Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States. Established pursuant to Article III of the U. S. Constitution in 1789, it has original jurisdiction over a narrow range of cases, including suits between two or more states and those involving ambassadors, it has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all federal court and state court cases that involve a point of federal constitutional or statutory law. The Court has the power of judicial review, the ability to invalidate a statute for violating a provision of the Constitution or an executive act for being unlawful. However, it may act only within the context of a case in an area of law over which it has jurisdiction; the court may decide cases having political overtones, but it has ruled that it does not have power to decide nonjusticiable political questions. Each year it agrees to hear about one hundred to one hundred fifty of the more than seven thousand cases that it is asked to review.
According to federal statute, the court consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices, all of whom are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Once appointed, justices have lifetime tenure unless they resign, retire, or are removed from office; each justice has a single vote in deciding. When the chief justice is in the majority, he decides. In modern discourse, justices are categorized as having conservative, moderate, or liberal philosophies of law and of judicial interpretation. While a far greater number of cases in recent history have been decided unanimously, decisions in cases of the highest profile have come down to just one single vote, exemplifying the justices' alignment according to these categories; the Court meets in the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D. C, its law enforcement arm is the Supreme Court of the United States Police. It was while debating the division of powers between the legislative and executive departments that delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention established the parameters for the national judiciary.
Creating a "third branch" of government was a novel idea. Early on, some delegates argued that national laws could be enforced by state courts, while others, including James Madison, advocated for a national judicial authority consisting of various tribunals chosen by the national legislature, it was proposed that the judiciary should have a role in checking the executive power to veto or revise laws. In the end, the Framers compromised by sketching only a general outline of the judiciary, vesting federal judicial power in "one supreme Court, in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish", they delineated neither the exact powers and prerogatives of the Supreme Court nor the organization of the Template:Judicial branch as a whole. The 1st United States Congress provided the detailed organization of a federal judiciary through the Judiciary Act of 1789; the Supreme Court, the country's highest judicial tribunal, was to sit in the nation's Capital and would be composed of a chief justice and five associate justices.
The act divided the country into judicial districts, which were in turn organized into circuits. Justices were required to "ride circuit" and hold circuit court twice a year in their assigned judicial district. After signing the act into law, President George Washington nominated the following people to serve on the court: John Jay for chief justice and John Rutledge, William Cushing, Robert H. Harrison, James Wilson, John Blair Jr. as associate justices. All six were confirmed by the Senate on September 26, 1789. Harrison, declined to serve. In his place, Washington nominated James Iredell; the Supreme Court held its inaugural session from February 2 through February 10, 1790, at the Royal Exchange in New York City the U. S. capital. A second session was held there in August 1790; the earliest sessions of the court were devoted to organizational proceedings, as the first cases did not reach it until 1791. When the national capital moved to Philadelphia in 1790, the Supreme Court did so as well.
After meeting at Independence Hall, the Court established its chambers at City Hall. Under Chief Justices Jay and Ellsworth, the Court heard few cases; as the Court had only six members, every decision that it made by a majority was made by two-thirds. However, Congress has always allowed less than the court's full membership to make decisions, starting with a quorum of four justices in 1789; the court lacked a home of its own and had little prestige, a situation not helped by the era's highest-profile case, Chisholm v. Georgia, reversed within two years by the adoption of the Eleventh Amendment; the court's power and prestige grew during the Marshall Court. Under Marshall, the court established the power of judicial review over acts of Congress, including specifying itself as the supreme expositor of the Constitution and making several important constitutional rulings that gave shape and substance to the balance of power between the federal government and states; the Marshall Court ended the practice of each justice issuin
Book of Deuteronomy
The Book of Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Christian Old Testament and of the Jewish Torah, where it is called "Devarim". Chapters 1–30 of the book consist of three sermons or speeches delivered to the Israelites by Moses on the plains of Moab, shortly before they enter the Promised Land; the first sermon recounts the forty years of wilderness wanderings which had led to that moment, ends with an exhortation to observe the law referred to as the Law of Moses. The final four chapters contain the Song of Moses, the Blessing of Moses, narratives recounting the passing of the mantle of leadership from Moses to Joshua and the death of Moses on Mount Nebo. Presented as the words of Moses delivered before the conquest of Canaan, a broad consensus of modern scholars see its origin in traditions from Israel brought south to the Kingdom of Judah in the wake of the Assyrian conquest of Aram and adapted to a program of nationalist reform in the time of Josiah, with the final form of the modern book emerging in the milieu of the return from the Babylonian captivity during the late 6th century BC.
