Abraham Lincoln and Executive Power Print E-mail
We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution
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Question 1

What key events led to Abraham Lincoln’s rise from humble origins and relative obscurity to national prominence and the summit of political power in the United States of America?

Question 2

Did President Lincoln usurp the constitutional authority of Congress in his exercise of executive power to defend the Union after the start of military conflict between the Union and the Confederate States?
  • Evaluate Lincoln’s comments in his July 4, 1861, “Message to Congress,” about the use of executive powers in a time of national crisis.
  • Evaluate the response of Congress to the president’s message.

Question 3

Did President Lincoln’s suspensions of the writ of habeas corpus violate the Constitution?

Question 4

Do you agree with Lincoln's position about the extension of slavery to the federal government’s western territories and his opposition to the popular sovereignty provision of the Kansas-Nebraska Act?

Question 5

What was President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation? Why did he issue it?

Question 6

What were the immediate and long-term effects of the Emancipation Proclamation?

Question 7

Do you agree with President Lincoln’s claims that his decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation was a constitutional exercise of his executive power?

Question 8

Why did Lincoln think that an executive order to abolish slavery throughout the United States would have been unconstitutional? Do you agree with his position?

Question 9

How did Lincoln connect his political ideas and actions to principles of the 1776 Declaration of Independence?

Question 10

What is the legacy of Abraham Lincoln to constitutionalism and citizenship in America today?