A Statesman Divided? Abraham Lincoln's Views on Race

Ryan Shay

Abstract


This research paper examines the productive relationship Abraham Lincoln's views on race had in relationship to his goals as a statesman. Rather than seeking to illustrate Lincoln's sentiments as either progressive or racist, this paper provides thorough nuance and substantive analysis to demonstrate how Lincoln's racial conceptions, while grounded in strong philosophy of equality, are expressed through carefully-constructed sentiments and policies given the particular racial context in which he operated. In this case, Abraham Lincoln is hardly divded but united in furhering the great cause of equality. 

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