Many scholars see the book as reflecting the economic needs and social status of the Levite caste, who are believed to have provided its authors. One of its most significant verses is Deuteronomy 6:4, the Shema Yisrael, which has become the definitive statement of Jewish identity: "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one." Verses 6:4–5 were quoted by Jesus in Mark 12:28–34 as part of the Great Commandment. Patrick D. Miller in his commentary on Deuteronomy suggests that different views of the structure of the book will lead to different views on what it is about; the structure is described as a series of three speeches or sermons followed by a number of short appendices – Miller refers to this as the "literary" structure. Chapters 1–4: The journey through the wilderness from Horeb to Kadesh and to Moab is recalled. Chapters 4–11: After a second introduction at 4:44–49 the events at Mount Horeb are recalled, with the giving of the Ten Commandments. Heads of families are urged to instruct those under their care in the law, warnings are made against serving gods other than Yahweh, the land promised to Israel is praised, the people are urged to obedience.
Chapters 12–26, the Deuteronomic code: Laws governing Israel's worship, the appointment and regulation of community and religious leaders, social regulation, confession of identity and loyalty. Chapters 27–28: Blessings and curses for those who keep and break the law. Chapters 29–30: Concluding discourse on the covenant in the land of Moab, including all the laws in the Deuteronomic code after those given at Horeb. Chapters 31–34: Joshua is installed as Moses's successor, Moses delivers the law to the Levites, ascends Mount Nebo or Pisgah, where he dies and is buried by God; the narrative of these events is interrupted by two poems, the Song of Moses and the Blessing of Moses. The final verses, Deuteronomy 34:10–12, "never again did there arise in Israel a prophet like Moses," make a claim for the authoritative Deuteronomistic view of theology and its insistence that the worship of the Hebrew God as the sole deity of Israel was the only permissible religion, having been sealed by the greatest of prophets.
Deuteronomy 12–26, the Deuteronomic Code, is the oldest part of the book and the core around which the rest developed. It is a series of mitzvot to the Israelites regarding how they ought to conduct themselves in Canaan, the land promised by Yahweh, God of Israel; the following list organizes most of the laws into thematic groups: All sacrifices are to be brought and vows are to be made at a central sanctuary. The worship of Canaanite gods is forbidden; the order is given to destroy their places of worship and to commit genocide against Canaanites and others with "detestable" religious beliefs. Native mourning practices such as deliberate disfigurement are forbidden; the procedure for tithing produce or donating its equivalent is given. A catalogue of which animals are permitted and which forbidden for consumption is given; the consumption of animals which are found dead and have not been slaughtered is prohibited. Sacrificed animals must be without blemish. First-born male livestock must be sacrificed.
The Pilgrimage Festivals of Passover and Sukkot are instituted. The worship at Asherah groves and setting up of ritual pillars are forbidden. Prohibition of mixing kinds (22
Abraham Lincoln was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the nation through the American Civil War, its bloodiest war and its greatest moral and political crisis, he preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, modernized the U. S. economy. Born in Kentucky, Lincoln grew up on the frontier in a poor family. Self-educated, he became Whig Party leader, state legislator and Congressman, he left government to resume his law practice, but angered by the success of Democrats in opening the prairie lands to slavery, reentered politics in 1854. He became a leader in the new Republican Party and gained national attention in 1858 for debating and losing to national Democratic leader Stephen A. Douglas in a Senate campaign, he ran for President in 1860, sweeping the North and winning. Southern pro-slavery elements took his win as proof that the North was rejecting the Constitutional rights of Southern states to practice slavery.
