War is a terrible thing, yet so many great men and women fight in and for wars, why? The answer to this question isn’t always clear yet there is a purpose. The reason for wars varies from war to war but every time America has been in major wars it’s always had one theme, freedom. Sometimes those wars were fought to defend for it, and unfortunately, some were for the reverse. Yet all of them fought for freedom.
The Revolutionary war was fought to free America from a monarchy, the civil war was fought to free slaves and the other wars followed. Great people like Abraham Lincoln and George Washington knew that freedom isn’t something you purchase once and then keep forever, they knew that it wasn’t cheap, and they knew that freedom was and is worth every drop of blood that has or ever will be shed for it. Abraham Lincoln knew this when he said “and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword”
Lincoln knew that war was terrible, but he also knew that slavery was worse as well as that the Union needed to stay strong and heal. If it hadn’t been for the Civil War the South would have still been crippled by slavery, which might sound odd seeing as they had slaves providing them labor, and yet when you look at the technological levels of slave and non-slave states we see it indeed held them back. Furthermore, when WWI took place it wouldn’t be able to help nearly as well whilst the North would have to pool the extra resources needed to end the war.
Further down the line, we would see that devastation and hindrance on growth harm the United States again when WWII came; where nothing but God’s almighty hand could win the war. but that was based on a single if. Abraham Lincoln knew that slavery must end although it wasn’t a war anyone wanted. As he said, “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” He went into the war thinking that it wouldn’t be over until America paid its dues in full, a very hefty price, and yet he did so, knowing that freedom stands as much more important.
Abraham Lincoln was not the only one who led nations to war, countless other wars have been lost and won. These leaders range from ancient Israel kings who went against the likes of Babylon, to the cruel and heartless such as Stalin or Hitler. Like Abraham Lincoln, George Washington fought against tyranny, they were both great men. They both loved freedom and justice.
Hitler and Lincoln both also led their nations to war, these two men had only one thing in common, and that is they were both great leaders. One was filled with hate and greed seeking only to further his power and to enslave those whom he disliked. Whilst the other one was filled with love and charity and sought to bring freedom to his brethren who were in bondage.
Stalin and Abraham had a similar relationship except that Stalin not only wanted to further his power, he also slaughtered almost half of his people while he was at it. The consequences of Hitler’s actions were millions dead by war and millions dead by his horrific camps, and he is remembered as one of the worst men in history. The consequences of Stalin’s actions were millions of deaths of his own people by his hand, he killed somewhere between 3 to 60 million of his own people during his lifetime.
The consequences of Abraham Lincoln’s actions were that the union was mended and sealed firm for the coming of the next two major wars, and the end of one of the wickedest things America has ever done, slavery. Simply put, the outcome of wars fought for freedom has led to more peace and tranquility, despite all the hardship dealt in the process of gaining it. And as we’ve seen with both Hitler and Stalin, wars intended to lead to slavery, they brought unimaginable strife to themselves and those around them.
So what is there to do to avoid this? Well, Lincoln put it quite well, ”It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”