By: Brett King
The Declaration of Independence lists the "train of abuses" committed by the British government that led the colonists to seek independence.
Less than 100 years later, President Abraham Lincoln committed most, if not all, of those abuses.
On Monday we marked 198 years since Lincoln’s birth. But what has been left out of the history books is that "Honest Abe" started an unjust war of aggression and is undeserving of national reverence.
A civil war is defined as a war between factions in one country, not two sovereign countries.
Southern states peacefully seceded from the Union until they were forced to defend themselves from an of act of war in the form of a naval blockade of their ports. For this reason, in the South the Civil War is considered the War of Northern Aggression.
Slavery, the most common justification for the war, was not the original motivating force. The Emancipation Proclamation only freed slaves under Confederate control, which meant slavery in Union areas like Kentucky, West Virginia and New Orleans remained legal.
Even in his first inaugural address, Lincoln said, "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."
According to Roy Basler, editor of "Lincoln’s Collected Works," Lincoln said the best solution if slaves were free was to "send them to Liberia."
While in Illinois, Lincoln supported the highly discriminatory Northern Black Codes, similar to Jim Crow laws. Lincoln’s disregard for basic rights did not stop with blacks. His violations of the U.S. Constitution extended to all citizens.
While president, Lincoln censored telegraph communication, nationalized railroads, deported a member of Congress, confiscated private property and suspended the writ of habeas corpus, allowing the jailing of citizens without just cause.
At Fort Lafayette, located in the New York Harbor, more than 13,000 prisoners were held for speaking in opposition to Lincoln.
Lincoln’s Secretary of State, William Seward, once bragged that with the power Lincoln gave him he could ring a bell and arrest any person in the country. Seward created a secret police force designed to arrest people on the mere suspicion of sedition.
Even participation in free and fair elections – a fundamental right – was usurped in May 1861.
According to Dean Spraque, author of "Freedom under Lincoln," when an election to took place to fill 10 seats in the Maryland House of Delegates, those elected were arrested or forced to flee the state.
"This was perhaps the only election in American history in which every man who was nominated and elected went to prison or into exile shortly afterward," Spraque said.
The actions of the United States government spurred secession rhetoric throughout Maryland, but when the Maryland legislature planned to discuss secession, Gen. Benjamin Butler threatened to bombard the state capitol in Annapolis.
For these and other actions, despite the monuments, the truth is bound to come out. Deo Vindice – under God our vindicator – Lincoln will have his day of judgment as a vile dictator whose actions destroyed the foundations of the U.S. Constitution.