It was a relatively uneventful year in the statehouse, as the Democratic-controlled legislature avoided partisan wrangling with the Republican governor. The legislature approved a $2.64 billion budget for fiscal 1988-1989 and asked voters in the November 8 general election to … Continue reading
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.
Abraham Lincoln’s Second Term as President took off with an important unification speech. At his second inaugural on March 4, 1865, Lincoln made a speech that stands among the greatest pronouncements in history. At the threshold of victory, Lincoln spoke only of peace and of ending the nation’s sectional differences. His closing lines are among the most eloquent in the English language: “With malice toward none, with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.” These words of inspiration during Abraham Lincoln’s Second Term as President were clearly intended to heal wounds and bring the nation together in the midst of some serious national disharmony.
Presidential Nominations during Abraham Lincoln’s Presidency took a dramatic turn when he finally got elected by the Republicans despite initial disagreements. Democrats and radical Republicans were dissatisfied with Lincoln’s policies. The radicals first favored Chase and then Fremont for the 1864 presidential election. A splinter group did, in fact, nominate Fremont for president. But the moderate Republicans remained faithful to their leader, and, because the radicals could not get support for their candidate, Lincoln was unanimously nominated for president by the official Republican convention. Senator Andrew Johnson, a Democrat from Tennessee and the only congressman from a secessionist state to remain loyal to the Union, was nominated for vice president. The platform called for a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery.
The Democrats nominated General McClellan as their presidential candidate. He was immensely popular with the soldiers of the Army of the Potomac, and many people believed that Lincoln had been unjustified in relieving him of his command after Antietam. The Democratic platform called for an immediate end to the war, which was characterized as “four years of failure.” However, McClellan, who favored continuing the war, disavowed his party’s platform. Presidential Nominations during Abraham Lincoln’s Presidency was also an opportunity for Lincoln to show case his programs for Americans even though opinions differed on the matter with some believing he was a complete failure while others saw him as a hero.
Reconstruction during Abraham Lincoln’s Presidency was an important policy dedicated to winning local support after an invasion of rebel control areas. Lincoln gave frequent consideration to the problem of reconstructing the governments of the rebel states and restoring them to their rightful place in the Union. Whenever Union armies gained control in a rebellious area, he encouraged the local people to form a government loyal to the Union. On December 8, 1863, Lincoln offered his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction to the Southern people. This pronouncement is often called Lincoln’s 10 percent plan of Reconstruction after one of its provisions.
In this document, Lincoln offered a full pardon, or amnesty, to any Southerner, with the exception of certain leaders, who would take an oath to support “the Constitution of the United States and the Union of the States thereunder.” Furthermore, those who took the oath in each state could vote to form a new state government. Lincoln promised to recognize the new government if two conditions were met: the new government accepted the elimination of slavery as required by the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1863; and the number of those voting for the new government was at least 10 percent of those who had voted in the 1860 presidential election.
Lincoln was convinced that Reconstruction, or restoration, as he preferred to call it, was for the president to carry out. Congressional leaders thought otherwise. The Jacobins had a plan of reconstruction all their own, expressed in the Wade-Davis bill of July 1864. It was designed to punish the South for past transgressions and to make it subservient to the Republican Party of the North. The bill limited voting on new state constitutions to those who had never joined the rebel cause, required a loyalty oath by the majority of a state’s citizens, and permanently deprived former rebel leaders of the right to vote. Lincoln killed the bill by using his pocket veto, and as long as he lived this plan made little headway. Reconstruction during Abraham Lincoln’s Presidency achieved a lot in terms of reorientation and some very physical developments during the days of the war.
In December 1862 during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, Lincoln faced a crisis in his Cabinet. Secretary of the Treasury Chase had sought the support of the Jacobins to strengthen his chances for the Republican presidential nomination of 1864. These radical Republicans, looking for an opportunity to discredit Lincoln, turned against Secretary of State Seward, a former radical who now agreed with the president on most matters. They demanded that Seward be removed from the Cabinet and replaced as secretary of state by Chase. Lincoln needed Seward in the Cabinet, but he also needed Chase and the support of the radical wing of the party. It took all of Lincoln’s great political skill to remain in control of his Cabinet and party.
Seward, unwilling to embarrass the president, resigned at once. Lincoln then called a meeting in which the other Cabinet members and the Jacobin senators were present. Confronted with his fellow Cabinet members, Chase could not attack Seward and Lincoln as he had done in private with the senators. Chase offered to resign. Lincoln refused to accept either his or Seward’s resignation, and the two men returned to their posts. Chase and his allies now knew that in Lincoln they faced a skilled and resolute politician and hence the cabinet crisis during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency which many thought would shake his administration simply died down.