When European settlers arrived in America, they came seeking land and the promise of freedom. They wanted to build a nation by people and for people. Many colonists desired of freedom. Slavery in the South was getting out of control, putting these ideas under attack. Slavery was a considerable obstacle in the way of Americans in establishing a democratic society. Abraham Lincoln became a president at the time of slavery and inequalities among the white settlers and the African American people. Lincoln was determined to save the Union and help the United States move into a new era. He knew that he could not change the Southerner's minds over night. He realized that the slavery issue must be settled if the United States, founded on the principles of liberty and equal rights for all, were to survive as a nation. Lincoln realized that his battle against slavery would not be an easy one.
He understood that the Union must be preserved as a free nation if democratic government was to succeed.
Lincoln was able to exhibit both militaristic and emotional leadership. After he establishes the fact that slaves should be free, he knew he had to make peace with the South to pull the country back together. He did this by his ability to compromise with the South by ways of compensation and persuading them to join the North once again.
Edwin Markham in his poem "Lincoln, the Man of People" portrays Abraham Lincoln as a hero, created from the dust of a common road to assist humanity in a time of great need:
...She left the Heaven of Heroes and came down
To make a man to meet the mortal need.
She took the tried clay of the common road--
Clay warm yet with the genial heat of...