Civil War Lecture Series: Lincoln and the Constitution
President Abraham Lincoln’s “elastic Constitution” will be the topic of the first program in Angelo State University’s 2014-15 Civil War Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, in the C.J. Davidson Conference Center on the university campus.
Dr. Brian Dirck of Anderson University in Indiana will speak on “Abraham Lincoln’s Constitution” in the Davidson Center located in the Houston Harte University Center, 1910 Rosemont. Author of “Lincoln and Davis: Imagining America, 1809-1865” (2001), “Lincoln the Lawyer” (2007) and “Lincoln and the Constitution” (2012), Dirck will discuss how the Civil War era changed Americans’ view of the U.S. Constitution.
“While so many Americans of Lincoln’s day worried that the war and its pressures would destroy the Constitution, seeing it as a brittle instrument that would break if placed under too much pressure,” Dirck said, “I will argue that he saw the Constitution as bendable, malleable, and adaptable to fit the changing circumstances of the times. In this way, he helped move Americans away from older, more rigid concepts of constitutionalism, and towards a sense of the Constitution as something that could change with the times.”
Dirck’s appearance is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities Texas. It will coincide with a traveling exhibit, “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” which will be on display from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 18-26 in the Davidson Center.
The Civil War Lecture Series, which commemorates the 150th anniversary of the four-year conflict, is in its final year at ASU. The series and the exhibit are free and open to the public.
The final year of the History Department’s Civil War Lecture Series also will include lectures on legal history, football, music, horses, journalism, and the legacy of the American Civil War. For more information, visit the Civil War Lecture Series page.