Slavery in America lasted for 246 years (1619-1865), and it defined Abraham Lincoln's life and his legacy. Lectures in this course will focus on Lincoln's rise to political power and his opposition to slavery (1854 to 1860), and his leadership as president (1861 to 1865) to win the Civil War and to abolish slavery. Was Lincoln a reluctant liberator or an abolition president who directed the scope and timing of the Emancipation Proclamation? We will examine Lincoln's thoughts about slavery, the South, and racial equality. Lincoln's views on race matured, and he ultimately supported citizenship and the right to vote for African Americans. Lincoln's war policy escalated to "total war," and the Union's war aims became victory and emancipation in 1863. We will discuss the tragic history of slavery and its significant impact in 2020 and the United States' quest for equality for all Americans. | Lecture + Q&A.