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From his early years as a small-town lawyer through his rise to the presidency, Abraham Lincoln respected the rule of law. Secession and the Civil War, however, led him to expand presidential power in ways that often put him at odds with the Supreme Court and Congress. In this incisive essay collection, recognized scholars from a variety of academic disciplines—including history, political science, legal studies, and journalism—explore Lincoln’s actions as president and identify within his decision-making process his commitment to law and order and the principles of the Constitution. In so doing, they demonstrate how wartime pressures and problems required Lincoln to confront the constitutional limitations imposed on the chief executive and expose the difficulty and ambiguity associated with the protection of civil rights during the Civil War. Among the topics addressed are civil liberties during wartime; presidential pardons; the loyalty (or treason) of government employees; Lincoln’s political ideology and its influence on his approach to citizenship; Lincoln’s defense of the Constitution, the Union, and popular government; constitutional restraints on Lincoln as he dealt with slavery and emancipation; and how Lincoln’s image has been used in presidential rhetoric. Although varied in their strategies and methodologies, these essays expand our understanding of Lincoln’s vision for a united nation grounded in the Constitution. Together, they provide an illuminating examination of the law as Lincoln applied it, the expansion of presidential war powers, and the foundation for the transformation of American society.
Number of Pages: 214
Sub-Genre: Essays, United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877), United States / 19th Century
Publisher: Southern Illinois Univ Pr
Street Date: November 2, 2015
Item Number (DPCI): 248-00-1796