IllinoisTop200 Voters Say Abraham Lincoln is Top Leader
The Top 200 Project lets Illinoisans vote every two weeks on the state’s most inspiring leaders, greatest inventions, top businesses and much more. By the state’s bicentennial on December 3rd, voters will have chosen 10 favorites in 20 different categories.
Illinois is definitely the Land of Lincoln. Voters in the Illinois Top 200 project have selected Abraham Lincoln as the top leader in state history, recognizing his role in ending slavery and holding America together through the Civil War.
He was followed by three other presidents with Illinois connections: Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama and Ulysses S. Grant.
Here are the top 5 Illinois leaders as chosen by online voters:
Abraham Lincoln: A successful lawyer in Springfield, Lincoln rose to national prominence as a critic of slavery. As president, he guided a divided America through the Civil War, issued the Emancipation Proclamation and passed a constitutional amendment ending slavery.
Ronald Reagan: The only president born in Illinois, Reagan sought to cut spending, social services and taxes. He was a firm opponent of the Soviets during the final years of the Cold War but also negotiated arms control agreements with them.
Barack Obama: Taking office after a devastating economic downturn, Obama oversaw initiatives to save financial institutions and the auto industry. He passed a major expansion in access to health care. He was the nation’s first African-American president.
Ulysses S. Grant: Grant moved to Illinois to start over after a series of failures in life. When the Civil War broke out, he organized Illinois troops, proved himself an excellent commander and rose to oversee the entire Union army. He served two terms as president.
Jane Addams: Addams was a pioneering social worker and advocate for women’s rights. She co-founded Chicago’s Hull House and helped establish the ACLU. She was the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Voting in the final category, unforgettable moments, is underway at IllinoisTop200.com. Nominees include Lincoln’s funeral, the 2016 Cubs World Series victory, Illinois voters rejecting slavery and the start of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.