They began the process of seceding from the union. To secure its independence, the new Confederate States of America fired on Fort Sumter, one of the few U. S. forts in the South. Lincoln called up volunteers and militia to restore the Union; as the leader of the moderate faction of the Republican Party, Lincoln confronted Radical Republicans, who demanded harsher treatment of the South. Lincoln fought the factions by pitting them against each other, by distributing political patronage, by appealing to the American people, his Gettysburg Address became an iconic call for nationalism, equal rights and democracy. He suspended habeas corpus, he averted British intervention by defusing the Trent Affair. Lincoln supervised the war effort, including the selection of generals and the naval blockade that shut down the South's trade; as the war progressed, he maneuvered to end slavery, issuing the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. Lincoln managed his own re-election campaign, he sought to reconcile his damaged nation by avoiding retribution against the secessionists.
A few days after the Battle of Appomattox Court House, he was shot by John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer, on April 14, 1865, died the following day. Abraham Lincoln is remembered as the United States' martyr hero, he is ranked both by scholars and the public as among the greatest U. S. presidents. Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, as the second child of Thomas and Nancy Hanks Lincoln, in a one-room log cabin on Sinking Spring Farm near Hodgenville, Kentucky, he was a descendant of Samuel Lincoln, an Englishman who migrated from Hingham, Norfolk, to its namesake Hingham, Massachusetts, in 1638. Samuel's grandson and great-grandson began the family's westward migration, passing through New Jersey and Virginia. Lincoln's paternal grandfather and namesake, Captain Abraham Lincoln, moved the family from Virginia to Jefferson County, Kentucky, in the 1780s. Captain Lincoln was killed in an Indian raid in 1786, his children, including eight-year-old Thomas, Abraham's father, witnessed the attack.
Thomas worked at odd jobs in Kentucky and in Tennessee, before settling with members of his family in Hardin County, Kentucky, in the early 1800s. Lincoln's mother, Nancy, is assumed to have been the daughter of Lucy Hanks, although no record documents this. Thomas and Nancy married on June 12, 1806, in Washington County, moved to Elizabethtown, Kentucky, they produced three children: Sarah, born on February 10, 1807. Thomas Lincoln leased farms in Kentucky. Thomas became embroiled in legal disputes, lost all but 200 acres of his land in court disputes over property titles. In 1816, the family moved to Indiana, where the survey process was more reliable and land titles were more secure. Indiana was a "free" territory, they settled in an "unbroken forest" in Hurricane Township, Perry County. In 1860, Lincoln noted that the family's move to Indiana was "partly on account of slavery", but due to land title difficulties. In Kentucky and Indiana, Thomas worked as a farmer and carpenter, he owned farms, town lots and livestock, paid taxes, sat on juries, appraised estates, served on country slave patrols, guarded prisoners.
Thomas and Nancy were members of a Separate Baptists church, which forbade alcohol and slavery. Overcoming financial challenges, Thomas obtained clear title to 80 acres of land in what became known as the Little Pigeon Creek Community. On October 5, 1818, Nancy Lincoln died of milk sickness, leaving 11-year-old Sarah in charge of a household that included her father, 9-year-old Abraham, Dennis Hanks, Nancy's 19-year-old orphaned cousin; those who knew Lincoln recalled that he was distraught over his sister's death on January 20, 1828, while giving birth to a stillborn son. On December 2, 1819, Thomas married Sarah "Sally" Bush Johnston, a widow from Elizabethtown, with three children of her own. Abraham became close to his stepmother, whom he referred t
The Overland Campaign known as Grant's Overland Campaign and the Wilderness Campaign, was a series of battles fought in Virginia during May and June 1864, in the American Civil War. Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, general-in-chief of all Union armies, directed the actions of the Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. George G. Meade, other forces against Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Although Grant suffered severe losses during the campaign, it was a strategic Union victory, it inflicted proportionately higher losses on Lee's army and maneuvered it into a siege at Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia, in just over eight weeks. Crossing the Rapidan River on May 4, 1864, Grant sought to defeat Lee's army by placing his forces between Lee and Richmond and inviting an open battle. Lee surprised Grant by attacking the larger Union army aggressively in the Battle of the Wilderness, resulting in heavy casualties on both sides. Unlike his predecessors in the Eastern Theater, Grant did not withdraw his army following this setback, but instead maneuvered to the southeast, resuming his attempt to interpose his forces between Lee and Richmond.
