All the Lincoln bashers on this or any other thread are slow thinkers. Lincoln was assassinated before he could even really begin his second term. His goal from the outset was to restore the Union to itself. Whatever excesses he may have taken here and there to keep the United States UNITED he would've ended voluntarily in the course of his second term, as the process of reconstruction and healing took place. His focus was always on the Founders and their desire to form a more perfect Union, not on the acquisition of power. It is patently unfair to condemn the man for impossible decisions he had to make during the WORST crisis in American history. He was killed before he could reasonably be expected to go back to business as usual.