The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, July 21, 2003

… and thus our Greatest President

Among the reasons [historian William Dunning, James Randall and James Rhodes] all labeled [Abraham] Lincoln a “dictator” are his initiating and conducting a war by decree for months without the concent of Congress; suspending habeas corpus; conscripting the railroads and censoring telegraph lines; imprisoning without trial as many as thirty thousand Northern citizens for voicing opposition to war; deporting a member of Congress—Clement L. Vallandigham of Ohio, a fierce opponent of the Morrill Tariff and the central bank—for merely opposing Lincoln's income tax at a Democratic Party rally in Ohio; and shutting down hundreds of Northern newspapers and imprisoning some of their editors for simply disagreeing in print with his war policies.

Abraham Lincoln and the Triumph of Mercantilism by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

I've heard of Lincoln suspending habeas corpus (although not from sitting in US History at school) but I hadn't realized it was quite that bad in the 1860s. I've also heard that the Civil War (1861-65) was less about slavery than it was an economic attack against the United States economic system by the British (Part II, Part III) and this essay does cover that aspect in that the Confederate States (and Britain) were in favor of free trade whereas Lincoln and the newly formed Rebublican Party (the Party Formerly Known as the Whigs) wanted a mercantilistic system:

Mercantilism, which reached its height in the Europe of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, was a system of statism which employed economic fallacy to build up a structure of imperial state power, as well as special subsidy and monopolistic privilege to individuals or groups favored by the state.

The Logic of Action Two by Murray N. Rothbard

Which doesn't sound too far off from the modern Republican Party.

It's scary to think that Lincoln, whose power exceeded that of Bush & Co., is considered, if not the greatest President, then easily one of the Top Three Presidents, does that mean that in a hundred years, Dubya will be afforded the same level of reverance?

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