President Abraham Lincoln: His Presidency: Cons

About the presidency of Abraham Lincoln some of the cons or negative aspects of his time in office.

16th President ABRAHAM LINCOLN

His 4 Years, 42 Days as President

CON

The proposed Crittenden Compromise would have at least postponed--and might have altogether avoided--the Civil War, and its failure was due primarily to Lincoln's stubborn inflexibility. His refusal to retreat was motivated as much by personal pride and concern for the survival of his party as by moral imperatives, and this refusal led to a war that cost 600,000 American lives. Despite his self-serving attempts to place all blame for the war on Southern shoulders, Lincoln himself must share the responsibility for bringing on the cataclysmic conflict.

CON

No President, either before or after, has shown so callous a disregard for civil liberties as Abraham Lincoln. He suspended the writ of habeas corpus and ordered the arbitrary arrest of more than 15,000 Northern civilians, often with little or no cause. In ordering the arrest of Congressman Clement Vallandigham, an antiwar Democrat, Lincoln perpetrated one of the most infamous acts of political repression in American history. Lincoln himself admitted that he would "follow forms of law as far as convenient."

CON

Lincoln's 1st actions relating to slavery were his moves to countermand the orders of 2 abolitionist generals who had freed slaves in some Union-occupied territory; Lincoln considered public opinion in the wavering border States to be more important than the continued enslavement of several hundred thousand human beings! Never a believer in true racial equality, Lincoln moved to free the slaves only after the overwhelming majority of his party had demanded it. Unlike the so-called "Radical" Republicans, Lincoln never considered the possibility that the free Negroes might some day function as full-fledged American citizens; Lincoln favored colonization in Central America as the "final solution" to the Negro problem.

CON

Though it is easy to recognize qualities of greatness in Lincoln the man, this says nothing for Lincoln the politician who time and again chose expediency over principle. Nor does it atone for his record as a sloppy administrator, who was often unable to manage either Congress or his own Cabinet. It was only Lincoln's timely assassination that assured his place in history; he has been deified because of the tragic nature of his death, rather than for the accomplishments of his life. If he had lived to carry out his plans for Reconstruction, his name would be obscured today by the same cloud of partisan bickering that has blighted the memory of his successor, Andrew Johnson.

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