UNIFICATION UNDER LINCOLN


Political thought has been based upon the “Hamiltonian” and “Jeffersonian” traditions throughout America’s history. These traditions reflect the evolution of the two major parties.


“Hamiltonians” also known as Federalists at one time were the party that supported the rule of “best people.” Federalist John-Jay once said, “Those who own the country; ought to govern it.” (Bailey and Kennedy 199). “Hamiltonians” believed that government should support private enterprises and not interfere with them, and they strongly distrusted a developed democracy.


“Jeffersonians,” were Democratic Republicans. They believed that the best government was the one that governed the least. They insisted on there being no special privileges for special classes, and they also feared dictatorship.


Abraham Lincoln was a man who demonstrated the qualities of both traditions. By way of the “Hamiltonians,” Lincoln helped the industrialization of the North through trade and he supported small enterprises. As a “Jeffersonian,” Lincoln developed the Emancipation Proclamation declaring, “forever free” for the slaves in the Confederate states that were still in rebellion. Most importantly he worked tirelessly in his efforts to unite the North and South into one country. As a man of inspiration Lincoln led the Union and expressed generosity toward the South and self-control toward his spiteful colleagues. Perhaps this is how he got the nickname “Honest Abe.” Not only did he lay his hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the constitution, he set a goal to have a United States, and sought to fulfill it.