Lincoln was a racist when the Civil War started and didn't care at all about the blacks. The whole reason he started the war was to bring the Confederate states back into the Union. Lincoln had a deep passion for keeping the Union together, and those principles led him to war to bring them back. Those views are largely inspired from Andrew Jackson, who Lincoln looked up to. Jackson sparred all the time with John Calhoun during his political career to keep the South from secession.
With that said, Lincoln's racial views changed vastly during the Civil War. In the beginning Lincoln wanted the South to come back and they could keep their slaves, he just wanted his country back together. But he had an epiphany so to speak, and went from not caring about freeing the slaves to making it a goal of the war.
There's a lot of lies out there about the whole situation. But Lincoln didn't die a racist but the Civil War wasn't STARTED to free the slaves but it ENDED as a war to free the slaves. There ya go.
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