Essay on American History : The Civil War

811 Words Dec 9th, 2015 4 Pages
It was not until 13 years later, in 1861, that another significant example of a president at war came about, this conflict is widely known and is perhaps one of the most impactful conflicts in American history: The Civil War.
“In the case growing out of the Mexican-American War, the Supreme Court ruled that the president as commander in chief was authorized to employ the army and navy “in the manner he may deem most effectual to harass and conquer and subdue the enemy.” But the Court did not define “most effectual” (Tried by War, pg 4).
This meant that Lincoln had to figure out for himself how far his power as commander in chief would stretch when the civil war started only six weeks after he was inaugurated. Even before his inauguration, Lincoln and the United States were well aware of the fact that war was looming, as multiple southern states began succeeded after he won the election. Lincoln knew war was coming, he just did not know when, and when it came, Lincoln was as ready as he was going to be, but still unprepared in his knowledge about war. Nevertheless, Lincoln knew that he needed to do whatever it took in order to preserve the union. This meant, Lincoln was prepared to overstep his Constitutional bounds if that meant bringing the Union back together. It is in this instance of Lincoln in this attitude, that we see the emergence of a president who saw that the president in war, particularly in a war which the United States fate rested in, held a magnified power…

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