Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President

By Allen C. Guelzo | Go to book overview

1 The American System

The American Revolution was a revolt against restraint. And one of the first restraints to collapse was the one that had been imposed by British imperial authorities, in the decade before the Revolution, on new colonial settlements beyond the Appalachian Mountains. Once the stiff hand of British confinement was removed, curious American adventurers began pushing through the mountain gaps to spill out into the vast Ohio River valley, unlicensed land companies sprang up to sell title to tracts of land they had hardly bothered to investigate themselves, and, in 1780, a Shenandoah Valley farmer named Abraham Lincoln sold off the 210 acres of valley farmland he owned in Virginia and bought 1,200 new acres in the wilderness of what was already known as Kentucky.

The Lincoln family had actually been on the move ever since the first of the Lincolns arrived in Hingham, Massachusetts, in the 1630s, as part of the out-migration of disaffected Puritans fleeing an English church and an English government they had lost all hope of purifying. One of these Lincolns, Samuel, set up as a weaver in Hingham and died there in 1690; one of his sons, Mordecai, promptly began moving again, first to Hull, then to Cohasset; and then his sons, Abraham and another Mordecai, left New England entirely for northern New Jersey

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Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Abraham Lincoln - Redeemer President *
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction: the Strife of Ideas 3
  • 1: The American System 26
  • 2: The Costs of Union 64
  • 3: The Doctrine of Necessity 102
  • 4: The Fuel of Interest 143
  • 5: Moral Principle is All That Unites Us 185
  • 6: An Accidental President 228
  • 7: War in a Conciliatory Style 269
  • 8: Voice Out of the Whirlwind 311
  • 9: Whig Jupiter 352
  • 10: Malice Toward None 397
  • Epilogue: the Redeemer President 439
  • A Note on the Sources 465
  • Index 500
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