on as long as it did? The answer has to do with how it served both Democratic and Republican parties alike.

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