Abraham Lincoln vs. Jefferson Davis

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 646
  • Published : October 8, 1999
Open Document
Text Preview
Abraham Lincoln was a very effective leader throughout the Civil War. Although he had no prior military experience, he proved to be an asset throughout the war. According to his contemporary critics, Abraham Lincoln's Presidential record was notable for his despotic use of power and his blatant disregard for the Constitution. Lincoln ordered thousands of arrests, kept political enemies in prison without bringing charges against them, refused these hapless men their right to trial by a jury of their peers, and ignored orders from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to release them. In his first few months in office he made the most direct violations of the Constitution in the Nation's history. He increased the size of the Regular Army without Congressional approval, spent money without Congressional authorization, suspended the writ of habeas corpus without authority and generally acted as if he had never heard of the other two branches of the government. He threw out the Constitution and retained popular appeal of the masses.

Davis lacked popular appeal. At no time in his life did he mingle freely with the masses under circumstances that might have enabled him to develop an appreciation of their aspiration and virtues. He never felt close to them, and they didn't to him. Davis never succeeded in dramatizing the issues of the war or in arousing public enthusiasm for their support. Confederates like to compare their struggle with the Colonial revolt against England. But their President was never able to infuse the Southern movement with the lofty purposes and timeless qualities that Jefferson and Paine breathed into the American Revolution.

Jefferson Davis was known for his integrity. He was not always as forthright as he might have been in dealing with difficult persons and situations, but he observed a strict code of conduct with respect to money, favors and gifts. As President he repeatedly demonstrated his moral courage by...
tracking img