Join us in this incredible episode where we get to learn about President Abraham Lincoln and not by just talking about him but by interviewing him in our podcast. We will learn a lot about President Lincoln’s life, views, and reasons behind some of the most important decisions he made.

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Danny:

This is your host, Danny, and this English Plus Podcast.

Welcome to our podcast episode where we’ll be diving into the life of one of America’s most beloved presidents Abraham Lincoln. From his humble beginnings to his rise to the highest office in the land, Lincoln’s story is one that has captivated audiences for generations. Today, we’re excited to take a closer look at the man behind the legend, and even better, we get to have a chat with the man himself. That’s right, we’re going to pretend to have a conversation with President Lincoln to learn more about his life, his values, and the events that shaped him into the iconic figure we know and love. So sit back, relax, and get ready to step back in time to meet one of the most influential leaders in American history.

Danny:

President Lincoln, I would like to welcome you to our podcast, English Plus. We’re honored to have you on the show.

President Lincoln:

Thank you, it’s a pleasure to be here. I appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts and experiences with your audience.

Danny:

The pleasure is all mine. Our goal is to let our audience learn more about you, so why don’t we start with your humble beginnings. You were not born in a rich family, on the contrary, you were born in a log cabin and your family did not have much money. How did you move from having a humble beginning to becoming the best president the United States of America ever had?

President Lincoln:

That’s a great question. Indeed, I was born in a log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky, and my family’s financial situation was far from comfortable. Despite this, I was determined to receive an education and to work hard to improve my circumstances. I was largely self-educated, and I devoured books and taught myself everything I could about law, politics, and public speaking.

My early experiences in life taught me the value of hard work, perseverance, and determination. I worked a variety of jobs over the years, from splitting rails to serving as a postmaster and a lawyer. My interest in politics began at a young age, and I was involved in local politics before becoming a member of the United States House of Representatives in 1847.

Throughout my political career, I remained focused on my core values of honesty, integrity, and fairness. I believed in the power of democracy and the importance of preserving the Union. When the country was threatened by division and conflict, I worked tirelessly to preserve it and ensure that all Americans were treated equally.

In short, my rise to the presidency was the result of hard work, determination, and a commitment to my core values. I never lost sight of the fact that I was working for the good of the people, and that is what ultimately drove me to achieve what I did.

Danny:

These were the good old days, were they not. Nowadays, it’s nearly impossible to become a president if you don’t have money or at least you are supported by wealthy people. Do you see it this way, or do you have another opinion on this matter?

President Lincoln:

It’s true that times have changed since I was president, and the modern political landscape is certainly different than it was during my time. However, I believe that the fundamental principles that I believed in, such as honesty, integrity, and a commitment to public service, are still as relevant and important today as they were then.

While it may be true that money and connections can play a significant role in modern politics, I would hope that the American people continue to demand and value leaders who prioritize the interests of the people over their own personal gain. Our democracy is built on the idea that anyone can rise to power if they work hard and gain the support of their fellow citizens. I believe that this idea remains as important today as it was in my time, and that there will always be room for leaders who are willing to put the needs of the people first.

Danny:

I hope so, too. Well Mr. President, let’s talk a little more about your political career. When did your political career really start and was it your idea or has anyone talked you into it?

President Lincoln:

My political career began when I was elected to the Illinois State Legislature in 1834. At that time, I was living in New Salem, Illinois, and I was encouraged to run for office by some of my friends and colleagues who recognized my talents and my interest in public service.

From that point on, my interest in politics only grew. I was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1846 and served a single term before returning to Illinois to practice law. I continued to be involved in politics during this time, and I was a vocal opponent of the expansion of slavery into new territories.

In 1858, I became a candidate for the United States Senate, and it was during that campaign that I famously debated my opponent, Stephen A. Douglas. Although I ultimately lost that race, my participation in the debates raised my national profile and helped to establish me as a leader of the anti-slavery movement.

Finally, in 1860, I was chosen as the Republican Party’s nominee for president, and I was elected that November. My election to the presidency was the culmination of many years of hard work, dedication to public service, and a commitment to the values that I held dear.

Danny:

You did lose the elections to Stephen A. Douglas in 1858, but the moral win and the popularity you gained turned this loss in the elections into a huge win when you became president two years later. Why were these debates so important and why did they make you famous?

President Lincoln:

The debates that I had with Stephen A. Douglas in 1858 were incredibly important because they gave me a platform to articulate my opposition to the expansion of slavery into new territories. At that time, the country was becoming increasingly divided over the issue of slavery, and my debates with Douglas helped to galvanize support for the anti-slavery movement.

