Lincoln and Leadership: An Afterword

Allen C. Guelzo

in Lincoln and Leadership

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780823243440
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823243488 | DOI:

Series: The North's Civil War (FUP)

Lincoln and Leadership: An Afterword

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In this chapter Allen C. Guelzo argues that Lincoln’s presidency was what political scientists term a “hinge presidency” because of the ways he reoriented the power of the office as Commander in Chief, secured the presidency from undue congressional and other interference, subordinated the Cabinet to the presidential will, and converted the Republican Party to the economic development of the country as a friend of business. It argues that Lincoln’s experience as lawyer arguing cases before the people made him an effective party leader and shaper of public opinion, and his intelligence, curiosity, and self-confidence made him a great war president. It notes that the particular qualities of persistence, resilience, humility, knowledge, loving the drudgery of politics and the office, and persuasion distinguished Lincoln and defined the essential elements for a successful democratic president in any day. It concludes that although Lincoln’s self-confidence sometimes approached arrogance, Lincoln understood the nature and uses of power and did not abuse them. He earned his place on the top pedestal of presidential leaders.

Keywords: Presidential power; Republican Party; Commander in Chief; Leadership qualities; Public opinion

Chapter.  3372 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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