Syllabus

Lincoln’s Statesmanship

Lincoln’s Statesmanship, Skidmore College

Abraham Lincoln as Statesman

Professor Taylor

GO 251

Fall 2006

 

This course will explore Lincoln’s confrontation with the problem of slavery and the American regime.  It will primarily consist of a close analysis of Lincoln’s speeches and writings, with particular emphasis on the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858.

Lincoln’s speeches and deeds have been said by some scholars to constitute a completion of the American founding or a second American revolution.  We will explore the origins and nature of Lincoln’s impact, trying to understand Lincoln’s project from the perspective of Lincoln himself.

Lincoln reflected deeply on America’s founding ideals as expressed in its public documents, as well as particular historical realities confronting the nation in the 1800s.  Our course of study will therefore attempt to mimic these reflections.

Required Texts:

Abraham Lincoln: Speeches and Writings, Roy P. Basler ed., Da Capo Press, 1990

The Complete Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858, Paul Angle ed., University of Chicago Press, 1991

Abraham Lincoln, Lord Charnwood, Dover Publishers, 1997

Packet of Readings

Students must also purchase a biography of Lincoln for their final paper.  A list of options will be provided.

Course Requirements:

1 6-8 pg paper

2 in-class presentations

Midterm exam

Final exam

Introduction to course (9/6)

I.                   Prelude to Crisis (all readings in the section from packet; also read Charnwood, ch.2)

A.                 Slavery and the Founding, 1776-1789

1.         “Slavery and the Moral Foundations of the American Republic,” Herbert      Storing (9/11)

“Slavery and the Constitutional Convention: Making a Covenant with Death,” Paul Finkelman (9/11)

  1. The Missouri Compromise, 1819-20
    1. Congressional Debates, 1819: Taylor (NY), Fuller (MA), Barbour (VA) (9/13)
    2. Congressional Debates, 1820: Reid (GA), Clagett (NH), Pinckney (MD)

(9/18)

James Madison to James Monroe, February 10 & 23, 1820; John Quincy       Adams, diary selections, February and March 1820; Rufus King, selected   letters (9/18)

C.                 Nullification and the Nature of Union, 1830-32

1.         John C. Calhoun, Fort Hill Address, July 26, 1831 (9/20)

The Ordinance of Nullification, November 24, 1832 (9/20)

2.         James Madison to Edward Everett, August 28, 1830 (9/20)

Andrew Jackson, Nullification Proclamation, December 10, 1832 (9/20)

II.                Lincoln and the Crisis of the House Divided (Charnwood, chs. 4-5, Don Fehrenbacher, “Slavery in the Federal Territories” [packet])

A.                 The Political Philosophy of a Young Whig, 1838-1852

  1. Address Before the Young Men’s Lyceum, January 27, 1838 (9/25)
  2. Temperance Address, February 22, 1842 (9/27)
  3. Eulogy on Henry Clay, July 6, 1852, also discuss Fehrenbacher (10/4)
  4. The Breakdown of Compromise, 1854-58
    1. Fragments: On Slavery, [July 1, 1854] (10/9)

Speech at Peoria, October 16, 1854 (on the repeal of the MO Compromise)

To George Robertson, August 15, 1855

To Joshua Speed, August 24, 1855

  1. Dred Scott, June 26, 1857 (10/11)

House Divided, June 16, 1858

  1. The Lincoln-Douglas Debates, 1858
    1. Ottawa, August 21, 1858 (10/16)
    2. Freeport, August 27 (10/18)
    3. Jonesboro, September 15 (10/23)

Galesburg, October 7 (in part: S.D. 290-94; A.L. 300-04, 307-11)

Quincy, October 13 (in part: A.L. 332-35; S.D. 343-47; A.L. 353-57)

MIDTERM EXAM 10/25

  1. Principles Defended, 1858-60

1.         Lecture on Discoveries and Inventions, February 11, 1859 (packet) (10/30)

Address to the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, September 30, 1859

2.         To Lyman Trumbull, December 11, 1858 (11/1)

To H.L. Pierce & Others, April 6, 1859

To Salmon P. Chase, June 20, 1859

3.         Address at Cooper Institute, February 27, 1860 (11/1)

III.             Lincoln and the Civil War

  1. Preserving the Union, 1860-62 (Charnwood, chs. 6-9)
    1. To William Kellog, December 11, 1860 (11/6)

To John A. Gilmer, December 15, 1860 (packet)

To James T. Hale, January 11, 1861 (packet)

  1. First Inaugural, March 4, 1861 (11/6)

Message to Congress in Special Session, July 4, 1861

  1. Toward Emancipation, 1862-63 (Charnwood, ch. 10)
    1. Appeal to Border State Representatives, July 12, 1862 (packet) (11/8)

Address on Colonization to a Committee…, August 14, 1862 (packet)

To Horace Greeley, August 22, 1862

Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, September 22, 1862 (packet)

  1. Final Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863 (11/13)

To John McClernand, January 8, 1863 (packet)

  1. A New Birth of Freedom, 1863 (Charnwood, ch. 11)

1.         To Erastus Corning & Others, June 12, 1863 (11/15)

To General N. P. Banks, August 5, 1863

To James C. Conkling, August 26, 1863

2.         Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863 (11/20)

  1. Toward Reconstruction, 1863-64 (Charnwood, ch. 12)
    1. Proclamation of Amnesty & Reconstruction, December 8, 1863 (11/27)
    2. To Albert G. Hodges, April 4, 1864 (packet) (11/27)

Sanitary Fair Address at Baltimore, April 18, 1864

To Henry W. Hoffman, October 10, 1864

Fragment: The Constitution and the Union, [1860?]

  1. With Malice Toward None, 1864-65
    1. Annual Message to Congress, December 6, 1864 (11/29)

Second Inaugural, March 4, 1865

Meditation on the Divine Will, September, 1862

  1. Address to the 140th Indiana Regiment, March 17, 1865 (12/4)

Last Public Address, April 11, 1865

To Mrs. Bixby, November 21, 1864

IV.              Assessments of Lincoln, Old and New

  1. Frederick Douglass, Oration in Memory of Abraham Lincoln (packet) (12/6)
  2. James Engell and Richard Weaver on Lincoln’s Rhetoric (12/11)
  3. TBA (12/13)
 
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