To Subdue An Enemy Essay

961 WordsDec 8, 20104 Pages
To Subdue an Enemy Interpretation is a key concept in living a civil lifestyle and governing a civil country. Abraham Lincoln had many interpretations that were objected that directly a country fighting a civil war. These actions, though controversial were key stepping stones in restructuring a nation that had fallen apart. Lincoln, now viewed as the “Great Emancipator”, was not always viewed as so in the eyes of his fellow countrymen. Many of his decisions led to uproar, but one in the end set the ground for the United States as we know it today. James McPherson tries to get many points across in “As Commander-in-Chief I Have a Right to Take Any Measure Which May Best Subdue the Enemy.” It seems at times that he will go as far as calling Lincoln a man who is unconstitutional and even goes against his own morals. As his article progresses you see more of the main point that McPherson is trying to make. Early in his document, McPherson says when referring to Lincoln declaring war, “The Constitution restricts to Congress the power to declare war. Yet one of Lincoln’s first acts after the firing on Fort Sumter was to proclaim a blockade of Confederate ports” (McPherson, p. 210). But as the document continues he shows Lincoln defending himself, “Emancipation was ‘a military necessity, absolutely essential to the preservation of the Union. We must free the slaves or be ourselves subdued”. You see the justification of Lincoln’s ideas as you progress through the document. This is why I believe that the main point that McPherson tries to prove is that no matter how unconstitutional some of Lincoln’s decisions seemed at first, Lincoln did what he felt what was right in order to “weaken the Confederacy and strengthen the Union war effort”. When reading the first few pages of McPherson’s document you get the feeling that he is on the side of those who opposed Lincoln

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