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


“The People Themselves” and the Beauty of a Well-Constructed System:James Madison, the Crisis of 1798, and Constitutional Safeguards

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Colleen Sheehan is one of our best students of James Madison. Over a span of years, she has produced a series of significant and insightful articles and book chapters that treat the Virginian’s political thought with a special emphasis on