Lee's army was able to get into position to block this movement. At the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, Grant attacked segments of the Confederate defensive line, hoping for a breakthrough, but the only results were again heavy losses for both sides. Grant maneuvered again. Here, Lee held clever defensive positions that provided an opportunity to defeat portions of Grant's army, but illness prevented Lee from attacking in time to trap Grant; the final major battle of the campaign was waged at Cold Harbor, in which Grant gambled that Lee's army was exhausted and ordered a massive assault against strong defensive positions, resulting in disproportionately heavy Union casualties. Resorting to maneuver a final time, Grant surprised Lee by stealthily crossing the James River, threatening to capture the city of Petersburg, the loss of which would doom the Confederate capital; the resulting Siege of Petersburg led to the eventual surrender of Lee's army in April 1865 and the effective end of the Civil War.
The campaign included two long-range raids by Union cavalry under Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan. In a raid toward Richmond, legendary Confederate cavalry commander Maj. Gen. J. E. B. Stuart was mortally wounded at the Battle of Yellow Tavern. In a raid attempting to destroy the Virginia Central Railroad to the west, Sheridan was thwarted by Maj. Gen. Wade Hampton at the Battle of Trevilian Station, the largest all-cavalry battle of the war. In March 1864, Grant was summoned from the Western Theater, promoted to lieutenant general, given command of all Union armies, he chose to make his headquarters with the Army of the Potomac, although Meade retained formal command of that army. Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman succeeded Grant in command of most of the western armies. Grant and President Abraham Lincoln devised a coordinated strategy that would strike at the heart of the Confederacy from multiple directions: Grant and Benjamin Butler against Lee near Richmond, Virginia; this was the first time the Union armies would have a coordinated offensive strategy across a number of theaters.
Although previous Union campaigns in Virginia targeted the Confederate capital of Richmond as their primary objective, this time the goal was to capture Richmond by aiming for the destruction of Lee's army. Lincoln had long advocated this strategy for his generals, recognizing that the city would fall after the loss of its principal defensive army. Grant ordered Meade, "Wherever Lee goes, there you will go also." Although he hoped for a quick, decisive battle, Grant was prepared to fight a war of attrition. He meant to "hammer continuously against the armed force of the enemy and his resources until by mere attrition, if in no other way, there should be nothing left to him but an equal submission with the loyal section of our common country to the constitution and laws of the land." Both Union and Confederate casualties could be high, but the Union had greater resources to replace lost soldiers and equipment. Despite Grant's superior numbers, he had manpower challenges. Following their severe beating at the Battle of Gettysburg the previous year, the I Corps and the III Corps had been disbanded and their survivors reallocated to other corps, which damaged unit cohesion and morale.
Because he was operating on the offensive in enemy territory, Grant had to defend his bases of supply and the lines extending from them to his army in the field. Furthermore, since many of his soldiers' three-year enlistments were about to expire, they were reluctant to participate in dangerous assaults. To deal with these challenges, Grant supplemented his forces by reassigning soldiers manning the heavy artillery batteries around Washington, D. C. to infantry regiments. The Overland Campaign began as Grant's forces crossed the Rapidan River on May 4, 1864. Grant's objective was to force an engagement with Lee, outside of his Mine Run fortifications, by either drawing his forces out or turning them. Lee, displaying the audacity that characterized his generalship, moved out
West Virginia is a state located in the Appalachian region in the Southern United States, considered to be a part of the Middle Atlantic States. It is bordered by Pennsylvania to the north, Maryland to the east and northeast, Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest. West Virginia is the 41st largest state by area, is ranked 38th in population; the capital and largest city is Charleston. West Virginia became a state following the Wheeling Conventions of 1861, after the American Civil War had begun. Delegates from some Unionist counties of northwestern Virginia decided to break away from Virginia, although they included many secessionist counties in the new state. West Virginia was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863, was a key border state during the war. West Virginia was the only state to form by separating from a Confederate state, the first to separate from any state since Maine separated from Massachusetts, was one of two states admitted to the Union during the American Civil War.
