|← Imperialism||The Roman Society →|
The use of executive authority by Lincoln during the civil war is many times illegal and unjust; even though his issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation may perhaps appear justified, Lincoln deliberately abused his power as regards civil rights. For instance, he assigned military expenditure minus Congress; he suspended Constitutional rights, he instituted a biased draft, and inaugurated emancipation. While a number of people can excuse these actions, they tramped on the Constitution.
Powers in the constitutional clause made Abraham Lincoln "Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states." Using this clause, Lincoln said he had the right to use any necessary means to defeat the adversary. Through this reasoning, he issued numerous executive orders even before the Congress assembled. Lincoln directed government resources before congressional apportionment, ordered an obstruction of the Confederacy ports, expanded the regular army beyond its legal maximum, and summoned the soldiers.
The suspension of habeas corpus was Lincoln's most obvious abuse of power. This was the constitutional assurance that a person could not be imprisoned for an indefinite period without being charged with some unmistakable crime. This brought around much resistance all over the country. Though Lincoln didn't make concerted efforts to subdue political oppositions, the rescinding of habeas corpus empowered fervent civil and military authorities to incarcerate many people who were opposed to the war against the South.
Lincoln as well abused his power with the draft. Before the draft was instituted, the Union relied on the states to fill allotted parts with volunteers. A new draft was instituted by Lincoln and all men aged between 20 and 45 were to serve in the military. However, one could pay $300 dollars to the government or hire a substitute to avoid going to the military. These acts were condemned by several groups and called the recruitment acts, as a rich man's law. Actually, poorer men were bribed by the wealthy men to take their places inÿthe military.
The only executive order which may be justified is the Emancipation Proclamation. While Lincoln was under constant pressure from the protestors to liberate the slaves, he had himself thought much about the slavery problem. This led him to sign a bill that put an end to slavery on April 16, 1862 in Washington, D.C. The Emancipation Proclamation was officially delivered on January 1, 1863. To guarantee the legitimacy of emancipation, Lincoln hard-pressed for the passage of a constitutional amendment that forever blocked slavery from the U. S.