February 18, 2009
(a continuation) #16. Abraham Lincoln Despite the South's constitutional right to secede, Lincoln was determined to preserve the Union at all costs. These included suspending the writ of habeas corpus and imprisoning more than 18,000 of his critics. And despite Lincoln's legacy as a liberator, the Emancipation Proclamation only freed the slaves in certain rebel states, in the hopes of ushering a slave uprising that would help the Northern cause. Plus, even if you forget about the approximately 620,000 American soldier and civilian deaths that transpired, Lincoln could have bought, freed and gave every single slave in America 40 acres of land and a mule for less than the monetary costs of the war alone.