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The purpose of this course is to study Lincoln as a legal and political thinker. Our focus will be on assessing (1) Lincoln’s claim that his political efforts were designed to preserve (and even renew) the principles of the Founding and (2) the ways in which these efforts reflected the virtue of political prudence—i.e., statesmanship.
Examinations 50% (Two mid-terms, 10% each; final exam, 30%)
For grad students: One paper (60%). Midterms will be 10% each, final 20% (40%). Quiz grades will be considered in assessing students’ attendance and participation (see below).
Essays: There will be one essay assignments of roughly 7 pages each for undergraduate students. For graduate students, the final paper should be roughly 15 pages in length. Students will submit a preliminary outline. Students will be notified of the assignment and relevant due dates in September.
Examinations: There will be two mid-terms (more specifically, “third-terms”) and a final examination. In almost all cases, a student will receive a score of 0% for a missed exam; nor will any make-up exam be possible. Do not take this course if you have scheduled any activities that will conflict with the date and time of the examinations. The midterms will occur in class on Friday, September 30 and Monday, October 31. For planning purposes, please assume that the final exam will be scheduled for the last session of the last exam day.
Quizzes: There will be regular quizzes on the assigned reading.
Class attendance and participation: The degree to which the students make a positive contribution to classroom discussion will contribute to their final grades in the class. While no precise percentage point is allocated to class participation, an assessment of such participation will be particularly important in determining the grade of students whose percentage average is borderline, and in extraordinary cases, can significantly affect the final grade. Moreover, the university attendance policy, as described in the University Bulletin, will be enforced. After four unexcused absences, a student may be dropped from the course.
University policies on cheating and plagiarism will be strictly enforced. Plagiarism is any attempt to represent the work of another as one’s own. Consequently, in your essays, you must provide a footnote citation for any quotation or paraphrase from another’s work.
Required Texts: Abraham Lincoln: His Speeches and Writings (Roy P. Basler ed. 1946).
The Lincoln-Douglas Debates: The First Complete Unexpurgated Text (Harold Holzer ed. 1993 or 2004).
Harry V. Jaffa, Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpretation of the Issues in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates (1958, 1982, 2009).
Class 1: Lincoln the Young Whig
Lincoln, 53–60, 70–72 (last 5 paras. of speech), 90, 98–113 (national bank and finance)
Class 2: Lyceum Address
Guelzo, Allen C. Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates That Defined America (2008)
(Not in library)
Guelzo, Allen C. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America (2004) E 453 .G9 2004.
Donald, David Herbert
Lincoln Reconsidered: Essays on the Civil War Era (1956).
Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President (2004). E 440 .H65 2004 The Lincoln Anthology: Great Writers on His Life and Legacy from 1860 to Now (2009) E 457.92 .H65 2009 Jaffa, Harry A New Birth of Freedom : Abraham Lincoln and the Coming of the Civil War E 459 .J34 2000
McPherson, James M. Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution (1992).
E 457.2 M4758 1991
Neely, Mark E. The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties (1991). E457.2 .N46 1991
The Last Best Hope of Earth: Abraham Lincoln and the Promise of America (1995) E457 .N49 1995
Paludan, Philip Shaw The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln (1994) E457 .P18 1994
Randall, J.G. Constitutional Problems under Lincoln (1951)
JK201 .R18 1951
Wills, Garry Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America (1993)