It's tempting for conservatives to place Lincoln in the "Big Government Tyrant" category, but don't do it. Keep him in the context of his time.
Back then, believe it or not, it was the states that held all the power, and the federal government that had to fight for scraps. Then the states became overconfident, abusive and arrogant (thanks entirely to slavery poisoning the well), and the federal government stepped in as a result of the states' failure to act responsibly on their own. The seceding states are depicted as the bad guys in the civil war because, let's face it, they were.
However, NOW the roles are reversed. All the arrogance, waste, and evil today is coming out of DC.