The Jacobins during Abraham Lincoln’s Presidency had some ideological differences with Lincoln. Early in the war a group of radical Republicans, called the Jacobins, began to oppose Lincoln’s policies. The Jacobins called for immediate action against the South, freeing of the slaves, and punitive measures against Southern leaders. Some of them thought the war should be fought as a holy crusade to destroy the evil, slaveholding South. Others wanted merely to extend Republican influence into the South by taking political power away from the white man and giving it to the freed black population. They confidently expected that blacks would thereafter vote Republican.
The Jacobins also believed that Lincoln had usurped congressional power in his conduct of the war. They controlled the joint Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War, led by the radical Senator Benjamin F. Wade of Ohio, and used it to try to dictate the direction of the war. The Jacobins were especially opposed to McClellan, who was a conservative Democrat. Despite continuous pressure, Lincoln supported the general. He told McClellan, “…you must not fight till you are ready.” The Jacobins during Abraham Lincoln’s Presidency used every means whatsoever to curb Lincoln’s excesses what they saw as unbecoming in the light of some of his war decisions intended to boycott some legislative and judicial proceedings.