liberty and union the civil war era and american constitutionalism

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Constitutional Faith

Author : Sanford Levinson
ISBN : 9780691152400
Genre : History
File Size : 51. 89 MB
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"The book is intended to make clearer the ambiguities of "constitutional faith," i.e. wholehearted attachment to the Constitution as the center of one's (and ultimately the nation's) political life."--The introduction.

For Slavery And Union

Author : Patrick A. Lewis
ISBN : 9780813160801
Genre : History
File Size : 66. 6 MB
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Benjamin Forsythe Buckner (1836--1901) faced a dire choice as the flames of Civil War threatened his native Kentucky. As an ambitious Bluegrass aristocrat, he was sympathetic to fellow slave owners, but was also convinced that the Peculiar Institution could not survive a war for Southern independence. Defying the wishes of his Rebel fiancée and her powerful family -- yet still hoping to impress them with his resolve, independence, and courage -- Buckner joined the Twentieth Kentucky Volunteer Infantry in 1861 as a Union soldier. President Abraham Lincoln's issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 ultimately destroyed Buckner's faith in his cause, however, and he resigned his commission. In For Slavery and Union, Patrick A. Lewis uses Benjamin Buckner's story to illuminate the origins and perspectives of Kentucky's conservative proslavery Unionists, and explain why this group eventually became a key force in repressing social and political change during the Reconstruction era and beyond. Free from the constraints and restrictions imposed on the former Confederate states, men like Buckner joined with other proslavery forces to work in the interest of the New South's brand of economic growth and racial control. Other studies have explored how Kentucky cultivated a Confederate identity after the Civil War, but For Slavery and Union is the first major work to personify this transformation. Lewis's important book transcends biography to provide a deeply nuanced look at the history of the commonwealth in the nineteenth century and the development of the New South.

Act Of Justice

Author : Burrus Carnahan
ISBN : 9780813172736
Genre : History
File Size : 40. 32 MB
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In his first inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln declared that as president he would “have no lawful right” to interfere with the institution of slavery. Yet less than two years later, he issued a proclamation intended to free all slaves throughout the Confederate states. When critics challenged the constitutional soundness of the act, Lincoln pointed to the international laws and usages of war as the legal basis for his Proclamation, asserting that the Constitution invested the president “with the law of war in time of war.” As the Civil War intensified, the Lincoln administration slowly and reluctantly accorded full belligerent rights to the Confederacy under the law of war. This included designating a prisoner of war status for captives, honoring flags of truce, and negotiating formal agreements for the exchange of prisoners—practices that laid the intellectual foundations for emancipation. Once the United States allowed Confederates all the privileges of belligerents under international law, it followed that they should also suffer the disadvantages, including trial by military courts, seizure of property, and eventually the emancipation of slaves. Even after the Lincoln administration decided to apply the law of war, it was unclear whether state and federal courts would agree. After careful analysis, author Burrus M. Carnahan concludes that if the courts had decided that the proclamation was not justified, the result would have been the personal legal liability of thousands of Union officers to aggrieved slave owners. This argument offers further support to the notion that Lincoln’s delay in issuing the Emancipation Proclamation was an exercise of political prudence, not a personal reluctance to free the slaves. In Act of Justice, Carnahan contends that Lincoln was no reluctant emancipator; he wrote a truly radical document that treated Confederate slaves as an oppressed people rather than merely as enemy property. In this respect, Lincoln’s proclamation anticipated the psychological warfare tactics of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Carnahan’s exploration of the president’s war powers illuminates the origins of early debates about war powers and the Constitution and their link to international law.

