Discussion For Constitution Day--How the Civil War Changed the Constitution

Claude Bauer

Forum Host
Jan 8, 2012
Today is Constitution Day, a federal observance that recognizes the adoption of the US Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787. So, it's a good day to reflect on how the Civil War affected the US Constitution. This article from the NY Times by a constitutional scholar sums up the impact of the Civil War on the US Constitution in the areas of:
  • Slavery
  • Secession and Nullification
  • Money and National Power
  • Military Law and Civilians
  • Racial Change and the Movement Toward Racial Equality
It's not the intention of this thread to launch a debate on any of these topics (esp. the first two), all of which have been discussed at length elsewhere on this forum. Rather, let's reflect on and discuss how America's epic struggle in the 1860s impacted what is arguably our most important founding document. Also, please do something to celebrate Constitution Day! The National Archives is a good place to start:

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