Lincoln the Tyrant Essay

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Lincoln the Tyrant

There is no doubt that Abraham Lincoln is widely regarded as one of the great American presidents. The general public, when asked about Lincoln, will often tell the tale of a great man. Holding their head high, they will embark on the journey of a benevolent leader, praising the man who envisioned a new America: a great country of racial equality, and the pillar of human liberty. There are some, however, who have quite the opposite view. In his work, The Real Lincoln, economic historian Thomas J. DiLorenzo tells quite the different tale. Daring to criticize this beloved president, DiLorenzo defends his antithetical statements with several key points: Lincoln was more similar to a dictator than an American
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In May of 1861 the Journal of Commerce published a list of more than a hundred Northern newspapers which had editorialized against going to war. 3 Lincoln’s administration ordered the postmaster general to cease the deliveries of said newspapers, thus removing them from circulation. Disallowing free speech, many newspaper editors were arrested and sent to Fort Lafayette, which became known as the “American Bastille.”

Upon arriving there, they were crowded into cells with iron beds and mattresses made of straw or moss. The food was horrendous: Breakfast consisted of some discolored beverage, dignified by the name of coffee, a piece of fat pork, sometimes raw and sometimes half cooked, and coarse bread cut in large thick slices. Some days the water that was served at meals would contain a dozen tadpoles from one-quarter to one-half inch long.4

He suppressed free elections by such imprisonments as well. At the legislative elections in November 1861, election judges were instructed to disallow votes for candidates who advocated a peaceful resolution to the fray rather than continue war. Guards arrested “peace activists” at the polls. The ballots were even made of different color paper so votes for the Peace Party could be thrown away. By arbitrarily arresting those who disagreed with his politics,

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