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Lincoln's Constitution$
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Daniel A. Farber

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780226237930

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226237954.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 17 October 2019

Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Lincoln's Constitution
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226237954.003.0001

The Civil War experience illuminates the deepest, most critical constitutional issues. The extraordinary circumstances of the war have never been repeated. But American history has time and again raised questions about state sovereignty versus national power, executive authority versus congressional prerogatives, and individual rights versus national security. The constitutional analysis may help provide a perspective on the historical events. Intense constitutional debates permeated the Civil War era. The tools of constitutional analysis are the language of the document, its historical context, judicial precedents, and the lessons of the nation's history, and can provide reasonable confidence about the better reading of the Constitution, even if complete proof is impossible. Lincoln's actions raise grave questions about the status of individual rights during national emergencies, another issue that has become unexpectedly germane today.

Keywords:   Civil War, individual rights, sovereignty, judicial precedents, national security

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