Lincoln a dictator?

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  1. Uninvited Writer profile image77
    Uninvited Writerposted 13 years ago

    There is a new book out that defends the South from wanting to secede and calling Lincoln a dictator for the way he handled it. Do you agree?

    1. profile image56
      C.J. Wrightposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Secession was and isn't legal. Rebellion is.  In other words a state can not, legally walk away from the Union. However the founding documents imply that the people can throw off an oppressive government.
      Lincoln had many reasons for wanting to restore the Union. The most important one is not normally discussed at length when teaching the history of the Civil War. Lincoln was terribly afraid of France and/or Brittan coming in and taking advantage of the chaos and re-taking controll of North America. He was also afraid that secession would set a dangerous precident for what remained of the Union. He also believed that some of the states that had seceded from the Union would later secede from the Confederacy(Texas), therefore causing more chaos in the region. 
      He acted decisively. It was a National Emergency. He acted appropriately.  The issues that actually started the war were not actually resolved. He didn't aim to solve those issues, in my opinion. He did ensure that the entire region was safe from an inside threat that would welcome an outside threat.

      1. tksensei profile image61
        tksenseiposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        France was already hip deep in doing just that.

        1. earnestshub profile image83
          earnestshubposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Spot on TK smile

  2. tksensei profile image61
    tksenseiposted 13 years ago


  3. glendoncaba profile image75
    glendoncabaposted 13 years ago

    That depends on how you view history.

    Would you prefer two republics or one federal union.  Your choice.
    Then there was the issue of slavery.  Plantation slavery could not have been sustained in an industrial age, with or without civil war.

    Politically there was no right or wrong here, just two approaches to solving civil discontent. 

    I'm more keen on the sub-plots involved.  The ones they don't teach you in school.  Like the role of European bankers etc.  For me, Lincoln comes out a hero for seeking to protect USA from bankers and other conspirators.

    1. Paradise7 profile image73
      Paradise7posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      That's one heck of a good answer!  cool

    2. LiamAnderson profile image59
      LiamAndersonposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      "Plantation slavery could not have been sustained in an industrial age, with or without civil war."

      The above quote is an interesting one.

      Morally, there is no way that slavery is sustainable.

      Economically it is an interesting question.

      The People's Republic of China is alleged to have a considerable part of its manufacturing base set up in their gulags run by the Peoples "Liberation" Army. (The inverted commas are mine) The working conditions of the inmates of these prisons are little better than slavery, they do not have the right to leave their accommodation, they are probably receiving substandard nutrition, they don't get paid and they are probably made to work longer hours than is the legal norm.

      Where the kicker for the sustainability of slavery comes in is that slaves are not consumers. If the PRC lost its export markets, the prison factories would not be viable because the prisoners cannot participate in the market as consumers.

      The benefits of the emancipation of slaves economically was that it relieved the plantations of the costs of housing and feeding the slaves, it allowed labour to be mobile to meet increased demand for labour in the north and it also created consumption since 'free' labourers needed to rent accommodation, buy food etc.

      What is interesting is that while slave traders do not exist, we have recruitment agents looking for skilled workers on the legal side of the equation, and people smugglers providing people for the illegitimate side, so some things haven't really changed so much after all.

  4. rhamson profile image72
    rhamsonposted 13 years ago

    There is evidence to support that he did overextend his powers a wee bit.  The suspension of habeas corpus was in effect against the constitution and the martial law he in effect created due to it.  He also disallowed Maryland from suceding which was also against the constitution.  The constitution allows for states to sucede if they wish through their own state constitutional methods.

    Did I like Lincoln, very much.  He had vision and a perspective of politics that even now boggles modern political scholars.

    At the end of the day he preserved the union even when it did not want to be.

  5. Ron Montgomery profile image59
    Ron Montgomeryposted 13 years ago

    I've not heard of the book and have no idea of the author's credibility, but the war was certainly about more than just slavery.  Lincoln did suspend habeas corpus, and vastly expanded the power of the presidency.

  6. Uninvited Writer profile image77
    Uninvited Writerposted 13 years ago

    This guy also says that the South still has the right to secede if they want.

    The title is Lincoln uber Alles and is by John Avery Emison.

    1. profile image0
      A Texanposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Who gives the right to secede? That would be something the individual state would decide. The federal government would  never allow it.

