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Abstract

With the Union in an extremely weak economic state at the start of the Civil War, Lincoln was forced to challenge the way wars were to be financed and expand upon his powers as a president. To accomplish his goals of freeing the slaves and ending secession, Lincoln desperately needed a way to fund his endeavors. Lincoln and his Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase, skillfully disrupted the American economy with higher tariffs, development of national banks, income tax, issuance of bonds, and creation of the first Internal Revenue Office to win the Civil War from within the Treasury Department. Lincoln pushed the exercise of federal power beyond anything that had ever been done before and forever shifted the relationship between state and federal government.

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