Kate Reed '15 Wins County Essay Contest
Congratulations to sixth grader Kate Reed who won an essay contest sponsored by County Executive John R. Leopold with assistance from Anne Arundel County Public Schools. Kate's essay on, "What Would Abe Lincoln Do?" explained how she thought President Lincoln would approach the issues facing the country today and how Lincoln's philosophy resonates in modern America. Kate won in her grade level.
Kate will read her essay tonight at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis. The event commemorates the 200th Anniversary of Lincoln's birth. Click 'read more' to review Kate's essay.
What Would Abe Lincoln Do?
by Kate Reed '14
With the many issues facing our country today, it would be interesting to
investigate the philosophies and values followed by the man whom people now consider
to be the greatest president our country has ever known. Abraham Lincoln successfully
abolished slavery and ended a civil war, two of the greatest feats ever accomplished by
an American president. He then helped to lift the slaves out of the extreme poverty they
faced by giving them the opportunities guaranteed to every citizen under the Declaration
The problems facing America today are very different than those that Lincoln
faced in his time in office, but the beliefs he had about differences in race can still be
applied in today's world. With the inauguration of our first African American President,
President-Elect Barack Obama, coming ever closer, Americans are hopeful that
distinctions based on skin color are becoming ever less important. Lincoln abolished
slavery, saying, "Slavery is a moral, social, and political evil." He made a law called the
Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all slaves in the Confederate States who had
not escaped to the Union by January 1, 1863. This was the initial step towards creating
a society where people would be treated equally, regardless of the color of their skin.
Though it took many years for the laws against black people to be repealed, and
America is still far from perfect today, Lincoln's abolition of slavery was the first giant
step towards that goal. President-Elect Obama could never have come this far in his
career without Lincoln's beliefs and efforts.
Though an ideal and color-blind society is still not a reality in America, Lincoln paved
the way for this dream to develop. Another current problem in America is the struggling
economy. More and more people are falling into poverty and finding themselves without jobs.
A similar situation arose while Lincoln was president, and if he were our president now, he
might have treated the two problems in the same way. When the slaves were freed, Lincoln
realized that they would have very little money and no way to find a home or job. It was for
this reason that Lincoln created the Homestead Act, which allowed former slaves
and any others who had never fought the United States to fill out an application and receive
160 to 640 acres of land for free. If today's government could buy land, build houses on
the property, and then allow people below a certain income to have the houses for free,
it might do our economy much good and might be something President Lincoln
would have proposed.
Lincoln's belief, so long ago, in the equality of all people has led to America's election
of its first African American President. His attempts to ease the burden of poverty for
all people continue to provide lessons for current leaders of our country. It is
clear that Lincoln's beliefs are still resonating loudly today.