The American Civil War

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First reading Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln and his cabinet

This class takes a look at the US Civil War (1861-1865), but through the prism of constitutional issues.  As we've seen over the last few classes, the battle over the Union and slavery's role therein was not the only constitutional issue on the table in the 1840s and 1850s; important debates about civil liberties and executive power also were commonplaces.   Many of these debates crested during the War between the States.


Ex parte Milligan
Gettysburg Address (1863)
Emancipation Proclamation (1863)


1.) What was the principal issue at stake in Ex parte Milligan?  In your opinion, was it correctly decided?
2.) What type of vision of American society did Lincoln offer in the Gettysburg address?
3.) Should historians view the Civil War as a turning point in the development of the American Constitution?