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Abraham Lincoln’s Cultural and Political Legacy on Central America Research Paper

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Updated: Sep 22nd, 2019

Introduction

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States of America. Abraham Lincoln played a significant role in the abolition of slavery in the United States of America.

After the election of Abraham Lincoln as the president of United States of America, many southern States that were mainly engaged in plantation farming receded and formed a new federation of Confederate States.

The reason that motivated these states in receding was that the southern States were aware that Abraham Lincoln does not support slavery and they were sure that once elected as the president, he would enact a policy that will make slavery illegal in the United States of America.

Some of the countries that receded after the election of Abraham Lincoln as the president include; South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi. Lincoln fight for the end of slavery started a way long before his election as the president in the United States of America.

In 1854, Lincoln contributed greatly in the enacting of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 that mandate States to decide whether they will support the idea of slavery. Although at the moment Lincoln was not for the abolition of Slavery, he was opposed to the expansion of slavery to new States.

He claimed that the constitution did not support the ban of slavery in the States it already existed, but it could stop slavery in the regions where it had not proliferated.1

Abraham Lincoln in a strategy to end slavery, had proposed to make it illegal for the spread of slavery in new States. At the same time, Abraham Lincoln had proposed for compensating those slave owners who were willing in voluntarily ending slavery.

This move was supposed to motivate slave owners to end slavery on their own. Abraham Lincoln played a major role in shaping the destiny of Cuba through his superb administrative skills that supported unity of purpose.

Spain Interest in Cuba

Cuba was strategically located and was easily accessible from Africa, America and Europe. However, Cuba was not able to perform exceptionally good in commerce despite its strategic positioning.

The reason behind its failure to prosper in commerce was Spain monopoly of Cuban trade.2 Spain had established tight trade regulations that highly restricted Cuba from trading with other foreign ships.

This resulted in the stagnation of Cuban economical development. Spain had anticipated that with the continue degradation of the soil in plantations in the southern States, that slave trade with emerge.

Thus, Spain had aspired on controlling the slave routes in case slave trade emerged, it was to benefit from it.3 However, the eruption of the American Civil War resulted to the consecutive banning of slavery in all the States in U.S.

When Spain opened Cuba’s port for foreign ships in 1880s, the port performed exceptionally well as the region was perfect in growing sugarcane because of its rich soil and adequate rainfall. Many Americans had invested heavily in Cuba.

This is the reason why the southerner looked forward in purchasing Cuba from Spain to increase the slave States. Spain abolition of slavery in Cuba in 1820 negatively affected the Cuban economy.

The banning of slavery forced the farmers in illegally purchasing slaves who were more troublesome to manage. Thus, the decision to purchase Cuba could have been a great idea for the southerner in propagating their ideology of slavery.

The United States Interest in Cuba

The United States of America had written Ostend Manifesto document in 1854. The document contained a rationale for purchasing Cuba from Spain Colony. Spain colonized Cuba to retain its slave routes.

The United States of America was very interested in purchasing Cuba from Spain to include it into the Union. The Ostend Manifesto implied its interest to annex Cuba into its Union by either purchasing it or declaring war on Spain.

The interest to annex Cuba to the Union was further motivated after the United States of America set its sight southwards following admission of California to the Union. However, diplomatically, Cuba was comfortable in remaining as a colony of Spain, rather than becoming a colony of stronger powers such as Britain and France.

Thus, because of a debate over the slavery, as well as the Manifest Destiny there was a change in the foreign policy that justified the use of force to take over Cuba for security reasons. After drafting the Ostend Manifest, and presenting it to the House of Representative for debating, it was overwhelmed rejected by the northerners.

The northerners received a lot of appraisal from the Europe who were not for the idea of annexing Cuba to the Union. However, the Ostend Manifest was to resurfaced later during the American Civil War.

One of the reasons that made Americans highly interested in annexing Cuba to the Union is its close proximity to some of the Union States. For instance, Cuba is located 140 kilometers away from the Coast of Florida.

The close proximity of Cuba had raised great interest to several presidential administrators for its inclusion in the Union. Some of the presidents that had greatly campaigned for Cuba inclusion into the Union were Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams.

These presidents have argued for the great political and economical benefits that could accompany the inclusion of Cuba in the Union. However, President Lincoln had a different view towards the annexing of Cuba.

Even though Abraham Lincoln was highly interested in the expansion of the Union, he was against the inclusion of a member State through coercion. Since the Cuba was not willing to join the Union, President Abraham Lincoln had opted to exclude it from the Union.

Similarly, Abraham Lincoln believed in unity of purpose. He often quoted his famous slogan that a house divided cannot stand.

That is the reason that motivated Abraham Lincoln to declare war on the Sothern States that Receded after his election as the president of U.S. The War was for unifying the United States of America. 4

During the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln declared the freeing of all the slaves who were working in those States that had receded. This marked a new chapter in the United States, as well as other countries that directly or directly related with United States of America such as Cuba.

Freedom of Cuba

In the 19th century, the Cuban revolted severally in an attempt to end the Spanish rule in vain. However, accumulating tension between the United States of America and Spain eventually resulted to Spain-American War that ended the Spanish colony in Cuba.