The debates were also important because they showcased my skills as a public speaker and a debater. My opponent, Stephen A. Douglas, was an experienced politician with a national profile, and many people expected him to win the debates. However, I was able to hold my own against him, and my performances in the debates helped to establish me as a serious contender for the presidency.

Finally, the debates were important because they allowed me to build a national network of supporters and to establish myself as a leader of the Republican Party. After the debates, I traveled across the country, speaking at rallies and events, and building support for my candidacy. When the presidential election of 1860 came around, I was able to leverage this support to win the nomination and, ultimately, the presidency.

So while I did not win the Senate race in 1858, the debates were instrumental in setting the stage for my future political success. They helped to establish me as a national figure and a leader of the anti-slavery movement, and they set the stage for my eventual election to the presidency.

Danny:

Why did you stand against slavery in the first place? Was it a calculated political move in the right direction, or did you really believe in it from the very first beginning?

President Lincoln:

My opposition to slavery was rooted in my deep-seated belief in the equality and inherent value of all human beings. From an early age, I was deeply troubled by the idea of slavery, and I was determined to do everything in my power to end this terrible institution.

As a young man, I witnessed the brutality of slavery firsthand during a trip to New Orleans, and that experience left a lasting impression on me. As I began my political career, I became more and more involved in the anti-slavery movement, and I spoke out against the expansion of slavery into new territories.

So my opposition to slavery was not a calculated political move, but rather a reflection of my core values and beliefs. I believed that slavery was a moral evil and a stain on the character of our nation, and I was committed to doing everything in my power to bring an end to this terrible practice. This commitment to ending slavery ultimately led me to lead the country through the Civil War and to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared all slaves in the Confederate states to be free.

Danny:

During your election campaign, you did speak against slavery, but you also said you would not outlaw slavery in the South. Maybe, you were doing that to hold the stick in the middle not to anger the Southern states and preserve the Union, but that didn’t work, so why didn’t you say in your campaign that you would outlaw slavery everywhere in the United States?

President Lincoln:

It’s true that during my campaign for the presidency, I did not advocate for the immediate abolition of slavery throughout the United States. However, this was not because I believed that slavery was morally justifiable or that it was acceptable in any way. Rather, my position reflected my belief that as president, my primary duty was to preserve the Union and to prevent the country from descending into civil war.

I knew that the issue of slavery was a divisive one, and I was keenly aware of the strong support for the institution in the Southern states. If I had come out in favor of the immediate abolition of slavery, it would have likely alienated many Southerners and may have led to the secession of more states from the Union.

So while my position on slavery was not as bold or as forceful as some would have liked, it was a pragmatic one that was designed to prevent the country from tearing itself apart. As I said in my first inaugural address, “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”

Of course, as the Civil War dragged on and the issue of slavery became more central to the conflict, my views on the matter evolved. The Emancipation Proclamation that I issued in 1863 was a clear statement of my commitment to ending slavery, and it helped to pave the way for the eventual passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which abolished slavery throughout the United States.

Danny:

I see, now I’m afraid that we will have to talk about the darkest chapter in the history of the United States, the Civil War. Despite all your best efforts to avert the Civil War, it happened anyway. Did you try to stop it in anyway, or do you think it was inevitable?

President Lincoln:

As president, I did everything in my power to prevent the Civil War from happening. I knew that the country was deeply divided over the issue of slavery, and I believed that the only way to preserve the Union was through compromise and dialogue.

After I was elected, I made a point of reaching out to the Southern states and reassuring them that I had no intention of interfering with their “peculiar institution” of slavery. I even went so far as to offer to amend the Constitution to protect slavery where it existed. Unfortunately, these efforts at compromise were unsuccessful, and in 1861, the Southern states began seceding from the Union.

Throughout the early years of the war, I continued to believe that a peaceful resolution to the conflict was possible. I appointed a series of generals who I hoped would be able to win decisive victories over the Confederate army, and I reached out to the Confederate leadership in an effort to negotiate an end to the conflict.

Despite my best efforts, however, the war continued to rage on, and the death toll continued to mount. In 1863, I issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared all slaves in the Confederate states to be free. This was a bold move that was designed to weaken the Confederacy and to bolster the Union’s moral standing in the eyes of the world.

Ultimately, the Civil War was a tragic and painful chapter in the history of our nation, and it was a conflict that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans. While I did everything in my power to prevent it from happening, the underlying divisions and tensions that existed within the country made it all but inevitable.

