Mr. Valladigham's Words: Necessary Or Justified?

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What is more important speech or safety? During the civil war a notorious Copperhead and congressman named Clement L. Vallandigham spoke out against President Abraham Lincoln and the union army. Congressman Vallandigham was tried for treason because of his harmful words in May of 1863, the verdict was guilty (Dudley 170). The actions taken by President Lincoln in response to Clement Valladigham’s words fell under harsh scrutiny from Confederate sympathizers and Copperheads alike and sparked debate in the Union in regards to if Mr. Lincoln’s actions were justified. President Lincoln’s actions were constitutional, the safety of American’s outweighs the importance of free speech, and Valladigham was treated fairly; therefore, the restriction of civil liberties by President Abraham Lincoln during the civil war was completely justifiable. …show more content…
He makes a point of this by saying, “I think they are not [unconstitutional]”, in his letter to Albany (Dudley 170). On a surface level Mr. Valladigham’s words were only criticism of President Lincoln and Union army, yet the magnitude of the words gave just cause to arrest him. What Mr. Valladigham was saying discouraged many from enlisting in the Union army (Dudley 173). This then in turn caused more casualties and less soldiers on behalf of the Union. President Lincoln saw suspending civil liberties as a ,“lawful measure to suppress the rebellion”. Not only did Mr. Valladigham’s words lead to soldier deaths but also potential civilian deaths. The public safety of