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Constitutional Law

Theses/Dissertations

English Master’s Theses

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Full-Text Articles in United States History

Enacting Freedom: How Abraham Lincoln And Ralph Waldo Emerson Completed The American Revolution, Ryan K. Stimson May 2011

Enacting Freedom: How Abraham Lincoln And Ralph Waldo Emerson Completed The American Revolution, Ryan K. Stimson

English Master’s Theses

Slavery thrust America into a moral and legal dilemma. The Constitution and Declaration of Independence offered contradicting readings with regards to natural law and actual law. Slavery became representative of the gulf of interpretation between these two documents. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Lysander Spooner were moral refomers that attacked slavery by supporting the message of equality found within the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Dew and Rufus Choate were proslavery theorists who regularly used history as a means to legitimize slavery. William Henry Seward called for the support of a "Higher Law" than the Constitution that owes more to the verbiage ...