In her magnificent book Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin describes the peculiar relationship between Abraham Lincoln and his Cabinet. Almost all of them began their service in 1861 with the thought that Lincoln was a hopeless bumpkin, but the only one who never really changed his opinion was the Secretary of the Treasury and former Governor of Ohio, Salmon P. Chase.
Chase was blinded by political ambition. He believed that he, and not this gawky rube from Illinois, ought to be President, and he never altered that opinion. The result was that Chase consistently undermined Lincoln, trying to raise support and cash with which to run against the President–his boss–in the 1864 elections. To some, he openly described Lincoln as a fool. More often, he was more subtle yet condescending, suggesting that Lincoln was doing the best job he could, given his extremely limited intellectual gifts.
As the 1864 election approached, with the nation in the midst of Civil War, Chase increased his secret sniping at the President. Lincoln was acutely aware of Chase’s many weaknesses, but he also believed that no other man could have raised the money that Chase had raised to finance the Union war effort. Despite the Treasury Secretary’s financial genius, many of Lincoln’s friends, appalled by Chase’s behavior, urged Lincoln to fire him, immediately and publicly, for his disloyalty and sabotage.
Lincoln had a decision to make. What should he do? What did he do? In a two-page (max) paper using what you have learned in life and in MBA 7500, explain how Mr. Lincoln should handle the disloyal subordinate, and how he did in fact do so. Your paper should include:
a. A very brief outline of your paper, created after collecting your thoughts but before starting to write. Your outline should include your purpose in writing, and the major themes/points for each paragraph
b. Outside research to strengthen your paper, and be sure to document your sources.
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