Book

Creating the Land of Lincoln

Frank Cicero Jr.

Published by University of Illinois Press

Published in print March 2018 | ISBN: 9780252041679
Published online September 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780252050343 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.5622/illinois/9780252041679.001.0001
Creating the Land of Lincoln

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This book links the state constitutions of Illinois to Abraham Lincoln’s legacy amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Beginning with Euro-American settlement in the region that would become Illinois, the narrative details the various nations that governed the territory and the issues that concerned its population, from degrees of authoritarian rule to the status of indentured servants and black and Native slaves. As the territory came under U.S. control through the Northwest Ordinance, its sparse population held southern attitudes toward government and slavery. Through an enabling act in 1818, the northern border of Illinois Territory was set sixty miles north of the southern tip of Lake Michigan, encompassing what would eventually become the economic powerhouse of Chicago. Analysis of the four nineteenth-century state constitutional conventions (1818, 1847, 1862, 1869) summarizes essential issues for Illinois’s citizens, from the balance of governmental powers to the civil rights of African Americans, from squabbles over internal improvements like canals and railroads to geographical splits between rural and urban, Yankee and southern. This history and analysis shows that the enabling act that extended the Illinois border north also enabled the growth of the Republican Party, Abraham Lincoln’s election as president, and the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution that altered the nation’s history.

Keywords: African Americans—civil rights; Chicago—economic history; governmental powers; Illinois—state constitutional conventions; Illinois—state constitutions; Illinois—state history; Abraham Lincoln—legacy; Republican Party—history; U.S. Constitution—amendments

Book.  288 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Political History

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Creating the Land of Lincoln

Chapter

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Illinois before Statehood in Creating the Land of Lincoln

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The Constitution of 1818 in Creating the Land of Lincoln

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The Constitution of 1848 in Creating the Land of Lincoln

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Two Transformative Decades in Creating the Land of Lincoln

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The Constitution of 1870 in Creating the Land of Lincoln

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Epilogue in Creating the Land of Lincoln

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