Bill O’Reilly has proclaimed President Lincoln to be the greatest president this country has ever known. While I respect Mr. O’Reilly, this claim is simply absurd. President Lincoln did not emancipate the slaves because he thought it was the right thing to do. Mr. Lincoln did not like the Blacks and wanted them “colonized” (i.e. deported) to get them out of this country. Mr. Lincoln emancipated the slaves as a military war maneuver. He felt that if the slaves left the plantations that it would hurt the South’s ability to feed its troops and would cause havoc in the South. Most people don’t know that the Emancipation Proclamation only freed those slaves in areas that were not occupied by Union Troops. Had he wanted to free the slaves he would have freed all of the slaves.
While President Lincoln was publically stating that he would not oppose the secession of the South, he was privately plotting to have the South appear as the aggressors by firing the first shot at the Union. He did this by intentionally sending war ships to Ft. Sumner, South Carolina to re-stock the fort. He was strongly advised by his cabinet that this was a bad idea and would surely result in armed conflict. When the South fired on the Northern ships Mr. Lincoln then claimed that the South fired on food.
Many people still believe that the Civil War was fought over slavery. The truth is, it was fought over money. At the time, the primary sources of income for the Federal government were import duties and customs fees at the ports. The South, being a primarily agrarian society, had to import most of their products from overseas or purchase them from the Northern States. In 1828 the Congress passed an onerous tariff bill which was called the Tariff of Abominations in the South. It imposed heavy import duties which were paid primarily by the South. This meant that the Southerners were forced to pay the higher duties on imported goods or to purchase higher priced goods from the Northern States. These high tariffs resulted in foreign countries imposing higher tariffs on American exports which was another blow to the South because they exported most of their cotton crops.
This was strangling the South’s economy and most of the revenues raised were being spent in the North, not in the South. When the Southern States seceded they planned to develop a free trade zone which would divert a lot of shipping from the Northern to the Southern ports. President Lincoln did not want to lose these two sources of income and felt he had no other course of action than to prevent the South’s secession. That’s why he goaded the South into firing on the Northern troops at Ft. Sumner which was an excuse for Lincoln to declare war on the Confederacy.
During the war President Lincoln committed the following acts:
- Suspended habeas corpus during the war
- Arrested and imprisoned over 13,000 Northerners for “crimes” as small as objecting to the war
- Arrested and deported a member of Congress for opposing the war
- Arrested numerous newspaper owners and publishers for opposing the war and had federal troops destroy their printing presses
- Refused to allow opposition newspapers to send their newspapers through the US Mail
- Censored all telegraph transmissions
- Ordered federal troops to interfere with state elections. He even had newly elected delegates from Maryland arrested (and many others fled) because he feared they would vote to secede from the Union
- Instituted federal income taxes which were unconstitutional
- Illegally printed “greenbacks” to finance the war and declared them legal tender
- Declared war on Southern civilians, most of whom were defenseless women, children and the elderly
- Destroyed entire Southern cities by burning them to the ground
- He was the first President to use the “General Welfare Clause” of the Constitution to support Federal spending on internal improvements (for the Trans-Continental Railroads)
- Had Congress pass a law that prohibited the courts from prosecuting any Federal official for any “crimes” committed during the war.
- He was the first President to use “deem and pass” to pass the above bill when he couldn’t get enough votes in the Senate to pass the bill.
- The Emancipation Proclamation was illegally issued by the President when it should have been a bill passed by Congress
If the real truth about Lincoln’s presidency were printed in the history books we would have a different view of “The Greatest American President.”
The Real Lincoln – Thomas J. DiLorenzo
The Creature from Jekyll Island – G. Edward Griffin