Abraham Lincoln: A Loved Leader
Abraham Lincoln is considered my many as the greatest president of American history. Freeing the slaves, winning the Civil War, and saving the Union are among his many great achievements. Without him, the world would be completely different then what it is today, for the South may have won the war, leaving them in charge, keeping slavery. Even though the South was against him and his ideas, Lincoln still won the presidency due to strong support from the North. Lincoln's actions were endorsed throughout the North, and he was loved by all. Is it better to be loved than feared, or the reverse? In his novel, The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli states that there is a dispute over which path a leader should take. The fact that Lincoln won the presidency despite strong opposition from the South and all the work he did to get his people what they wanted all point down the road of being loved.
In Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince, an entire chapter is dedicated to the dispute of whether it is better for a leader to be loved or feared. In this chapter, he states that “each prince must desire to be considered merciful and not cruel. Nontheless, he must be wary not to use this mercy badly.” (Machiavelli, 61) By this, he means that rulers should attempt to find a balance between being loved and feared by his followers. This means that the prince must be nice enough to earn some respect, love, and trust but be feared enough to keep the people in line. This
is very difficult to do, and many rulers that try this end up going completely in one direction. Also, Machiavelli shows how two rulers that both took the cruel and feared approach ended up in two completely different endings. Cesare Borgia was cruel, yet his cruelness “Had fixed up Romagna, united it, reduced it to peace and reliability” (Machiavelli 61), while the ruler of the Florentine people let Pistoia be destroyed to escape the name of cruel. Machiavelli says that a prince that...