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Articles on Abraham Lincoln

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Soldiers and African American workers standing near caskets and dead bodies covered with cloths during Grant’s Overland Campaign. Matthew Brady/Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

1864 elections went on during the Civil War – even though Lincoln thought it would be a disaster for himself and the Republican Party

Lincoln's chances of reelection in 1864 were dim. He was presiding over a bloody civil war, and the public was losing confidence in him. But he steadfastly rejected pleas to postpone the election.
Delegates after Donald Trump accepted the GOP presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on Thursday, July 21, 2016. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/via Getty

Political conventions today are for partying and pageantry, not picking nominees

Political conventions used to pick presidential nominees in private. Now the public picks the nominee and then the party has a big party at the convention, writes a scholar of US elections.
A meeting of President Abraham Lincoln and his Cabinet. Internet Book Archive/Flickr

3 crisis-leadership lessons from Abraham Lincoln

When fighting a lethal foe on home soil, Lincoln expertly managed leading politicians; related well with the people; and dealt clearly with the military.
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 151 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.

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