Many believe that Lincoln’s opinions on slavery were close to those of an abolitionist. But what most don’t know that his views on slavery were somewhat different. While Lincoln saw slavery as morally wrong, he did not believe African-Americans should have equal rights early on in his presidency. But as the war went on his opinions slowly changed. Lincoln’s use of executive power during the Civil War was both legal and justified because public safety requires it during times of rebellion.
Under the constitution the federal government can suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus if the public safety requires it during times of rebellion or invasion. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus numerous times to protect the public. At the time the suspension only applied to Maryland and parts of the Midwestern states. All persons arrested or imprisoned in any military camp, fort, or military prison. Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus, including congressional action and reaction was controversial at the time. He felt he needed to use his executive authority because of the lack of responsiveness from congress.
Lincoln’s attempts to persuade Border States not to secede were successful in regards to preserving the union. One of Lincoln’s objectives was to establish loyal governments in each of these Border States. Another objective was to minimize military occupation in these states. This freed up more troops for more critical points. Lincoln’s policies were fairly successful in Maryland but were largely a failure in Missouri.
Lincoln’s use of executive power during the Civil War was both legal and justified because public safety requires it during times of rebellion. He suspended the writ of habeas corpus to protect the public. And he successfully persuaded the Border States to remain in the union by limiting military occupation. Lincoln’s actions were legal and justified because he wanted to preserve the...