Chapter

The Lessons of History

in Lincoln's Constitution

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2003 | ISBN: 9780226237930
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226237954 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226237954.003.0010
The Lessons of History

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The Civil War was a crisis without parallel in the nation's history. Lincoln violated the rule of law in his effort to vindicate the legal order. Most of his emergency actions fell within a much narrower power to suspend the normal legal process in the actual vicinity of war or insurrection, where the authority of the government was challenged by forces too strong for the conventional legal system to control. Lincoln's character is thrown into bolder relief by contrast with some of the other key actors of the time. It was Lincoln's character—his ability, judgment, courage, and humanity—that brought the Union through the war with the Constitution intact.

Keywords: Civil War; Lincoln; character; constitution; legal process

Chapter.  2049 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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