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Elected as 16th U.S. President on November 6, 1860
Abraham Lincoln said this quote to emphasize the importance of spiritual and moral values alongside material wealth. He believed that a nation’s true prosperity depends not just on economic strength, but also on the character and virtues of its people. By being “spiritually poor”, he meant lacking compassion, generosity, integrity and other moral qualities.
Lincoln was warning that a country could become corrupt and unstable if its citizens only cared about accumulating riches and not higher ethical principles. His message was that lasting well-being for a society requires both financial abundance and strong moral values.