      1. rhamson profile image72
        rhamsonposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        There in lies the basis of the conflict.  The individual states still have a right to sucede from the union.  We also have a right to totally throw out the current government and form a new one.

        1. profile image0
          A Texanposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          I'm game!

          1. rhamson profile image72
            rhamsonposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            Mind you I am not supporting a violent overthow but we still have the vote and we can organize to gain influence over the slime on the hill.

            1. profile image0
              A Texanposted 13 years agoin reply to this

              Still game! Did you think you had to tell me that violence wouldn't be involved? What, I might not get behind it unless there was a "shootin war?"

              1. rhamson profile image72
                rhamsonposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                LOL never a dull moment with you.

                1. profile image0
                  A Texanposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                  Gotta keep it fun.

          2. LiamBean profile image84
            LiamBeanposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            Tex. It's written into your state constitution. I looked it up years ago.

    2. Jackson Riddle profile image47
      Jackson Riddleposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Lincoln uber Alles, that is a very interesting spin for those of you who know the meaning behind 'uber Alles" , very smart title.

  7. profile image0
    ralwusposted 13 years ago

    Lincoln was a man of sorrows. Dictator, no. Texas I think is the only state that may have the only right to secede legally. I read that somewhere recently.

    1. profile image0
      A Texanposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      its a myth

  8. profile image0
    ralwusposted 13 years ago

    You're probably right, the Feds would rule.

  9. profile image0
    Audacious Shelleyposted 13 years ago


  10. VENUGOPAL SIVAGNA profile image61
    VENUGOPAL SIVAGNAposted 13 years ago

    Last week, I saw a topic called "Jesus was a communist". This topic "Lincoln a dictator" is also on that line.

    Sometimes, people tend to be controversial...!

  11. manlypoetryman profile image78
    manlypoetrymanposted 13 years ago

    I am a proud Southernor...But if you ask me..."the Civil War" was one of the worst times in our History...I would not want to see what happened-happen again. It was literally brother against brother-it was not a Noble Cause (* See below) It was mainly about economic growth and stability for the South-economically for all the plantation harvests of the South...I see (not understand) why the South did it. I personally would not want to be on the side that is fighting to keep slavery. If the South had only seen that technology was around the corner to help bring in the harvest more efficiently...if Governments could just stand down in many points in History...instead of being too power happy...and taxing/depriving the working/and/or middle  class too much...we would avoid a lot of Wars. That goes for all governments world-wide...and that goes for anytime a Nation tries to extend it's Borders for anything less than a Noble cause! (Peace, Freedom, Aid, Humanitarian reasons)

    Was Lincoln a dictator...during War time "yes"...he did what he had to to preserve the Union at all costs...did he do it for thr right reasons..."yes"...and he was also involved in every decision...unlike the Presidents of today...IMHO. Did he show he had benevolance in the end...History has shown that he used his authority to defeat slavery and to preserve the "Union"...I think History has the it usually does!

  12. Paraglider profile image87
    Paragliderposted 13 years ago

    @LiamAnderson - similar conditions obtain in the Gulf States, Qatar, UAE etc. The immigrant workers are on subsistence wages (often withheld to ensure loyalty(!) and subsistence rations. Their passports are also taken from them on entry. They are not allowed to bring their wives into the country and are even referred to as 'bachelors' by the authorities. While not technically slaves, if the cap fits...

    Interesting thread, folks. I can't offer anything original about Lincoln, so I'll just say that his monument in WDC is great to visit!

  13. carolina muscle profile image67
    carolina muscleposted 13 years ago

    Hoo boy, this is quite a question.

    As a Southerner, I am torn between feelings of loyalty to my ancestors who died defending their homeland , and the ethical considerations concerning slavery. Of course, the war wasn't about slavery to them- they didnt own slaves- but about a government completely out of touch with them, and their rights to separate themselves from it.

    By the suspension of habeas corpus, a fundamental principle in a free society, Lincoln was using the tool of a dictator - although I do believe he did it in the earnest belief it was necessary to preserve the Union.

    My view of Lincoln is one balanced by both the finer aspects of his lifes work, and the actions such as this and the carte blanche he later allowed General Sherman on his terror-march through the South.   
    The short answer though- is no, he doesn't fully fit the definition.


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