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Loose or Strict? Lincoln and the Consititution

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Nate Roe

on 6 November 2014

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Transcript of Loose or Strict? Lincoln and the Consititution

Loose or Strict? Lincoln and the Constitution
Your task will be to travel through a series of primary and secondary sources, including video posts, concerning Abraham Lincoln's actions before and during his presidency to answer the following essential questions:

"Was Abraham Lincoln a strict of loose interpreter of the Constitution?" "

"Did Abraham Lincoln's interpretation of the Constitution remain constant throughout his political career?

Click on the link below to view the first document, Lincoln's speech on the
Mexican War of January 12, 1848
. You will do this for subsequent slides as well.


How does Lincoln seem to
interpret the Constitution in
the context of this document?
What reasoning does he give
for his decision?

Next, listen to historian Matthew Pinsker's take on Lincoln and the Constitution as he analyzes Lincoln's Cooper Union Speech on February 27, 1860. Click on the link below and scroll down to the vimeo player. You may also view the transcript by clicking on the link from the phrase "I fully endorse"


Fragment on the Constitution- January 1861

First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861

Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865


Letter to Albert Hodges, April 4, 1864


Lincoln's Suspension of Habeas Corpus

Political Cartoon
circa 1862
As you read each document or listen to commentary, use the form below to gather your information and evidence. This will be given in class as well.
Lincoln circa the 1840's
Lincoln's First Inaugural Address
The YouTube video below will help you get a basic understanding of Quora as a blog site. More info on set up and registration will be given in class.
You have completed your journey through Lincoln's documents and gathered evidence on his interpretation of the Constitution. Now you will take the information and write a blog post answering the essential questions for this exercise.
Lincoln circa 1861
Read this excerpt from an article titled, "Abraham Lincoln, Legal Positivism, and Constitutional History" by H.M. Hyman, written in the Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association. What does it say about Lincoln's "growth" as an interpreter of the Constitution?
Artist Rendering of Lincoln speaking at Cooper Union's Great Hall, New York
Image of Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address
Men of Company E, 4th U.S.
Colored Infantry
Full transcript