The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914 Page: 94
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
he regards it as his sole duty to set forth the ideas of the Pennsyl-
vania radical without furnishing us any other guide to that politi-
cal labyrinth. With Stevens's radical opinions on the constitutional
issues of the war, Professor Woodburn is in strong sympathy and
one of the best chapters of the book deals with this subject. In
endorsing Stevens's strictures on Lincoln's cautious policy, he
seems unable to appreciate the necessity the president was under
of not moving too fast for public opinion. He acknowledges him-
self a greenbacker, defends his hero's greenback policy with great
vigor, and returns to the subject in another chapter at the end of
the book. His correction of the mis-statements of certain writers
of financial history as to the true policy of Stevens on this sub-
ject is conclusive; but McCall had already, though in briefer space,
made this clear.
The attitude of the South at the close of the war, especially
with reference to the various phases of the negro question he seems
no better able to appreciate now than Stevens was then. He up-
holds the radical leader throughout on the main issues of recon-
struction, except upon the last effort at wholesale confiscation of
southern property (1867), and only because it was then too late.
Nor does he seem able to see that this idea of the wholesale con-
fiscation of the private property of "conquered public enemies"
was contrary to the law of nations which according to Stevens was
the only law by which the government was bound. While he ad-
mits that Stevens was unnecessarily bitter and vindictive toward
the South, he excuses it by pointing out that the majority of the
people of the North entertained the same feeling. President John-
son, he thinks, was an obstacle to the will of the people that should
have been removed by impeachment. His reason for this is that
our constitution too rigidly sets the executive apart from the legis-
lative authority and that it should have been "democratized" by
making the executive, like the English cabinet, directly respon-
sible through political impeachment to the will of the representa-
tives of the people. fHow the other necessary adjustments of the
constitutional machinery were to be made he does not even sug-
gest. In short, presidents should be removable for political oppo-
sition to a majority in congress, though they have violated no law!
The chief objection to the book is that it is lacking in the ele-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914, periodical, 1914; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101061/m1/98/: accessed January 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.