James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
despotic parliamentary leadership of the majority in the House by Thaddeus Stevens and prevented the passage at this session of the two bills which gave the President control of the sword and purse of the nation; but a serious attempt in that direction, with all that it involved, would have reduced the country to a state of panic. There must therefore be set down to the credit of the Democrats in Congress a measure of patriotism that almost always exists in an Anglo-Saxon minority, proving sufficient to preserve the commonwealth from destruction.
More severe criticism than is due for any positive action in the House or the Senate must be meted out to the leaders of the Democratic party for their speeches in and out of the legislative halls and to the influential Democratic newspapers in their effort to form and guide a public sentiment which should dictate the policy of the Government. One fact they ignored, that peace was impossible unless the Southern Confederacy were acknowledged and a boundary line agreed upon between what would then be two distinct nations. They pretended to a belief, for which there was absolutely no foundation, that if fighting ceased and a convention of the States were called, the Union might be restored. Hence proceeded their opposition to the Presidents emancipation policy as being an obstacle to the two sections becoming re-united. But men who loved their country better than their party ought to have perceived, for it was palpable at the time, that the Southern States had not the slightest intention of consenting on even the most favorable conditions to the Union as it was, and that the President had been brought to his decree against slavery by the logic of events. Apologists for slavery as the Democrats had been for so many years on the ground that it was a necessary evil, they could not give hearty support to