Before 1860, Abraham Lincoln was not well-known outside of Illinois. However, his reputation as a persuasive speaker, his humble background, and his commitment to preserving the Union all contributed to his rise to prominence within the Republican Party and his election as the 16th President of the United States. His debates with Stephen Douglas, in particular, had earned him recognition as a skilled debater and an opponent of slavery. His self-reliant and hard-working persona made him an appealing choice for the Republican Party, and his moderate stance on the issue of slavery made him more acceptable to voters in the border states. These factors all played a role in his election as President.
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