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Our Secret ConstitutionHow Lincoln Redefined American Democracy$
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George P. Fletcher

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195156287

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195156285.001.0001

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Radical Gettysburg

Radical Gettysburg

(p.35) Chapter 2 Radical Gettysburg
Our Secret Constitution

George P. Fletcher (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter carefully analyzes the text of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address – beginning with the opening line, which evokes the Declaration of Independence rather than the Constitution – as the “preamble” to the new constitutional legal order. The author focuses on themes of nationhood, national identity, divine mission, equality and popular democracy, in contrast to the Constitution's original emphasis on a republic made up of free individuals.

Keywords:   Constitution, Declaration of Independence, divine mission, equality, Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln, national identity, nationhood, popular democracy, republic

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