Abraham Lincoln on the Constitution

Abraham Lincoln on the Constitution



26 thoughts on “Abraham Lincoln on the Constitution

  1. I’ve had this debate with a number of people. And in principle I don’t disagree with you…however…one can also make the case that the actions Lincoln took were in support of the constitutional liberties of all Americans at the time. So in trying to stamp out a greater evil and bring freedom/liberties to more people he had to use another evil to accomplish it. Does not make it right, but you have to view it context.

  2. You sound just like Obama. “We have to do this bad thing for the greater good”. If it is the right thing to do The Constitution provides a legal way to do it so don’t bypass it because you are not patient enough to do it legally!!!

  3. Jim. I’ll just respectfully disagree somewhat. There is a VAST difference between, “I’m going to give everyone free healthcare” to “I’m going to set an entire race of people free and safeguard their liberties outlined in the constitution (which should have been protecting them from the outset of the document anyway”.

  4. Kevin. Actually I’m not saying it was right. I’m taking, partially for the sake of debate, the position that Lincoln was trying to protect “everyone’s” rights under the Constitution. Meaning as Americans (or any person on earth for that matter) we are born with natural liberties. Lincolns purpose was to apply these liberties to as many people as possible. The obvious debate is the manner in which he chose to do so. It does not change his larger intention to apply the Constitution to a broader group of people. Only in hindsight does my nuanced position seem reasonable. Obviously Lincoln was assassinated, but I even if he wasn’t I don’t see any evidence that he would have become a tyrant and set up a dictatorship in his name.

  5. I don’t think there is any good way to argue this. He took away or “postponed” rights for some to get others those same rights. It was not, no matter what angle looked at, handled the correct way. My problem is that it is taught in school he was the greatest president ever. Nevermind the infringing on our rights, huge deficit created, the introduction of greenbacks, largest loss of American citizens on our soil, vast growth of government, dividing a country, believing in colonization because blacks couldn’t be equal to whites, and the list goes on. Seems a little crazy to me.

  6. Lincoln wrote ‘if I could preserve the union without freeing a single slave, I would do it.’ That man didn’t give a shit about slaves, they were just used to justify this tyrannical war.

  7. I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said actually. I could probably make a similar(evil doers) list for most of the Presidents we’ve had. Like many parts of history there is black and white and shades of gray. It’s easy to point out the black on Lincoln’s record, but I also find it interesting to discuss the gray parts as well. Doesn’t make the gray right…but acknowledging that it’s there is important too. He did unite a country and make equal under the Constitution (at least on paper) everyone that lived in it…because prior to that some men were worth 3/5ths of their whole. And if that was the case, would we really live in a “free – cough cough NSA” country today?

  8. This is the full Lincoln quote: “I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be “the Union as it was.” If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery.

    If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.

    I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views. I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free.”

  9. …although “Honest Abe,” as he was poorly coined, was NOT a strict follower of the Constitution himself. :( Those of us who studied OUTSIDE state-funded textbooks know of a very different Mr. Lincoln. Just pickin’ my knows…

  10. Abraham Lincoln is indefensible as far as I’m concerned. The reason we have the monstrosity of the FED GOV that we have today is directly descendant from the war of northern aggression. The cotton gin was a short time away from being invented, and that alone would have made keeping slaves economically foolhardy. That, combined with social change on the subject would have phased out slavery w/o stomping on the Constitution and all the killing of Americans by Americans.

  11. You are correct “on paper” he did unite what he aptly named a country. And I am truly glad that in this great country we live in, we are “allowed” to openly discuss these topics. The problem is during the Lincoln years people were arrested for what I am doing. It becomes a fine line at times when looking at history if those injustices were needed. I know now our government has grown so large these injustices happen everyday. The focus we need now, is to stop it. I just want to say it was ok then because to me it wasn’t and never will be! Controversial topics like these are great and I’m glad you are willing to have them!

  12. His point was he didn’t care nearly as much about freeing the slaves as he did saving the Union of States. There is SO much more to the Civil War and Lincoln than slavery. My point is yes he bypassed the Constitution and most people agree it worked out right but what if it hadn’t? The whole point is operate inside the Constitution no matter if you are a Liberal Democrat or a Tea Party/Constitutionaist politician.

  13. Lincoln was no hero. He was as has already been said, a constitutional destroyer and the issue of slavery was a convenient excuse for the way things went. He was a criminal and responsible for the greatest number of deaths of our countrymen. The only shirt if buy that mentions Lincoln would say, “Lincoln. Hero of the historically ignorant. “

  14. Please don’t think that Lincoln’s War was fought to free the slaves or that he was an abololitionist of any sort. He was in full support of fugitive slave laws of 1850 and even fought a court case for a southern slave owners “property” to be returned. He proposed legislation to deport slaves back to Africa. This proposition could not be seen as treating Blacks as Americans or “Equals”. Slavery existed in many parts of the world at that time and it did not take warfare to end it in other nations and colonies. The war was fought to centralize power in the federal government, stripping the right to self governance, killing the ninth and tenth ammendments and with it the idea of a Voluntary Union of Sovereign States envisioned by the founders. Lincoln was a direct decendent of the Philosophy of Alexander Hamilton and Henry Clay’s “American System” of High tariffs and Mercantilism carried over from the British. It is a disgrace to see “The Great Centralizer” Lincoln associated with anything labeled “Sons of Liberty.” I like your brand and have purchased merchandise from your establishment, but I am sorry to see the myth of Lincoln supported by your business.

  15. Whether he was right or not we need to pay respect to our founding fathers for without them we would not be where we are today. It was a different age and era. Give the man a break.

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