Slavery was a huge issue in our history up to the 19th century and Lincoln’s stand against it was what had lost him the race for senate against Douglas but had won him the election of 1860. For quite a while during this period in time, the states had been half slave and half free. Lincoln even asks the question, “Can we as a nation continue together permanently half slave and half free? ” (Document B). The answer is no, and based on Lincoln’s own words, the South’s, Republican’s, and majority of the people’s views, the election of Abraham Lincoln was not a mandate for the abolition of slavery in the US.
The North was more industry oriented while the South was the economic backbone of the country and because of the backbreaking work this included, slaves were a necessity to them. So when Lincoln was elected, they thought that “Slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction. ” (Document H). So that was “supposedly” their reason for leaving. However that was not the main reason for their secession. The South even before the election of Lincoln had occurred had threatened to secede from the Union due to tariffs, transportation, power, or etc.
Whatever the reason may have been, in reality Lincoln’s administration was just a scapegoat for them to actually secede from the Union in which they planned to do for quite some time and had little to do with slavery. This is true because Lincoln would have even kept slavery intact if Jefferson Davis had just been cooperative and stop the secession. Lincoln himself used to be a slave owner; he had even protested the idea of the US government abolishing slavery alongside Dan Stone (Document A).
Even though his views slightly changed in the later years following up to his election, he still was not an abolitionist, even though he was no longer pro slavery. In fact his main purpose was to stop the spread of slavery, not to abolish it. Lincoln even says, “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. ” (Document I). Even though Lincoln won by a landslide Electoral College wise, he had not won the majority vote (Document F). Lincoln had lost in the run for senate n the Lincoln-Douglas Debates because it turned out the majority of the populace did not agree with his slavery viewpoint which made him lose even though his belief is only to abolish it if the “majority”, agree with it. Lincoln only won because the states who agreed with him just so happened to have the majority of the Electoral College to win him the election. The people who voted for him even knew he had no reason to interfere with slavery. He was not even fully supported by his own party as there was, “In so large a party as the Republican, it cannot but be supposed that a great variety of sentiment exists. (Document G). Lincoln believed that the choice of abolishing slavery should be left up to the district in which it corresponds (Document A & C). He even gave the South a chance to keep their slaves if they came back into the Union. The South who still recedes, Lincoln who was never an abolitionist, and that the states who voted for him (which weren’t even the majority of the voters) knowing that he had no reason to abolish slavery makes Abraham Lincoln’s election not a mandate for the abolition of slavery in the United States.