Throughout man history great leaders have emerged in various parts of the world and have been very instrumental in leading their nations and by the way of commanding, many have received much respect as well as admiration from their subject based on their unique character. People are often looking to follow their leaders who manifest the required competencies of leadership such as character, consideration, courage and integrity (Covey, 1997). However, how these leaders come to be has been the debate of many scholars with many proposing various theories that attempt to explain how leaders develop. One such theory is the situation history. With character, a leader is argued to possess operative values that make the react to situation in a positive way (Manning & Curtis, 2005).
In American history, Abraham Lincoln is known as a shrewd leader who emerged as a unique leader of the American people in the abolition of the slave trade. Due to the ill associated with slavery, Lincoln was motivated to become a leader of the American people with the aim of abolishing the trade that was associated with inhumane treatment of slaves who mainly came from Africa. The slaves were chained and sent overseas while tied one to another by use of ropes or chains. These slaves were later sold in markets as merchandise and often regarded as goods. Many were beaten to dead and those who survived suffered. This situation motivated Lincoln to be a leader who eventually abolished the trade (Jones, 2002).
At a time when the church was been criticized for its excesses, Martin Luther emerged as a leader of the reformation movement that led to the breakaway of the protestant church from the Catholic Church main stream. The Catholic Church and its system were beginning to be criticized for the practices such as the selling of indulgences which many argued was not according to the bible teaching. This situation intrigued Luther who was just a priest and he led a break away from the Catholic Church (Jacobs, 2008).