Lincoln | 13th Amendment Changes The World

abraham lincolnCouple weeks ago  I watched what is probably one of the best movies this year – Lincoln. If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it. It’s about his 13th Amendment to end slavery. We all know who he is and what he accomplished. Except the dude I heard about from my friend who emerged from the theater saying, “I was surprised that he died”. Yep, enough said.  The state of our nations education is another story. I’m sure you all know he was assassinated so this article won’t be a spoiler for you.

I’m no expert on Abraham Lincoln or the 13th Amendment. I don’t know all the exact dates of his accomplishments and struggle remembering all the historical details of his life. What I do remember are his passions that led to his greatest accomplishments because they move me and ignite my own passion to stand up for what’s right. He’s one of my own inspirations behind Fearless Men.

“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”

If we look at the world that he was born into we see human inequality rampant with slaves, racism and no voting for women. Since the latter part of the 20th century some things we identified as barbaric in other countries we still had in our own backyard in the 19th century. We did make progress but it wasn’t because we sat on our lawns while drinking tea or moonshine that these changes happened. No, people stepped up and got out there. They became a voice. Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, heroines of women’s suffrage and our Founding Fathers: George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to name a few. We owe much to these fearless men and women.

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

A few months ago I wrote about Abraham Lincoln detailing life events and how he was a man with similar struggles like the rest of us. What separated him was how he faced each one, honed his character and skills; he never gave up. But it wasn’t until watching the movie that I really started to see the obstacles he had to overcome to end slavery. Sure I knew that he was the author of the Emancipation Proclamation and 13th Amendment. But every hurdle he overcame to get that 13th Amendment signed in the House of Representatives became more apparent as I was sitting there in my seat. I always thought it would be easier as The President but he had to overcome impossible circumstances. I was glued to the screen for all 2 hours and 29 minutes.13th Amendment first part

Some Abraham Lincoln lines from the movie that resonated with me….

“This settles the fate for all coming time. Not only of the millions now in bondage, but of unborn millions to come. Shall we stop this bleeding?”

“We are stepped out upon the world stage now, with the fate of human dignity in our hands. Blood’s been spilled to afford us this moment! Now, now, now!”

That’s powerful stuff!!!  His Gettysburg Address which he gave 2 years into the Civil War starts off with “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Abraham Lincoln was on a mission to see to it that what our Founding Fathers started was going to be seen through. He believed “that this nation under God” needed another infusion of freedom. In the movie you see how important he knew the 13th Amendment would be in our nation’s history and for the world.

“Having thus chosen our course, without guile and with pure purpose, let us renew our trust in God, and go froward without fear and with manly hearts.”

In the movie there were two positions (beliefs) held by the opponents of the 13th amendment that astonished me.  The first one was that some believed whites to be superior human beings to other races. The second shock was that some were worried what other rights African American’s would receive if slavery ended. They started to worry that women also would receive equal rights like voting and running for office. 150 years ago it was the common accepted belief that white males were better than everybody else. Many who voted against the 13th Amendment took this stance. Shocking now if you think about it.

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”

Imagine you’re living during Lincoln’s time…what would you do to help others? What fears might you have to fight through? God’s first commandment is to love Him and the second is to love each other. Even if you’re not Christian I bet you agree with equality and treating others how you’d like to be treated.  It’s easy to forget how influential we are in the lives of others. It’s easy to get comfortable with our lives and forget that most of the world does not have a comfortable life that we’re accustomed to. Each of us is actually wealthier than most in the world and don’t even know it. Check out the wealth calculator I talked about last week and you’ll see where you rank. You’ll be surprised!

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”

Our Fearless Men Throw-Down eBook: 30 Days and 30 Ways to Become a Better Man is full of challenges you can pick from to inspire you to make a difference in your part of the world. You may not be a President or in a position of leadership. But we’re all influencing someone in some way. Check it out and see what you can do this year!

“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

13th Amendment

Editors Note: All quotes by Abraham Lincoln

1st Photo by VectorPortal


  1. I’ll be the first to admit that I am a huge Lincoln buff. I love what he stood for and the accomplishments that he made that have led to the world we live in today. I have not had a chance to see the movie but can;t wait to be able to.

    • Sean, thanks for commenting. Hopefully I got my facts in here straight. 🙂 I don’t know any man who would say Lincoln wasn’t a good role model or lacked character. I think you’ll definitely enjoy it!

  2. Good post John! I’ve yet to see the movie, but really want to. My undergrad was in Civil War History, specifically centering around Lincoln and the Supreme Court. I’ve long admired Lincoln the man and what he did. I often wish that I could’ve lived during his time as it’s my favorite historical period in our history. It still amazes me the ideals that were behind many who opposed him and freeing slaves.

    • Definitely see it! I really admire him too. Hence writing 2 articles on him. I’m also surprised by the stance of those against the 13th amendment. I wonder if they lived today what side they’d stand on.

  3. “I was surprised that he died” Oh man. That’s so sad it’s funny.

  4. I cannot wait to see this movie! In-fact, the wife and I have a “date night” coming up and I think we’ll have to make this a part of the plans. In regards to being shocked that he died: that’s really sad. There was a report that the entire Lakers Bball team went to watch the movie and Kobe was interviewed after to find out how the team liked it. He said everybody enjoyed it but they were all shocked that he got killed (all of the players except Kobe apparently didn’t know).

    • I hadn’t heard about the Lakers. I have to say I’m surprised all of them but Kobe didn’t know. I would’ve guessed maybe half the team or less. Is it not taught (hammered) in school anymore?

  5. Lincoln was born in Hodgenville, KY, which is a little over an hour from where I grew up. A gross understatement would be to say that this area is not the most tolerant place in the country, present tense included. It is encouraging that someone like President Lincoln can come from somewhere like that and be such a leader for civil rights. I can’t wait to see the movie.

  6. Interesting take… I feel like a big issue that’s often misinterpreted (often because of the media in this movie) is the misnomer that the center of Lincoln’s campaign was slavery. The Civil War, and Lincoln’s purpose, was not at all about slavery, but about State’s Rights. South Carolina did not first secede because it wanted slavery; South Carolina seceded because of the nullification crisis, which was South Carolina wanting to be able to “nullify” federal laws it disagreed with.

    To sum it up, slavery was simply something that “came up” for Lincoln. It wasn’t at all his priority. As a matter of fact, Lincoln didn’t free ALL slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation – it ONLY freed the slaves in area’s conquered by the North. The slaves IN the North weren’t even freed. If Lincoln’s main priority was to free the slaves, then he would’ve freed the slaves in the territory he owned.

    • Thanks for pointing that out! I agree that slavery usually takes the forefront and is the only discussion when Lincoln is brought up. It’s interesting that even though there were many other reasons behind his motivations that an accomplishment like this was done because of his perseverance. I wonder how long it would’ve taken to abolish slavery had he not been president. Probably 1900’s since that’s when other equal rights started to flourish. Either way, we definitely benefited from his fearlessness.

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