While a portion of its residents held slaves, most of the residents were yeomen farmers, the delegates provided for gradual abolition of slavery in the new state Constitution. The Census Bureau and the Association of American Geographers classify West Virginia as part of the Southern United States; however the Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies West Virginia as a part of the Mid-Atlantic. The northern panhandle extends adjacent to Pennsylvania and Ohio, with the West Virginia cities of Wheeling and Weirton just across the border from the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, while Bluefield is less than 70 miles from North Carolina. Huntington in the southwest is close to the states of Ohio and Kentucky, while Martinsburg and Harpers Ferry in the Eastern Panhandle region are considered part of the Washington metropolitan area, in between the states of Maryland and Virginia; the unique position of West Virginia means that it is included in several geographical regions, including the Mid-Atlantic, the Upland South, the Southeastern United States.
It is the only state, within the area served by the Appalachian Regional Commission. The state is noted for its mountains and rolling hills, its significant logging and coal mining industries, its political and labor history, it is known for a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities, including skiing, whitewater rafting, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, hunting. Many ancient man-made earthen mounds from various prehistoric mound builder cultures survive in the areas of present-day Moundsville, South Charleston, Romney; the artifacts uncovered in these give evidence of village societies. They had a tribal trade system culture. In the 1670s during the Beaver Wars, the powerful Iroquois, five allied nations based in present-day New York and Pennsylvania, drove out other American Indian tribes from the region in order to reserve the upper Ohio Valley as a hunting ground. Siouan language tribes, such as the Moneton, had been recorded in the area. A century the area now identified as West Virginia was contested territory among Anglo-Americans as well, with the colonies of Pennsylvania and Virginia claiming territorial rights under their colonial charters to this area before the American Revolutionary War.
Some speculative land companies, such as the Vandalia Company, the Ohio Company and Indiana Company, tried to legitimize their claims to land in parts of West Virginia and present day Kentucky, but failed. This rivalry resulted in some settlers petitioning the Continental Congress to create a new territory called Westsylvania. With the federal settlement of the Pennsylvania and Virginia border dispute, creating Kentucky County, Kentuckians "were satisfied, the inhabitants of a large part of West Virginia were grateful."The Crown considered the area of West Virginia to be part of the British Virginia Colony from 1607 to 1776. The United States considered this area to be the western part of the state of Virginia from 1776 to 1863, before the formation of West Virginia, its residents were discontented for years with their position in Virginia, as the government was dominated by the planter elite of the Tidewater and Piedmont areas. The legislature had electoral malapportionment, based on the counting of slaves toward regional populations, the western white residents were underrepresented in the state legislature.
More subsistence and yeoman farmers lived in the west and they were less supportive of slavery, although many counties were divided on their support. The residents of this area became more divided after the planter elite of eastern Virginia voted to secede from the Union during the Civil War. Residents of the western and northern counties set up a separate government under Francis Pierpont in 1861, which they called the Restored Government. Most voted to separate from Virginia, the new state was admitted to the Union in 1863. In 1864 a state constitutional convention drafted a constitution, ratified by the legislature without putting it to popular vote. West Virginia abolished slavery by a gradual process and temporarily disenfranchised men who had held Confederate office or fought for the Confederacy. West Virginia's history has been profoundly affected by its mountainous terrain and vast river valleys, rich natural resources; these were all factors driving its economy and the lifestyles of its residents, who tended to live in many small isolated communities in the mountain valleys.
