“Is there in all republics this inherent and fatal weakness? Must a government of necessity be too strong for the liberties of its own people, or too weak to maintain its own existence?”
As president Lincoln told Congress his war aims at the start of the Civil War, this statement leaps off the lectern. What freedoms did the nation have? What rights did the states have? Did they have the right to leave the Union just because things didn’t go the way they liked at the ballot box? This was the issue that confronted the nation in 1861, already in motion when Lincoln took office.
"Documenting America: Civil War Edition", explores this question, and more. Looking at documents produced during the time of fighting, the historical context of the document is discussed, followed by drawing meaning from it relative to an issue we face today. The U.S.A.’s history is rich in documents. Explore them, and be informed by them.