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Word Count: 630
With His Cabinet Abraham Lincoln is regarded by many historians as the greatest president ever to stand at Americas helm This reputation is extremely well deserved as Lincoln was able to preserve the Union and gain victory in the civil war despite his fighting an uphill battle against his own presidential cabinet Had he not been struggling against this divided government President Lincoln could have achieved victory with extreme efficiency and a minimum of wanton bloodshed Angle 659 After Lincoln was inaugurated on March 4 1861 he was forced to battle a split cabinet because of campaign promises made to various Republican factions which made it almost mandatory for certain individuals to be appointed to cabinet posts He ruled his cabinet with an iron hand and often acted without cabinet consent or advice Although his opponents called his method of rule dictatorial and unconstitutional it was the only effective way to get anything done Simmons 142 In the beginning Lincolns secretary of state William H Seward clearly considered himself the Presidents superior and blandly offered to assume the executive responsibility He entered the cabinet with the thought of becoming the power behind the 2 Presidential chair and openly opposed Lincolns control of the Union This made Lincolns position as Chief of State exceedingly difficult and hindered his communication and control of the military As time passed however Seward recognized Lincolns capabilities and gave him complete loyalty Simmons 174 This could not be said of Salmon P Chase Lincolns first secretary of the treasury Blinded by an inflated ego Chase pursued his own presidential aspirations He was in constant conflict with Seward and in general opposition to Lincoln particularly over the issue of slavery Chase has been described as jealous of the President and overly ambitious Lincolns personal secretary John Nicolay wrote There is enough in Chases letters abusing Lincoln behind his back for quite a scorcher He grew so furious with the Presidents capable rule
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