Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Lincoln, Abraham (1809–1865)
Joseph R. Fornieri
Abraham Lincoln's contribution to political theory may be analyzed in terms of the theoretical, practical, and historical implications of his thought and leadership. Theoretically, his speeches and writings provide one of the greatest moral justifications of democracy ever given to the world. Practically, his actions provide a model of prudent statesman-ship—that is, the ability to apply moral principles correctly under the legal, social, and political circumstances of the time. Historically, he is at the center of America's national myth, the sustaining narrative that defines us as a common people based not on blood, but on fidelity to the principles of the Declaration. As the embodiment of the American experiment, Lincoln has represented the following things to the American people: the savior of the Union, the great emancipator, man of the people, the first American, and the self-made man. Although he was not a political theorist per se, Lincoln articulated some ...