Тема / Топик по английскому языку:
Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln is the most famous example of the «American dream». Many Americans think that in their country a man may rise from the lowest to the highest position in their land. That was exactly what Lincoln did.

He was born in 1809 in a small farm in Kentucky. When Abraham was quite young, the family moved to the wild forest land of Indiana. He hardly had any education; he only learned to read and write and do simple arithmetic. In 1830 Abraham left his father’s farm and went to Springfield, Illinois. There he became a clerk in a store and worked hard to improve his education. In 1836 he became a lawyer.

He entered politics, too, and in 1834 became a candidate to the Parliament of Illinois. He soon became a force in the political life. In 1847 he went as a Congressman to the National Assembly (National Parliament).

Slavery was then becoming a burning question in American politics. Many people in the Northern states wanted to abolish it; the Southern states opposed the abolition. The Southerners said that it would mean economic ruin for them. The reason was that the prosperity of the South was based on cotton-growing, and only Negroes worked there. The Southerners threatened that if the North didn’t cease its fight against slavery, the Southern states would leave the Union. They wanted to form an independent «Confederacy».

In 1860 Lincoln was elected President of the USA. In 1861 seven states left the Union and elected their own President, Jefferson Davis. The Confederacy was formed.

Lincoln was strongly against slavery and even more strongly against the break-up of the Union. In 1862 the American Civil War between the North and the South began.

At first the war went badly for the North. The Southerners headed by General Robert Lee and Colonel Jackson won some brilliant victories. But Lincoln did not lose courage. On April, 9 General Lee surrendered. The Civil War was over. Lincoln tried to convince former enemies that they should live in peace.

On April, 14 the President and his wife visited a theatre in Washington. During the performance Lincoln was shot by an actor who supported Confederacy. Abraham Lincoln died next morning.

People admire Lincoln for political moderation. They admire him because he tried to preserve the nation. He is a symbol of American democracy.

Topical Vocabulary

- the «American dream»
«американская мечта»
to rise from the lowest to the highest position
подняться из низов до высшего положения в обществе
- to hardly have any education
не получить почти никакого образования
to improve one’s education
продолжить образование
a lawyer
- to enter politics
начать политическую карьеру
a candidate to the Parliament
кандидат в парламент
to become a force in the political life
стать силой в мире политики
a Congressman
the National Assembly
Национальная Ассамблея
- slavery
a burning question
больной вопрос
Northern states
северные штаты
to abolish smth.
отменить, запретить что-либо
Southern states
южные штаты
to oppose the abolition
противостоять отмене рабства
to mean economic ruin
означать экономический крах
to cease one’s fight against slavery
прекратить борьбу против рабства
to form an independent «Confederacy»
образовать независимую конфедерацию
- to be elected President
быть избранным на пост президента
- to be strongly against slavery
был ярым противником рабства
the break-up of the Union
развал союза
the Civil War
гражданская война
- headed by
во главе с (кем-либо)
to win some brilliant victories
одержать несколько блестящих побед
not to lose courage
не терять мужества
to surrender
to be over
закончиться, завершиться
former enemies
бывшие враги
to live in peace
жить в мире
to be shot
быть убитым (выстрелом)
- to admire smb. for political moderation
восхищаться чьей-либо умеренной политикой
to preserve the nation
стараться сохранить нацию
a symbol of democracy
символ демократии

Answer the questions:

  1. What is Abraham Lincoln noted for?
  2. What kind of education did he get?
  3. What positions did he get after entering politics?
  4. What was a burning question in American politics at the time?
  5. Why was the Confederacy formed?
  6. What was Lincoln’s position in the opposition of the North and the South?
  7. What part did Lincoln play in peace-making?
  8. What do people admire Lincoln for?

Translate into English:

  1. Абрахам Линкольн поднялся из низов до самого высокого поста в Америке.
  2. Не имея почти никакого формального образования, он много работал над своим образованием и получил квалификацию юриста.
  3. Занявшись политикой, он вскоре стал значительной фигурой в политической жизни страны.
  4. В 1834 году Линкольн стал кандидатом в парламент штата Иллинойс, а в 1847 году - конгрессменом.
  5. Важнейшей проблемой в политической жизни Америки была отмена рабства.
  6. Южные штаты выступали против отмены рабства.
  7. Процветание южных штатов было построено на применении труда негров (using Negro labour).
  8. Линкольн был избран президентом США в 1860 году.
  9. Семь южных штатов вышли из союза и образовали независимую конфедерацию.
  10. Линкольн выступал против рабства и распада союза.
  11. В начале гражданской войны южане одерживали победы над северянами.
  12. После окончания гражданской войны Линкольн старался сохранить мир.
  13. Линкольн - символ американской демократии.