Lincoln shot by Steven Spielberg is the modern reconstruction of the most important period of Lincoln’s life – the passing of the 13th Amendment and emancipation of slaves that took place in 1865. This period was one of the most important in the American history. Spielberg chose to focus on the struggle for Amendment passing to depict that time but showed his vivid neglect of the battle’s scenes and role of the Black population in the Civil War. Nevertheless, Spielberg shows his position in the film with the help of his heroes’, especially when abolitionist Thadeus Stevens explains why this amendment is so important for him. This event was crucial for the emancipation of slaves as well as for reunion and insurance of the US unity. So, 13th Amendment and its passing by the Congress was the key point of the Lincoln’s presidency and the USA history of the 19th century.
At that time, as we can see it in the movie, Civil War came to the end, but the bloody struggle continued. However, there are only two battle scenes in the movie. Most of the time, the film tells about the political life of the president Lincoln and his efforts to gain support in voting for adopting the Amendment. The film is full of dialogues. Besides, Lincoln himself explains why he suggested that the passing of the 13th Amendment is so important. First official argument was that Amendment would enable the country to finish the war, because it would eliminate the reason for the further struggle between the South and North. Second, the most valuable argument was excellent explanation of the issues of the future reunion. The main difficulty was the necessity to ensure the positive voting before the victory; otherwise, the Amendment would not be adopted and achievements of Lincoln could be rejected in the future. Moreover, slaves’ freedom could be threatened. At the same time, American society was tired by the war, and the bloodshed had to be finished as soon as possible.
Lincoln needed the Amendment to ensure emancipation of the slaves and stable unity of the USA in the future. Lincoln stressed that the USA was not at war with the other state. He tried to stop the rebels in the South. He emphasized that population of the southern states are the citizens of the United States. It was important to avoid any possibility of secession in the future. Reasoning from this fact, his emancipation proclamation could not ensure the freedom for the slaves. Whereas the South was the part of the USA, the USA was at war not with the southern states but only with the rebels. The legislation of these states was still in force, so it was still possible to contest judicially emancipation proclamation. It was necessary to prescribe the prohibition of slavery in the Constitution.
In conclusion, it should be noticed that Spielberg, being realistic in details and in reproduction of the spirit of the time, succeeded in communicating the main drama of the last year of the Lincoln’s life. Before the adoption of 13th Amendment, slavery could thrive, but after that, USA changed forever. This step was a successful final of the Lincoln’s emancipation activity, which provided future development of the American society. It was the winning step in the emancipation of the slaves and their acceptance by the American society. This step led to changes in economics and in politics. The unity of the country was recovered and ensured in the future. Prohibition of the slavery was the most important precondition of these achievements; that is why adoption of 13th Amendment can be considered as the key point of the Lincoln’s presidency and the US history of 19th century.