Emancipation Proclamation

The South Was Right, the Historians Are Wrong: Taking the Antislavery Origins of the Civil War Seriously

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Why did the Southern states choose to secede when Abraham Lincoln was elected president in November of 1860? At the time, Southerners attributed “secession winter” to the fear that Lincoln and the Republicans fully intended to make war on slavery,

A Complicated and Constitutional Act of Liberty and Justice

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David Nichols’ comment on Abraham Lincoln’s decision to issue an Emancipation Proclamation on January 1st, 1863, is a perceptive and nuanced appraisal of Lincoln’s path to the proclamation. The principal question with which Nichols has had to deal

So Much Power in So Few Hands: Reevaluating Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation

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Professor Nichols urges us to revisit the arguments surrounding the Emancipation Proclamation (EP) for two reasons. The second reason noted is that the “constitutional issues at stake  . . .  are relevant to contemporary American politics.” That’s true enough, especially

The Emancipation Proclamation:  Abraham Lincoln’s Constitutionally Modest Proposal

The Emancipation Proclamation: Abraham Lincoln’s Constitutionally Modest Proposal

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On July 22, 1862 President Abraham Lincoln presented a plan to his cabinet to issue a proclamation emancipating slaves in all states that remained in rebellion as of January 1, 1863. At the urging of Secretary of State William Seward


Lincoln’s Code of War

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Lincoln's Code

The next edition of Liberty Law Talk is with professor and author John Fabian Witt on the subject of his new book Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History. Recently named by the New York Times to

“Clothed with immense power”

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Director Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner’s Lincoln opens with a chaotic battle in a river, black and white soldiers struggling to kill each other in hand-to-hand combat.  We then see pairs of black and white soldiers reciting from memory