Abraham Lincoln is remembered as a great president for many reasons, including his eloquence, firm leadership, and ability to keep the United States from ripping apart during a time of war. However, it was Lincoln's devotion to ending slavery that many people list as his greatest attribute.
Lincoln's opposition to slavery was a catalyst to the Civil War. Initially, however, Lincoln was not a strong abolitionist. During debates and in speeches, he often argued against the expansion of slavery. Yet, in the early days of his presidency, Lincoln didn't believe he had the constitutional right to end slavery in the states where it existed. At that time, in the hope of avoiding war, he even tried to pacify the South by stressing he had no intention of abolishing slavery.
As the Civil War continued, President Lincoln's views on putting an end to slavery changed dramatically. In 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves that were living in the Confederate states. At first, the proclamation only freed between 20,000 and 50,000 slaves, but as the North's Union Army became increasingly victorious and took control of more southern territory, greater and greater numbers of slaves were freed. Later, Lincoln pushed for the passage of the 13th Amendment, which banned slavery in all the states and territories of the US as of December 1865. Sadly, Lincoln did not live to see the ban come into effect. He was fatally shot by actor John Wilkes Booth, who despised the president's views on slavery. Ultimately, though, it was Lincoln's determination to end slavery that made him not only a great leader but also an American hero.
1. Which of the following is true of Lincoln's childhood?
(A) He spent most of his life in Kentucky.
(B) He grew up in a poor family.
(C) His teachers made him read many books.
(D) He lived in a big city.
2. Which of the following occurred in the 1840s?
(A) Lincoln tried unsuccessfully to become a senator.
(B) Lincoln became a member of the House of Representatives.
(C) Lincoln studied to become a lawyer.
(D) Lincoln was elected to the Illinois General Assembly.
3. Why did Lincoln initially tell the South he didn't plan to end slavery?
(A) He wanted to stop the Civil War from happening.
(B) He wanted to be elected the 16th president of the US.
(C) He knew the economic value of using slaves.
(D) He didn't have enough experience as a president.
4. What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?
(A) Imprisoned all the slaves in the United States.
(B) Ended the American Civil War.
(C) Freed the slaves in the South.
(D) Stopped slavery from spreading to the North.
随着南北战争持续进行，林肯总统对于终结奴隶制度的看法有了戏剧化的改变。1863 年，他发表了《解放奴隶宣言》，该宣言解放了生活在南方联盟各州的奴隶。起初，该宣言只解放了 2 万到 5 万名奴隶，但是随着北方联邦军队越来越占上风，并掌控了更多南方领土，越来越多的奴隶都被解放。之后，林肯推动通过美国宪法第 13 条修正案，从 1865 年 12 月起，在美国各州和地区禁止奴隶制度。不幸地，林肯没能活着看到这项禁令生效。他被演员约翰．威尔克斯．布思枪杀了，该枪手很鄙视林肯总统对于奴隶制度的看法。然而林肯终结奴隶制度的决心最终不仅使他成为一位伟大的领袖，同时也是一位美国英雄。
答案： 1. B 2. B 3. A 4. C
美国拉什穆尔山国家纪念公园（Mount Rushmore National Memorial），俗称美国总统公园、美国总统山或是总统雕像山，是一座位于美国南达科他州附近的美国总统纪念公园（United States Presidential Memorial），每年能吸引大约两百万名游客前来观光旅游。公园内有 4 座高达 60 英尺（约合 18 公尺）的美国历史上著名的前总统头像，他们分别是华盛顿、杰佛逊、老罗斯福和林肯，这 4 位总统被认为代表了美国建国 150 年来的历史，在美国历史上享有重要的地位。（数据源：维基百科）