Another contrast that is probably more striking as compared to most of the abolitionists is that it was believed by Lincoln that the slaveholders were not inherently evil. Instead, he stated that as their northern counterparts, they were also, merely the products of their environment. As a result, in his Peoria speech made in 1854, he mentioned that he has no prejudice against the Southern people (Burlingame, 2008). Therefore we believe that they are what their situation has made them. If slavery was not present amongst them, these people would not introduce it. He also stated that if it was present, it should not be given up instantly. It needs to be noted at this point that Lincoln was even willing to go further and he stated that he did not believe the Southern people for not doing what he himself did not know how to do. He stated, therefore that even if all the power of world is given to him, he will not be aware of the fact that how to deal with the present institution.
This type of candid admissions and protestations revealed how Lincoln perceived human behavior (Cox, 1981). For example in the speech made at Temperance in 1842, he talked against the clumsy activists in such a way that it has strong inferences on slavery as well as the reforms related with it.
For its time, the speech took a significantly sympathetic view regarding the drunkards and portrayed them as unfortunates who have been deprived of their ability to be paid their own behavior as a result of their addiction. In this regard, the efforts made by the Washingtonians were praised by Lincoln, who were the members of society of reform drunkards helping their fellow sufferers like the present day Alcoholics Anonymous and at the same time he also criticized whom he termed the “old reformers” because they did not have any charity and also ignored what made people eager and capable to change.