Wednesday, April 4, 2018
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
This recording is the property of the SMU Center for Presidential History and may only be used for research and teaching purposes. It cannot be copied or reproduced for profit. © 2018
Abraham Lincoln is rightfully hailed as the Great Emancipator and the Savior of our nation. Thanks to his dedication and commitment to fundamental American ideas, the United States not only survived the Civil War, but also experienced a new birth of freedom. In this story, too often Lincoln’s abilities in foreign policy are overlooked. Coming into office with little relevant experience, he consistently showed an innate understanding of international diplomacy, the use of the media, and the power of propaganda. At the same time, then and now, Lincoln was becoming something more on the international scene than just an American president – he became a symbol of freedom and justice. This talk looks primarily at how Lincoln successfully navigated the troubled world of foreign affairs during his presidency, and then it take a quick look at how he has been viewed abroad. It will show that he was both a realist and an idealist in his dealings with foreign powers, understanding the limits of our influence at the time, but also the reach of our ideas.
Alan Lowe is the Executive Director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.