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Early CareerChase was born in Cornish New Hampshire. He attended Cincinnati College then Dartmouth College. He then studied law in Washington, DC, becoming admitted to the bar. Chase returned to Cincinnati where he became an abolitionist lawyer. He often defended fugitive slaves. Later on, he was the leader of the Liberty Party in Ohio. He eventually joined the Liberty Party with the Van Buren Democrats of New York, forming the Free Soil Party. In 1849, he was elected as a senator from Ohio on the Free Soil Party. Hen was very against the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act. He was key in the establishment of the Republican Party, and in 1855 he was elected Governor of Ohio. In the 1860 Republican Convention, Chase was nominated but did not win, and supported Lincoln.
During Civil War
Chase won another term as senator from Ohio, but he resigned three days later in order to become the Secretary of the Treasury under Lincoln. While Secretary of the Treasury, he introduced paper currency into common circulation and he established a national banking system. Chase made the US currency more stable and helped establish a system for war bonds. He designed the first US banknotes as well. Finally, he was key in getting "In God We Trust" onto various coins in the United States.
When the Treaty of Trenton was signed, ending the war, Lincoln soon announced that he would not run for reelection. Chase then saw his chance, and announced that he would run for President. He was nominated at the 1864 Republican Convention, and was chosen as their candidate, to face Horatio Seymour. Because he was very anti-slavery and had a background in the Treasury (which was key for recovering after war), he was elected as the 17th President.
Chase mainly focused on bouncing back from the losses of the Union in the war, as well as completely abolishing slavery in the North. He banned the institution of slavery, passing the 13th amendment where he banned slavery. He knew that some slave owners within the Union would quickly want to sell their slaves to the South, but he embargoed trade with the Confederacy and said that people who sold over 10 slaves to the South could be hanged. The United States continued to develop economically as an industrial powerhouse. He admitted Oregon as a state, and later admitted Nebraska. He helped the United states recover economically from the loss of tax revenue when nearly half of the country left. He raised the taxes, but managed to convince people that this was the right path. His biggest contribution, however, remained freeing the slaves in the North.