Danny:

Well, let me talk about the Emancipation Proclamation. Many people said that you resorted to all possible ways to secure its passing in the Senate and later in the House. Did you resort to any illegal ways to ensure the passing of this declaration?

President Lincoln:

No, I did not resort to any illegal means to secure the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation. While there were certainly those who opposed the Proclamation and who may have accused me of using underhanded tactics, the truth is that the Proclamation was issued in accordance with my constitutional authority as president.

The Emancipation Proclamation was not a law or a bill that required approval by the Congress. Instead, it was a presidential proclamation that was issued under my authority as commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The Proclamation declared all slaves in the Confederate states to be free, and it was a significant step toward ending the institution of slavery in the United States.

Of course, the Proclamation was not universally popular, and there were many who opposed it, both in the North and in the South. However, I believed that it was the right thing to do, and I was willing to take whatever steps were necessary to ensure that it was issued and enforced.

So while I may have faced opposition and resistance to the Emancipation Proclamation, I did not engage in any illegal or unethical behavior to secure its passage or implementation.

Danny:

Soon after the Emancipation Proclamation was passed by the Senate, the Civil War became fiercer than ever, and it led to one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War in Gettysburg. Was your passing of the proclamation a reason why the Civil War became bloodier than ever?

President Lincoln:

The Civil War was a complex and multifaceted conflict, and there were many factors that contributed to its intensity and the scale of the bloodshed. While my decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation was certainly a significant one, it is difficult to say that it was the sole reason for the increased violence of the war.

One of the main reasons why the war became bloodier after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued was that it helped to shift the focus of the conflict away from purely political and territorial issues and toward the more fundamental moral question of slavery. The Proclamation made it clear that the war was being fought, in part, to end the institution of slavery, and this helped to mobilize and inspire the Union soldiers who were fighting to preserve the Union and to end slavery.

At the same time, the Emancipation Proclamation was a deeply divisive issue that increased tensions and animosity between the North and the South. Many Southerners saw the Proclamation as a direct attack on their way of life and their economic system, and this made them even more determined to fight to preserve their independence and their right to hold slaves.

So while the Emancipation Proclamation was certainly a significant factor in the intensity of the Civil War, it is difficult to say that it was the sole cause of the increased bloodshed and violence. Ultimately, the Civil War was a complex and multifaceted conflict that was driven by a wide range of factors, including economic, political, and moral issues, and it will always be remembered as one of the most significant and tragic events in the history of the United States.

Danny:

Now talking about Gettysburg, we still remember your speech there as one of the most memorable and influential speeches of all time. Walk us through your speech, please. How did you manage to say all these things in a very short speech? We know the main speaker at the dedication spoke for hours, but you managed to say it all in just two minutes.

President Lincoln:

The Gettysburg Address was an important moment in the history of the United States, and it was a speech that I believed was important to deliver in order to help unite the country and to honor the memory of those who had died in battle.

When I was asked to speak at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in November 1863, I knew that I had a unique opportunity to deliver a message of hope and unity to a country that had been torn apart by war. I spent several days preparing for the speech, and I worked hard to distill my message down to its essential elements.

When the day of the dedication arrived, I delivered my address, which was only two minutes long, to a crowd of thousands. In my speech, I emphasized the importance of preserving the Union and of honoring the sacrifice of those who had given their lives in the fight for freedom and equality. I also spoke about the need to rededicate ourselves to the cause of liberty and to work toward a brighter future for all Americans.

One of the reasons why the Gettysburg Address has endured as a seminal moment in American history is its brevity and its power. By distilling my message down to its most essential elements, I was able to deliver a speech that was both memorable and impactful, and that continues to resonate with people today.

In many ways, the success of the Gettysburg Address was a reflection of the importance of clear and concise communication, and the power of a message that speaks directly to the hearts and minds of its audience. While the speech may have been short, its impact has lasted for generations, and it remains a testament to the resilience and strength of the American spirit.

Danny:

I wish I could say that about our times. Words, no matter how sincere, honest and impactful they are, hardly ever move people nowadays. The fabrication of truth in our times has almost defeated the truth itself.

President Lincoln:

It is true that in today’s world, the truth can often be difficult to discern, and the power of words to move people is sometimes diminished by the noise and confusion of modern life. However, I would argue that the fundamental principles that underpin the power of words remain just as important today as they did in my time.

Words have the power to inspire, to motivate, and to bring people together around a common cause. When spoken from the heart and with conviction, words can move mountains and change the course of history. While the truth may sometimes be obscured or distorted, the power of a message that speaks directly to the hearts and minds of its audience remains as potent today as it ever was.

