Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth President of the United States and is widely considered to be one of the greatest presidents in American history. He served from 1861 to 1865, during which time he led the country through its Civil War—the deadliest war in U.S. history, and perhaps its greatest constitutional crisis.
Lincoln’s presidency was marked by his efforts to bring about a lasting peace following the Civil War and by his efforts to promote social and economic justice through legislation such as the Homestead Act and the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act. He successfully kept Congress at bay in 1861–62 while he built up the Union Army during the Civil War; after that he got Congress to pass measures that helped it pay off its wartime debts and established a national banking system designed to prevent future depressions by providing an elastic currency and a stable financial system for business transactions in peacetime.
Lincoln also abolished slavery with his Emancipation Proclamation, strengthened the federal government by centralizing power in Washington D.C., and modernized the economy by implementing a national banking system, income tax, and railroad expansion.