Please give a summary of Abraham Lincoln's message to Congress on July 4, 1861.

Abraham Lincoln made his address to Congress on July 4, 1861 to defend his actions of suspending the writ of habeas corpus and mobilizing the militia. He asks Congress to ratify these actions as a necessary part of quickly putting down the rebellion.

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With the recent outbreak of the Confederate rebellion, Abraham Lincoln took unprecedented steps as the nation's president. Without Congress' prior approval, Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus and called up the militia through an executive order. These were powers that the Constitution reserved for Congress, not the president. On July 4, 1861, Lincoln addressed Congress to justify his actions and ask for their approval and further support.

In his message, Lincoln states that these actions were necessary for him to enact in order to put down the rebellion quickly and efficiently. Forts and armories had already been seized by the forces of the rebellious states, particularly Fort Sumter. To wait for Congress to address this may have taken too long. Lincoln says that he wants to try to solve the matter through peaceful means. He states that he hopes that his wartime powers will not need to be put into action, but he fears that violent conflict will be inevitable.

Lincoln defends his actions by stating that "nothing has been done beyond the constitutional competency of Congress." This is his way of justifying his actions by saying that he did not do anything that Congress could not have and would not have done itself. Lincoln goes a step further by asking Congress to allocate $400,000,000 and the mobilization of 400,000 men to dedicate fighting against the rebellion. The message was apparently well-received by Congress, which went on to ratify Lincoln's previous actions and grant his further requests.

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