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Constitutional problems under Lincoln

01 Jan 1926-
About: The article was published on 1926-01-01 and is currently open access. It has received 92 citations till now.
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In a cell in New York's Fort Lafayette in the heat of the summer of 1865, former Confederate naval secretary Stephen R. Mallory had little to do but reflect on the fate of the defeated Confederacy as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: Confined alone in a cell in New York's Fort Lafayette in the heat of the summer of 1865, former Confederate naval secretary Stephen R. Mallory had little to do but reflect on the fate of the defeated Confederacy. Convinced that his life might be forfeit if the United States government made good on its threat to try him for treason, Mallory composed a lengthy letter to President Andrew Johnson petitioning for a pardon and seeking to explain his views on the demise of the Confederacy and the fate of the states' right to secede from the Union. While Mallory stressed his opposition to disunion in 1861, on the grounds of its inexpediency, he admitted that he had placed loyalty to his state above his duty as a citizen of the United States. He had “regarded the commands of my state as decisive of my path of duty; and I followed where she led.” Nonetheless, Mallory went on to disclaim his belief in the principle of secession in very striking terms, describing the death of secession in the crucible of the Civil War as the result of a trial by battle. Mallory never specifically denied secession's constitutionality; instead, he told Johnson that because he “recognize[ed] the death [of the Confederacy] as the will of Almighty God, I regard and accept His dispensation as decisive of the questions of slavery and secession.”

5 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The winner of the Tom Watson Brown Award for the best book published on the Civil War era in calendar year 2012 was John Fabian Witt for his book, Lincoln's Code: The Laws of War in American History.
Abstract: editor’s note: The following represents the acceptance speech for the Tom Watson Brown Award for the best book published on the Civil War era in calendar year 2012. Tad Brown, president of the Watson-Brown Foundation, awarded the prize to John Fabian Witt for his book, Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History, published by the Free Press. Reproduced in their entirety, these remarks were given at the annual banquet of the Society of Civil War Historians (SCWH), held during the Southern Historical Association annual meeting on November 1, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri. The SCWH judges and administers the book prize.

5 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) attempted to change the name of the war from "Rebellion" to "War between the States" as mentioned in this paper, but the change was unsuccessful.
Abstract: Abstract:Abraham Lincoln and most northerners initially referred to a civil war or an insurrection but quickly adopted "Rebellion," which stressed the goal of preserving the Union and stigmatized secession. Frederick Douglass and others proposed "Abolition war" or the "Slaveholders' Rebellion," but few northerners adopted them. After Appomattox, northerners continued to use "Rebellion." White southerners protested; they preferred "Civil War," "War between the States," and other names. By the 1890s "Civil War" had become the most common name, and between 1905 and 1911, Congress made it virtually the official name. The United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) then campaigned, but failed, to replace it with "War between the States." In the twentieth century, linguistic surveys demonstrated, "Civil War" was the most widely used name. "Civil War" promoted reconciliation, deemphasized the role of slavery and allowed both sides to hold to their interpretation of the conflict, thereby helping obscure the war's meaning.

5 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
01 Sep 1988
TL;DR: For example, this article argued that Abraham Lincoln always claimed to be acting within constitutional constraints, justifying his actions both with legalistic arguments based on constitutional texts and with more general arguments about the fundamental nature of American constitutional government.
Abstract: Over the past one hundred years historians and political scientists have established the convention that Abraham Lincoln felt justified in exercising dictatorial powers in order to save the union. This understanding distorts American constitutional history and is inaccurate about Lincoln in particular. Lincoln always claimed to be acting within constitutional constraints, justifying his actions both with legalistic arguments based on constitutional texts and with more general arguments about the fundamental nature of American constitutional government.

5 citations