I will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races; that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people…
And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together
there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.
-Abraham Lincoln, 1858
According to Howard Zinn, Abraham Lincoln didn’t act against slavery until he was desperate to win the Civil War. Throughout his entire career, Lincoln was a man of good timing and would only pursue certain courses should sufficient support be present. In other words, Lincoln rarely went out on a limb and was doing what a good politician would do… pleasing his people.
So, was Lincoln truly an abolitionsist, or was he simply reacting to his public? What about the other presidents and there views on the equality of blacks? Read pages 188-210 and use excerpts from the book to support your argument.