Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth president of the United States (1861-1865) and was the main architect of the victory of the Unionists in the American Civil War and abolition of slavery.Born in Hodgenville, Kentucky, February 12, 1809 by a pioneer family, he studied law, soon earning a reputation for his honesty.Not surprisingly, it is famously depicted in the historical memory as a man calm and thoughtful. But perhaps not everyone knows that some years before becoming President of the United States, his temperament was very different, consisting of frequent outbursts, in which he gave evidence of being able to express an intense fury and uncontrolled (probably caused, according to recent studies, the failure induced by pills used by Lincoln to win the depression).In 1833 he was elected to the parliament of Illinois. In the matter of slavery, he was a staunch abolitionist, although never shared fully the position of abolitionists. In 1860 the Republicans were nominated for the presidency: he obtained the majority of votes and entered the White House. Immediately after the victory, he is taken the first steps to secede from the Union. Lincoln showed himself open to dialogue but refused to consider a possible extension of slavery.In February 1861, seven southern states were separated by formally; other southern states followed suit, and the war broke out that ended in 1865 with the victory of the Northerners. Among the key moments of the civil war there was the Battle of Gettysburg, which was followed - after the war - the famous Lincoln speech on the importance of the union of States.Already in 1862, the President issued the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the slaves and authorized the creation of military units of color.Lincoln, however, was determined to place emancipation on a permanent basis and in 1864 proposed the introduction of an amendment against slavery in the Constitution. This amendment was accepted after his re-election, in 1865. A few weeks after the start of his second term, Lincoln publicly announced his support for limited suffrage for blacks in Louisiana.A fanatic Southerner, John Wilkes Booth, worried of the possibility that blacks could obtain the right to vote, on April 14, 1865 mortally wounded Lincoln, in Washington. He was pronounced dead the next morning.