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Abraham Lincoln & Conflict Resolution
Bob Willard April 6, 2013 KAIST ICM Program
Importance of Education
Upon the subject of education… I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people can be engaged in.
Abraham Lincoln March 9,1832
Relationship to Korea
1950-52 – My father served in Korean War.
1967-68 – I served with I Corps in Uijongbu.
1999 – I visited Seoul after 3 decades.
Lincoln and me
Not a professor or author
Collecting books, images and other material
Becoming friends with Lincoln scholars
Giant on world stage
1960 Brussels Worlds Fair
Historic accomplishments in USA
Recent 200th anniversary of birth
Recognized in Korea
A future president writes about another country’s president.
Importance of Steven Spielberg’s movie cannot be overstated.
Opened in U.S. in November, 2012
Opened in Korea March, 2013
As President and Commander-in-chief
Life of Lincoln
Born in Kentucky
Raised in Indiana
Lived in Illinois
Born February 12, 1809 near Hodgenville, KY
Less than one year of schooling
Moved to Indiana at age 7
When he is 9, his mother dies; father re-marries
At 19, takes riverboat with produce to New Orleans
At 21 years old, he moves to Illinois
He is boatman, store clerk, postmaster, surveyor
He is self taught (including law)
He joins militia in war with Indians; elected captain
He begins political career
At 27, he becomes a lawyer
At 33, he marries Mary Todd from Kentucky
They have four sons, one of whom dies young
At 37, he is elected to single term as U.S. Congressman
He strongly opposes Mexican War policy of President James Polk
He returns to Springfield, Illinois to resume practice of law
Political crisis of 1850’s, regarding spread of slavery, energizes him to resume politics
At 49, he challenges U.S. Senator Stephen Douglas; campaign brings national attention.
Famous “House Divided” speech
At 51, he is elected President of the U.S.
Wins Civil War and ends slavery
At 56, he is killed.
Lincoln the Lawyer
Self-study while living in New Salem, Illinois
September 9, 1836 – Receives law license.
Sets up law practice in state capital
John Stuart (1837-41)
Stephen T. Logan (1841- 44)
William H. Herndon (1844 – 61)
Riding the circuit and honing political skills
Advice to aspiring lawyer Isham Reavis (1855)
If you are resolutely determined to make a lawyer of yourself, the thing is more than half done already.
Get the books, and read and study them till, you understand them in their principal features…
The books, and your capacity for understanding them, are just the same in all places.
Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing.
Advice to aspiring lawyer John Brockman (1860) who asked “the best mode of obtaining a thorough knowledge of the law”
The mode is very simple, though laborious, and tedious. It is only to get the books, and read and study them carefully.
Work, work, work, is the main thing.
Some of Lincoln’s rules for the practice of law
The leading rule for the lawyer, as for the man of every other calling, is diligence. Leave nothing for to-morrow which can be done to-day.
Extemporaneous speaking should be practiced and cultivated. It is the lawyer's avenue to the public
Lincoln’s rules (continued)
Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser -- in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.
Never stir up litigation.
There is a vague popular belief that lawyers are necessarily dishonest... Let no young man choosing the law for a calling for a moment yield to the popular belief -- resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your own judgment you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer. Choose some other occupation, rather than one in the choosing of which you do, in advance, consent to be a knave.
The Lawyer becomes President
Lincoln the President
Faced most difficult tasks of any US President
At end of his term, 700,00 fellow citizens are dead
BUT, 4 million slaves (and all succeeding generations) were free
AND, democratic self-government that US had begun in 1776 was preserved.
Nominating convention could not select more well-known candidates; chose Lincoln on third ballot.
National election had four candidates and split the opposition vote.
Lincoln won with barely 40% of the vote
Principal issue in election was slavery.
When Lincoln arrived in Washington, several southern states had left the Union
At First Inaugural, Lincoln claimed “We are not enemies, but friends… Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.
Six weeks later, South Carolina fired on Fort Sumter, starting Civil War.
No attempt here to describe in detail the Civil War
War lasted 4 years
Lincoln dealt with many problems with his military leaders until he placed General Grant in charge.
Despite fear he would not be reelected in 1864, Lincoln insisted that election be held.
Gettysburg Address in November 1863 was Lincoln’s most famous oration.
that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion
that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain
that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom
and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Freedom to the slaves
Other Presidential achievements
Avoided war with other nations
Advanced intercontinental railroad
Established homestead act to give federal land to settlers
Developed Land Grant Colleges
Initiated National Academy of Sciences
Utilized telegraph as managerial tool
Based on list developed by Doris Kearns Goodwin
1. Capacity to listen to different points of view.
2. Ability to learn on the job and to learn from his own mistakes
3. Willingness to share credit for success and to praise his colleagues.
Leadership characteristics (continued)
4. Shouldered the blame for the mistakes of his subordinates.
5. Keen awareness his own weaknesses.
6. Capacity for channeling his emotions in safe ways.
7. Understood need to relax and escape from extreme pressures.
He could defuse tensions with a good story or joke. He regularly escaped to the theater.
8. Instincts which told him when and how to connect with the American people.
He connected emotionally through trips to the battlefront.
9. Adherence to core principles and his vision for the nation.
Preserving the Union, to him, was proof that ordinary people can govern themselves.
10. Remarkable ability to communicate his goals and values to his countrymen.
Example: Second Inaugural Address
Example of communication through oratorical excellence:
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
A man of over-arching strategic principles.
“I have never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence.”
Declaration of Independence declared
All men are created equal
They have God-given rights; and
Government is created to secure these rights.
The Constitution limits what the leaders of the Government can do.
The People are the ultimate authority.
Abraham Lincoln remains a giant in world history
Symbolized by mountain-sized sculpture of Mount Rushmore
But there may be another side to the story.
The End!6 was preserved.
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may