We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution, Level 3
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The Granger Collection, New York
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Lesson 17 Purpose
Between December 1860 and June 1861 eleven Southern states seceded from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America. The Civil War started in April 1861. The war raised several constitutional issues: the right of states to secede from the union, the president's powers in wartime, the balance between individual rights and national security, and the constitutional status of slavery in the United States. Three constitutional amendments adopted after the war defined American citizenship and transformed the relationship between the national and state governments.

When you have finished this lesson, you should be able to describe several important constitutional issues raised by President Lincoln's actions, including the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and the Emancipation Proclamation. You should be able to explain the similarities and differences between the United States Constitution and the constitution of the Confederate States of America. You also should be able to explain how the Civil War led to the creation of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments. Finally, you should be able to evaluate, take, and defend positions on the conditions under which the writ of habeas corpus might be suspended and the constitutionality of secession. Audio ]
Lesson 17      How Did the Civil War Test and Transform the American Constitutional System?
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