President Lincolns Use of Executive Powers
Abraham Lincoln was one of the greatest presidents the United States has had. He took power during a time when the bonds that hold the country together were at their breaking point. He guided the country through a very tough time and he did what he had to do to preserve the Union. Some historians say that he overplayed his powers and caused a threat to the balance of power in the United States. But Lincoln did not go overboard with the power and everything he did was within the limits of his power.
There are many critics who say Lincoln was approaching tyrannical, but when one looks at the circumstances by which Lincoln came to office his use of power to keep the nation together and suppress rebellion is completely understandable. Lincoln raised an army without asking the approval of congress first.
He also wrote the emancipation proclamation which some claim he had no right to do as well as issue martial law in Maryland as well as suspend habeas corpus there. All these actions, though, as Lincoln claimed were for the public safety and the preservation of the union.
As soon as Lincoln came to office, he began gathering troops and directing money toward the army. Lincoln, as president, was the "Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States. He said that because of this clause, he had the right to use any means necessary to ensure the survival of the union. With this justification, he issued many executive orders before Congress even convened. Lincoln summoned the militia, ordered a blockade of the Confederacy ports, expanded the regular army beyond its legal limit, and directed government funds before congress had the chance to meet,