Moments Of Despair

Author : David Silkenat
ISBN : 9780807834602
Genre : History
File Size : 39. 59 MB
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During the Civil War era, black and white North Carolinians were forced to fundamentally reinterpret the morality of suicide, divorce, and debt as these experiences became pressing issues throughout the region and nation. In Moments of Despair, Dav

Revolutionary Dissent

Author : Stephen D. Solomon
ISBN : 9781466879393
Genre : History
File Size : 22. 58 MB
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When members of the founding generation protested against British authority, debated separation, and then ratified the Constitution, they formed the American political character we know today-raucous, intemperate, and often mean-spirited. Revolutionary Dissent brings alive a world of colorful and stormy protests that included effigies, pamphlets, songs, sermons, cartoons, letters and liberty trees. Solomon explores through a series of chronological narratives how Americans of the Revolutionary period employed robust speech against the British and against each other. Uninhibited dissent provided a distinctly American meaning to the First Amendment's guarantees of freedom of speech and press at a time when the legal doctrine inherited from England allowed prosecutions of those who criticized government. Solomon discovers the wellspring in our revolutionary past for today's satirists like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, pundits like Rush Limbaugh and Keith Olbermann, and protests like flag burning and street demonstrations. From the inflammatory engravings of Paul Revere, the political theater of Alexander McDougall, the liberty tree protests of Ebenezer McIntosh and the oratory of Patrick Henry, Solomon shares the stories of the dissenters who created the American idea of the liberty of thought. This is truly a revelatory work on the history of free expression in America.

Justice Curtis In The Civil War Era

Author : Stuart Streichler
ISBN : 0813923425
Genre : History
File Size : 41. 88 MB
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During a career as both a lawyer and a Supreme Court justice, Benjamin R. Curtis addressed practically every major constitutional question of the mid-nineteenth century, making judgments that still resonate in American law. Aside from a family memoir written by his brother over one hundred years ago, however, no book-length treatment of Curtis exists. Now Stuart Streichler has filled this gap in judicial biography, using Curtis’s life and work as a window on the most serious constitutional crisis in American history, the Civil War. Curtis was the lead attorney for President Andrew Johnson in the Senate’s impeachment trial, where he delivered the pivotal argument, and his was an influential voice in the pervasive constitutional struggle between states and the federal government. He is best remembered, however, for dissenting in the Dred Scott case, in which he disputed Chief Justice Taney’s proslavery ruling that no black person could ever become a citizen of the United States. In the wake of the decision, Curtis resigned from the court, the only justice in the Supreme Court’s history to do so on grounds of principle. Yet he also clashed with Boston’s abolitionists over enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act, and he opposed the Emancipation Proclamation. In a period when the Constitution was radically transformed from a charter that protected slavery to one that granted all persons equal rights of citizenship, Justice Curtis maintained his faith in the Constitution as an adaptable instrument of self-government and tried to mark out a path for gradual change. Streichler assesses Curtis’s common-law methods in the context of his divisive times and shows how the judge’s views continue to shed light on issues that have become once again relevant, such as the presidential impeachment process and, after 9/11, the use of military tribunals to try civilians.

Lincoln And The Politics Of Slavery

Author : Daniel W. Crofts
ISBN : 9781469627328
Genre : History
File Size : 85. 25 MB
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In this landmark book, Daniel Crofts examines a little-known episode in the most celebrated aspect of Abraham Lincoln's life: his role as the "Great Emancipator." Lincoln always hated slavery, but he also believed it to be legal where it already existed, and he never imagined fighting a war to end it. In 1861, as part of a last-ditch effort to preserve the Union and prevent war, the new president even offered to accept a constitutional amendment that barred Congress from interfering with slavery in the slave states. Lincoln made this key overture in his first inaugural address. Crofts unearths the hidden history and political maneuvering behind the stillborn attempt to enact this amendment, the polar opposite of the actual Thirteenth Amendment of 1865 that ended slavery. This compelling book sheds light on an overlooked element of Lincoln's statecraft and presents a relentlessly honest portrayal of America's most admired president. Crofts rejects the view advanced by some Lincoln scholars that the wartime momentum toward emancipation originated well before the first shots were fired. Lincoln did indeed become the "Great Emancipator," but he had no such intention when he first took office. Only amid the crucible of combat did the war to save the Union become a war for freedom.

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