Lincoln declares war

I have always thought, and still do, that Lincolns war on the Confederacy was illegal, simply because he invaded another country. I found some legal arguments which are in pdf form at the end of this article, that reviews Lincoln’s legal options for declaring war. This is a long, complicated and boring read. To be honest I jumped to the conclusion for a summary of the article.

As I understand the article, Lincoln had no constitutional right for declaring war, it was a Congressional right which was passed to the president, thereby making it legal.

This is an open discussion, there is no right or wrong opinion. Only CIVIL responses will appear.

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HARPER’S WEEKLY.

SATURDAY, APRIL 27, 1861.

By the President of the United States:

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas, The laws of the United States have been for some time past and now are opposed, and the execution thereof obstructed, in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in the Marshals by law :

Now, therefore, I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States, in virtue of the power in me vested by the Constitution and the laws, have thought fit to call forth, and hereby do call forth, the Militia of the several States of the Union, to the aggregate number of 75,000, in order to suppress said combinations, and to cause the laws to be duly executed. The details for this object will be immediately communicated to the State authorities through the War Department.

I appeal to all loyal citizens to favor, facilitate, and aid this effort to maintain the honor, the integrity, and the existence of our National Union and the perpetuity of popular government, and to redress wrongs already long enough endured.

I deem it proper to say that the first service assigned to the force hereby called forth will probably be to repossess the forts, places, and property which have been seized from the Union, and, in every event, the utmost care will be observed, consistently with the objects aforesaid, to avoid any devastation, any destruction of, or interference with property, or any disturbance of peaceful citizens in any part of the country; and I hereby command the persons composing the combinations aforesaid to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes within twenty days from this date.

Deeming that the present condition of public affairs presents an extraordinary occasion, I do, hereby, in virtue of the power in me vested by the Constitution, convene both Houses of Congress. The Senators and Representatives are therefore summoned to assemble at their respective chambers at twelve o’clock, noon, on Thursday, the fourth day of July next, then and there to consider and determine such measures as, in their wisdom, the public safety and interest may seem to demand.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this fifteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-fifth

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I have always thought, and still do, that Lincolns war on the Confederacy was illegal, simply because he invaded another country. I found some legal arguments which are in pdf form at the end of this article, that reviews Lincoln’s legal options for declaring war. This is a long, complicated and boring read. To be honest I jumped to the conclusion for a summary of the article.

As I understand the article, Lincoln had no constitutional right for declaring war, it was a Congressional right which was passed to the president, thereby making it legal.

*****************************
HARPER’S WEEKLY.

SATURDAY, APRIL 27, 1861.

By the President of the United States:

A PROCLAMATION.

Whereas, The laws of the United States have been for some time past and now are opposed, and the execution thereof obstructed, in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in the Marshals by law :

Now, therefore, I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States, in virtue of the power in me vested by the Constitution and the laws, have thought fit to call forth, and hereby do call forth, the Militia of the several States of the Union, to the aggregate number of 75,000, in order to suppress said combinations, and to cause the laws to be duly executed. The details for this object will be immediately communicated to the State authorities through the War Department.

I appeal to all loyal citizens to favor, facilitate, and aid this effort to maintain the honor, the integrity, and the existence of our National Union and the perpetuity of popular government, and to redress wrongs already long enough endured.

I deem it proper to say that the first service assigned to the force hereby called forth will probably be to repossess the forts, places, and property which have been seized from the Union, and, in every event, the utmost care will be observed, consistently with the objects aforesaid, to avoid any devastation, any destruction of, or interference with property, or any disturbance of peaceful citizens in any part of the country; and I hereby command the persons composing the combinations aforesaid to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes within twenty days from this date.

Deeming that the present condition of public affairs presents an extraordinary occasion, I do, hereby, in virtue of the power in me vested by the Constitution, convene both Houses of Congress. The Senators and Representatives are therefore summoned to assemble at their respective chambers at twelve o’clock, noon, on Thursday, the fourth day of July next, then and there to consider and determine such measures as, in their wisdom, the public safety and interest may seem to demand.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this fifteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-fifth

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http://www.yalelawjournal.org/pdf/427_pa9skxwv.pdf

Lincoln Declares war

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2 thoughts on “Lincoln declares war

  1. You do know that only Congress can declare war right? Lincoln had every right as President and Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the United States to call forth the Militia in times of Rebellion.

    • Corey I disagree. Lincoln had no right what-so-ever under the Constitution. he was given the power by Congress. At least this what I gather from reading the conclusion to this research and the U.S. Constitution. If you see something different in that article, please point it out.

      There was no rebellion, at least not until Lincoln sent his armed fleet to Charleston. This was nothing more than to provoke hostilities between the two governments.

      BTW I’ll be out of town for the next week, you may want to hold your response for a while or either you can post and i’ll answer when I get back. I don’t do ‘puters on vacation.

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