There are many important figures in American history, but two of the most significant are President Abraham Lincoln and President Jefferson Davis. These two men guided America through some of its darkest times. They both hugely impacted the country, and their legacies will be remembered for generations to come. In this blog post, we will discuss the legacies of these two presidents and see how they compare!
President Davis: Overview
President Jefferson Finis Davis served as the first and only president of the Confederate States from 1861 to 1865. He was a member of the Democratic Party and represented Mississippi in the US Senate and the House of Representatives before the American Civil War. He was arrested for treason after the war but was never tried [Source]. In his early life, Davis spent about four years at the US Military Academy at West Point and graduated 23rd in a class of 33 in 1828. He later served as a lieutenant in the Wisconsin Territory and was active in the Black Hawk War. He gave up his seat in the US House of Representatives in 1846 to serve as a colonel in the Mexican-American War. He desired to serve as a general in the war, and history shows that he was celebrated military personnel who played a vital role in the wars he was involved in [Source].
After the Battle of Buena Vista in 1847, President Davis became a national hero because of his winning tactics. He was born on 03 June 1808 in Fairview, Kentucky in the US, and died on 06 December in New Orleans, Louisiana in the US.
President Lincoln: Overview
President Abraham Lincoln was an American lawyer born on 12 February 1809. He served as the 16th president of the US from 1861 up to 1865, when he was assassinated. President Lincoln was preceded by James Buchanan and succeeded by Andrew Johnson. He was born into poverty and was self-educated, and became a lawyer. He participated in the Black Hawk War, ran for president in 1860, and was victorious. The name ‘Abraham Lincoln’ reminds people of the great slaves’ savior. He amassed a lot of fame for “the Gettysburg Address, abolishing slavery, and being one of the four presidents who have been assassinated [Source]. Lincoln was able to play a huge part in removing social inequality in the country as he tried to end all forms of racial segregation. After freeing the slaves, Lincoln received a lot of backlash from economists who argued that slaves were vital in pushing the economy forward. This means that Lincoln had betrayed themselves by freeing the cheap labor, which would affect economic gains.
Former US President Barack Obama laid out the legacy of President Lincoln in the following statement: “Abraham Lincoln…had his doubts. He had his defeats, He had his setbacks. But through his will and words, he moved a nation and helped free a people. Because of the millions who rallied to his cause, we are no longer divided, North and South, slave and free” [Source].
History shows Lincoln “overcame poverty, tragic deaths of family members and lifelong depression to become president.” He faced many difficulties as a commander in chief, and “he saw the country through the bloodiest war in U.S. history.”
President Davis vs. President Lincoln
President Abraham Lincoln represented the Union, while President Jefferson Davis is known for the Confederacy. Lincoln was challenged in controlling his people or his cabinet, so analysts believe he had problems with his subordinates. On the other hand, Davis is described as a leader who created enemies for the state and concentrated on battling his opposition rather than ensuring stability in his reign [Source]. Davis had a lot of faith in his army to settle any disputes. He was criticized for having a warlike attitude by his comrades, and many of them resigned due to that. Lincoln was more focused on uniting the races under his leadership.
Davis had more political experience than Lincoln. Lincoln was a president of a whole nation, while Davis was the president of the confederate state [Source]. Both these leaders ruled during the American civil war.