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American Civil War
The American Civil War was a war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in U. S. history. As a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people, war broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States; the loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery. Among the 34 U. S. states in February 1861, secessionist partisans in seven Southern slave states declared state secessions from the country and unveiled their defiant formation of a Confederate States of America in rebellion against the U. S. Constitutional government; the Confederacy grew to control over half the territory in eleven states, it claimed the additional states of Kentucky and Missouri by assertions from exiled native secessionists without territory or population.
These were given full representation in the Confederate Congress throughout the Civil War. The two remaining slave holding states of Delaware and Maryland were invited to join the Confederacy, but nothing substantial developed; the Confederate States was never diplomatically recognized by the government of the United States or by that of any foreign country. The states that remained loyal to the U. S. were known as the Union. The Union and the Confederacy raised volunteer and conscription armies that fought in the South over the course of four years. Intense combat left 620,000 to 750,000 people dead, more than the number of U. S. military deaths in all other wars combined. The war ended when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Battle of Appomattox Court House. Confederate generals throughout the southern states followed suit. Much of the South's infrastructure was destroyed the transportation systems; the Confederacy collapsed, slavery was abolished, four million black slaves were freed.
During the Reconstruction Era that followed the war, national unity was restored, the national government expanded its power, civil rights were granted to freed black slaves through amendments to the Constitution and federal legislation. In the 1860 presidential election, led by Abraham Lincoln, supported banning slavery in all the U. S. territories. The Southern states viewed this as a violation of their constitutional rights and as the first step in a grander Republican plan to abolish slavery; the three pro-Union candidates together received an overwhelming 82% majority of the votes cast nationally: Republican Lincoln's votes centered in the north, Democrat Stephen A. Douglas' votes were distributed nationally and Constitutional Unionist John Bell's votes centered in Tennessee and Virginia; the Republican Party, dominant in the North, secured a plurality of the popular votes and a majority of the electoral votes nationally. He was the first Republican Party candidate to win the presidency.
However, before his inauguration, seven slave states with cotton-based economies declared secession and formed the Confederacy. The first six to declare secession had the highest proportions of slaves in their populations, with an average of 49 percent. Of those states whose legislatures resolved for secession, the first seven voted with split majorities for unionist candidates Douglas and Bell, or with sizable minorities for those unionists. Of these, only Texas held a referendum on secession. Eight remaining slave states continued to reject calls for secession. Outgoing Democratic President James Buchanan and the incoming Republicans rejected secession as illegal. Lincoln's March 4, 1861, inaugural address declared that his administration would not initiate a civil war. Speaking directly to the "Southern States", he attempted to calm their fears of any threats to slavery, reaffirming, "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the United States where it exists.
I believe I have no lawful right to do so, I have no inclination to do so." After Confederate forces seized numerous federal forts within territory claimed by the Confederacy, efforts at compromise failed and both sides prepared for war. The Confederates assumed that European countries were so dependent on "King Cotton" that they would intervene, but none did, none recognized the new Confederate States of America. Hostilities began on April 1861, when Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter. While in the Western Theater the Union made significant permanent gains, in the Eastern Theater, the battle was inconclusive during 1861–1862. In September 1862, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which made ending slavery a war goal. To the west, by summer 1862 the Union destroyed the Confederate river navy much of its western armies, seized New Orleans; the successful 1863 Union siege of Vicksburg split the Confederacy in two at the Mississippi River. In 1863, Robert E. Lee's Confederate incursion north ended at the Battle of Gettysburg.
Western successes led to Ulysses S. Grant's command of all Union armies in 1864. Inflicting an ever-tightening naval blockade of Confederate ports, the Union marshaled the resources and manpower to attack the Confederacy from all directions, leading to the fall of Atlanta to William T. Sherman and his march to th
Presidency of Abraham Lincoln
The presidency of Abraham Lincoln began on March 4, 1861, when he was inaugurated as the 16th President of the United States, ended upon his assassination and death on April 15, 1865, 42 days into his second term. Lincoln was the first member of the recently-established Republican Party elected to the presidency, he was succeeded by Vice President Andrew Johnson. Lincoln presided over the Union victory in the American Civil War. Lincoln took office following the 1860 presidential election, in which he won a plurality of the popular vote in a four-candidate field. All of Lincoln's votes came from the Northern United States, as the Republicans held little appeal to voters in the Southern United States. A former Whig, Lincoln ran on a political platform opposed to the expansion of slavery in the territories, his election served as the immediate impetus for the outbreak of the American Civil War. During the 16 weeks between Election Day and Inauguration Day, seven slave states declared their secession from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America.