The War started in 1898 when America interfered with the ongoing Cuban War of independence. Americans closely monitored all the revolts against Spanish rule in Cuba because of its great interest in Cuba.

After, the sinking of the American battleship that was partly blamed as an accident. The Americans blamed the Spanish for being involved in the accident, which resulted in the war between the two nations.

The ten weeks war resulted to United States of America using its more superior warships to defeat the Spanish army that made Spain to surrender.

The defeat of the Spanish resulted to Spain signing a treaty to compensate the families of those people who perished in the United States battleship that sank.

How Abraham Lincoln influenced Cuba Governance

The decision of Abraham Lincoln not to support the Ostend Manifest, as well as engaging U.S. in the American Civil War, which resulted to the abandoning of the implementation of the Ostend Manifest as proposed by the southerners greatly shaped the destiny of the current Cuban governance.

The implementation of the Ostend Manifest could have incorporated Cuba in the Union. This could have resulted to Cuba administering Cuba as one of the States of United States. This could have resulted in promoting the ideology of slavery in Cuba, which Spanish had previously ended.

The Cubans were not willing to join the Union and since Abraham Lincoln was committed in promoting union of unity, opted to do away with the southerners’ proposal to incorporate Cuba in the Union.

After failing to incorporate the Cuba in the Union, United States of America continued with their interest in Cuba and helped Cuba to gain its independence. In attempting in retaining the control of Cuba, the United States of America signed a treaty with the Cuban government to allow America to intervene and preserve Cuban independence.

This treaty was hurting the Cuba economy greatly as most of its resources ended up with American. This treaty thus, affected the governance of Cuba negatively. The Cuban started viewing the law as a new strategy for the Americans to trap their independence and control their governance and resources.

In fact, this was a form of American imperialism over Cuba. The treaty was like a change of colony from being a Spain to American colony as almost all the Cuban resources ended up benefiting the Americans. American imperialism was one of the factors that greatly contributed to the instability of Cuban government for long.

The situation deteriorated in 1959 in coming of Fidel Castrol after five years of struggle. Fidel Castrol received support from the Soviet Union and thus, Fidel Castrol was an imminent threat to the security of United States of America.

With the assistance of the Soviet Union, United States of America could not afford to keep a military intervention in the Latin American.5

With the assistance of the Soviet Union, the Cuban in collaboration with government Soviet Union threatened America of a loaming nuclear war if America fails to remove its military intervention in Cuba.

After a lengthy consultation between America and Cuban Soviet leader, Castrol agreed to remove the missiles after a promise that American military will not invade Cuba anymore.

In conclusion: the United States of America and in particular, Abraham Lincoln played a great role in shaping the destiny of Cuba.

Abraham Lincoln believed in unity of unification and therefore could not support the Ostend Manifest.

In addition, the eruption of the American Civil War that started by the recession of the southern States could not make it possible for the discussion of the Ostend Manifest agenda. In the course of the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln declared the freeing of the slaves who were working in the plantations of those southern States that had receded from the Union.

The emergent of the American Civil War could not then facilitate the incorporation of Cuba as a member State of the American Union. This resulted to American continuing their interests in Cuba through other means, which resulted in American participating greatly in the independence of the Cuba.

The independence of Cuba from Spanish colonization gave way to the American imperialism that brought Cuba and America to a very close proximity to engage in nuclear war. Thus, Abraham Lincoln ideology of unity of Unification can greatly be associated in shaping the existing governance of Cuban government.

Reference List

Frederick W. (2012). Seward. Reminiscences of a Wartime Diplomat. New York: Prentice Hall

Guelzo, A. (2004). How Abe Lincoln Lost the Black Vote: Lincoln and Emancipation in the African American Mind. Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association. Vol. 3, no.5, pp.34-67.

Heckman, R. (1969). British Press Reaction to the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln Herald. Vol.69, no.12 pp. 150-160

Jones. (2000). Abraham Lincoln and a New Birth of Freedom: The Union and Slavery in the Diplomacy of the Civil War.

Sandburg. (1999). Abraham Lincoln: The War Years. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. New York: Prentice Hall.

Footnotes

1 Guelzo, A. (2004). How Abe Lincoln Lost the Black Vote: Lincoln and Emancipation African American Mind. Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association. Vol. 3, no.5, pp.34-67

2 Heckman, R. (1969). British Press Reaction to the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln Herald. Vol.69, no.12 pp. 150-160

3 Jones. (2000). Abraham Lincoln and a New Birth of Freedom: The Union and Slavery in the Diplomacy of the Civil War.

4 Frederick W. (2012). Seward. Reminiscences of a Wartime Diplomat. New York: Prentice Hall

5 Sandburg. (1999). Abraham Lincoln: The War Years. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. New York: Prentice Hall.

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IvyPanda. "Abraham Lincoln's Cultural and Political Legacy on Central America." September 22, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/abraham-lincolns-cultural-and-political-legacy-on-central-america/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Abraham Lincoln's Cultural and Political Legacy on Central America." September 22, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/abraham-lincolns-cultural-and-political-legacy-on-central-america/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Abraham Lincoln's Cultural and Political Legacy on Central America'. 22 September.

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