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Course Details

Spring 2017-2018
* POL 488 (HA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Secession, the Civil War, and the Constitution

Allen C. Guelzo

This seminar explores constitutional and legal issues posed by the attempted secession of eleven states of the Federal Union in 1860-1865 and the civil war this attempt triggered. Issues to be examined include the nature of secession movements (both in terms of the constitutional controversy posed in 1860-1861 and modern secession movements), the development of the "war powers" doctrine of the presidency, the suspension by the writ of habeas corpus, the use of military tribunals, and abuses of civil rights on both sides of the Civil War.

Sample reading list:
Stephen C. Neff, Justice in Blue and Gray: A Legal History of the Civil War
Burris Carnahan, Lincoln on Trial: Southern Civilians and the Law of War
Christian G. Samito, Changes in Law and Society During the Civil War
Mark E. Neely, Lincoln and the Triumph of the Nation
Jan Lemnitzer, Power, Law and the End of Privateering
Jonathan White, The Trials of John Merryman: Abraham Lincoln

Reading/Writing assignments:
Readings as assigned; discussion in seminar; in-class oral presentations; a 20-25 page paper on a selected Civil War-era legal case

Requirements/Grading:
Paper in lieu of Final - 50%
Oral Presentation(s) - 20%
Class/Precept Participation - 30%

Other Requirements:
Not Open to First Year Undergraduates.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
43510 S01 01:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm T   Robertson Hall   008   Enrolled:5 Limit:15