After being sworn in as president, Lincoln refused to accept any resolution that would result in Southern secession from the Union. The Civil War began weeks into Lincoln's presidency with the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, a federal installation located within the boundaries of the Confederacy. Lincoln was called on to handle both the political and military aspects of the Civil War, facing challenges in both spheres; as commander-in-chief, he ordered the suspension of the constitutionally-protected right to habeas corpus in the state of Maryland in order to suppress Confederate sympathizers. He became the first president to institute a military draft; as the Union faced several early defeats in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War, Lincoln cycled through numerous military commanders during the war settling on General Ulysses S. Grant, who had led the Union to several victories in the Western Theater. Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation freed about millions of slaves in Confederate-held territory, established emancipation as a Union war goal.
In 1865, Lincoln was instrumental in the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, which made slavery unconstitutional. Lincoln presided over the passage of important domestic legislation, including the first of the Homestead Acts, the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862, he ran for re-election in 1864 on the National Union ticket, supported by War Democrats in addition to Republicans. Though Lincoln feared he might lose the contest, he defeated his former subordinate, General George B. McClellan of the Democratic Party, in a landslide. Months after the election, Grant would end the war by defeating the Confederate army led by General Robert E. Lee. Lincoln's assassination in April 1865, five days after the surrender of Lee, left the final challenge of reconstructing the nation to others. Following his death, Lincoln was portrayed as the liberator of the slaves, the savior of the Union, a martyr for the cause of freedom. Political historians have long held Lincoln in high regard for his accomplishments and personal characteristics.
Alongside George Washington and Franklin D. Roosevelt, he has been ranked both by scholars and the public as one of the top three greatest presidents as number one. Lincoln, a former Whig Congressman, emerged as a major Republican presidential candidate following his narrow loss to Democrat Stephen A. Douglas in the 1858 Senate election in Illinois. Though he lacked the broad support of Republican Senator William H. Seward of New York, Lincoln believed that he could emerge as the Republican presidential nominee at the convention after multiple ballots. Lincoln spent much of 1859 and 1860 building support for his candidacy, his Cooper Union speech was well-received by eastern elites. Lincoln positioned himself in the "moderate center" of his party. On the first ballot of the May 1860 Republican National Convention, Lincoln finished second to Seward, but Seward was unable to clinch the nomination. Ignoring Lincoln's strong dictate to "make no contracts that bind me", his managers maneuvered to win Lincoln's nomination on the third ballot of the convention.
Delegates nominated Senator Hannibal Hamlin from Maine for vice president. The party platform opposed the extension of slavery into the territories but pledged not to interfere with it in the states, it endorsed a protective tariff, internal improvements such as a transcontinental railroad, policies designed to encourage the settlement of public land in the West. The 1860 Democratic National Convention met in April 1860, but adjourned after failing to agree on a candidate. A second convention met in June and nominated Stephen Douglas as the presidential nominee, but several pro-slavery Southern delegations refused to support Douglas, as they demanded a pro-slavery nominee; these Southern Democrats held a separate convention that nominated incumbent Vice President John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky for president. A group of former Whigs and Know Nothings formed the Constitutional Union Party and nominated John Bell for president. Breckinridge and Bell would contest the South, while Lincoln and Douglas would compete for votes in the North.
Republicans were confident after these party conventions, with Lincoln predicting that the fractured Democrats stood little chance of winning the election. Lincoln carried all but one Northern state to win an Electoral College majority with 180 votes to 72 for Breckinridge, 39 for Bell, 12 for Douglas. Lincoln won every county in New England and most of the remaining counties in