LINCOLN, Abraham

(1809–1865)
   The president of the United States during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln played a key role in the ending of the war and the beginning of westward settlement, a role that is an understood subtext of many Westerns. Although during the classic historical period of the Western moment several presidents significantly impacted the West—especially presidents such as Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes—only Lincoln matters much for understanding Westerns. He appears in many cinema Westerns, such as The Plainsman (1936) and They Died with Their Boots On (1941), and always as a symbolic figure, sometimes in the background rather than as a real character. The things that are understood about Abraham Lincoln, though not necessarily historically accurate, are that he was responsible for freeing the slaves; that he agonized over how to restore the South to the Union as the Civil War was winding down; that he was assassinated in Ford Theater by John Wilkes Booth, a Southern sympathizer, just weeks after the war ended; that had he lived, peace and unity would have been achieved much more quickly than it was. He is nearly always played as a father figure who promised hope for a new West but whose untimely death caused great hardship for an ailing country.

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Lincoln,Abraham — Lincoln, Abraham. 1809 1865. The 16th President of the United States (1861 1865), who led the Union during the Civil War and emancipated slaves in the South (1863). He was assassinated shortly after the end of the war by John Wilkes Booth. * * * …   Universalium

  • Lincoln, Abraham — born Feb. 12, 1809, near Hodgenville, Ky., U.S. died April 15, 1865, Washington, D.C. 16th president of the U.S. (1861–65). Born in a Kentucky log cabin, he moved to Indiana in 1816 and to Illinois in 1830. After working as a storekeeper, a rail… …   Universalium

  • Lincoln, Abraham — (1809–1865)    Sixteenth President of the United States and commander in chief of the Union during the American Civil War (1861–1865). Lincoln’s nomination by the Republican Party for the presidency and subsequent election was itself prominent… …   Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914

  • Lincoln, Abraham — ► (1809 65) Político estadounidense. Fue el decimosexto presidente de E.U.A. en 1860 65. En 1856 formó parte del Partido Republicano. En las elecciones presidenciales de 1860 se presentó como candidato con un programa por el que limitaba la… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • LINCOLN, ABRAHAM —    sixteenth President of the United States, born near Hodgensville, Kentucky; spent his boyhood there and in the Indiana forests, and picked up some education in the backwoods schools; passed some years in rough work; he was clerk in a store at… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Lincoln, Abraham — (1809 1865)    Fourteenth president of the United States.    Index: B Believed by George Brown to be favourable to renewal of Reciprocity Treaty, 192.    Bib.: For biog. sketch, and bibliog. of lives, see Cyc. Am. Biog.; Larned, Lit. Am. Hist …   The makers of Canada

  • Abraham Lincoln — [ eɪbrəhæm liŋkən] (* 12. Februar 1809 bei …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Abraham Lincoln on slavery — Abraham Lincoln s position on freeing the slaves was one of the central issues in American history. Though Abraham Lincoln was one of the people identified as most responsible for the abolition of slavery, he did not initially take the position… …   Wikipedia

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