JMC’s partner program, the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Core Texts & Ideas, at the University of Texas at Austin hosted Professor George Forgie for its Constitution Day Lecture.
“Lincoln and the Constitution in the Civil War”
“I would save the Union,” President Lincoln wrote to the New York journalist Horace Greeley during the Civil War. “I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution.” Some of his admirers have said he did exactly that. Some of his detractors have said that he sacrificed the Constitution in order to save the Union—and free the slaves. This lecture asks the question: what were Lincoln’s priorities? Specifically, how did he situate the Constitution among the many American treasures he said he wanted to preserve?
George Forgie is Associate Professor and Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Texas at Austin. He teaches US political history from 1763 to 1877 and the US Constitution. He is now studying northern political writing during the Civil War.