So while the challenges of our times may be different than the challenges that I faced during my presidency, I believe that the power of words to inspire and motivate remains just as important today as it was during my time. The truth may sometimes be difficult to discern, but it is up to all of us to seek it out and to hold fast to the principles that are most important to us.

Danny:

Alright, Mr. President, let’s get back to the Civil War. Why were you losing at the beginning and what was the turning point? Was it the proclamation, appointing General Grant, or a combination of both and maybe, some other factors as well?

President Lincoln:

In the early years of the Civil War, the Union forces did suffer a number of significant setbacks on the battlefield, and the Confederacy was able to secure a number of key victories. There were a number of reasons for this, including the superior military leadership of the Confederacy in the early years of the war, as well as the fact that the Southern states were fighting on their home territory, which gave them a significant advantage.

However, there were a number of factors that contributed to the turning of the tide of the war in favor of the Union. One of the most important of these was the Emancipation Proclamation, which helped to shift the focus of the war away from purely political and territorial issues and toward the more fundamental moral question of slavery. This helped to inspire and mobilize the Union soldiers who were fighting to preserve the Union and to end slavery.

Another important factor was the appointment of General Ulysses S. Grant as the overall commander of Union forces in 1864. Grant was a brilliant military strategist who was able to coordinate and direct Union forces in a more effective manner than his predecessors, and he was instrumental in securing a number of key victories for the Union.

Finally, the Union’s superior resources and manpower also played a significant role in the turning of the tide of the war. The North had a larger population and a more robust industrial base than the South, which allowed it to produce more weapons and supplies and to field larger armies.

So while the turning point of the Civil War was a complex and multifaceted event, it was a combination of factors, including the Emancipation Proclamation, the appointment of General Grant, and the Union’s superior resources and manpower, that ultimately helped to bring about Union victory.

Danny:

So, you finally won the war and secured peace for the coming generations and liberty for slaves who might have remained as slaves, years after that if it weren’t for you, but you did pay for it with your life. Only a few days after the Civil War ended, you know what happened at Ford’s Theater. Was it a cause worth your life, Mr. President?

President Lincoln:

As president, I was deeply committed to the cause of preserving the Union and to the principle that all people are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights. While the Civil War was a long and difficult conflict that exacted a heavy toll on both the Union and the Confederacy, I believed that it was a necessary struggle in order to bring about the end of slavery and to preserve the integrity of the United States.

Of course, the cost of the war was high, both in terms of the number of lives lost and the damage that was done to the country. However, I believed that the cause of freedom and equality was worth the sacrifice, and that the United States had a duty to live up to the ideals upon which it was founded.

As for my own life, I was fully aware of the risks that I faced as president, and I knew that my commitment to the Union and to the cause of freedom might put me in danger. While I did take measures to protect myself, including traveling with a bodyguard, I also recognized that my duty to the country was more important than my own personal safety.

So while my assassination was a tragic and senseless event, I do believe that the cause for which I gave my life was a just and worthy one. The end of slavery and the preservation of the Union were monumental achievements that helped to shape the course of American history, and I am proud to have played a role in bringing about these changes.

Danny:

I’m truly fighting back tears; you are truly an incredible person and a one of a time leader. I wish we had more leaders like you in our day. Thank you, Mr. President, for preserving the Union, for abolishing slavery and for everything else you did for the betterment of this world.

President Lincoln:

Thank you for your kind words. It was my honor and privilege to serve the people of the United States as their president, and to work toward the ideals of freedom, equality, and democracy that are at the heart of our nation.

As I look back on my life and my time as president, I am proud of the progress that we made and the challenges that we overcame. While there is always more work to be done to build a more perfect union, I am confident that the people of the United States have the strength, the determination, and the resilience to meet any challenge that comes their way.

Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your podcast, and for the opportunity to share some of my thoughts and experiences with your audience. I hope that my words will inspire others to continue working toward a better future for all Americans.

Danny:

The honor has been totally mine, Mr. President.

President Lincoln:

Thank you. It has been a pleasure to join you on your podcast, and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Danny:

And to our listeners everywhere, I hope you enjoyed our episode. Don’t forget to support us on Patreon to help us create more of the content you like. You can find the link in the description of the episode. That will be all for this episode. This is your host, Danny. Thank you for listening. I will see you next time.

<a href="https://englishpluspodcast.com/author/dannyballanowner/" target="_self">Danny Ballan</a>

Danny Ballan

Author

Danny is a podcaster, teacher, and writer. He worked in educational technology for over a decade. He creates daily podcasts, online courses, educational videos, educational games, and he also writes poetry, novels and music.

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