In his first Inaugural Address, what did Lincoln say was his responsibility under the Constitution?
Obviously, slavery was a major issue among the states when Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated. Lincoln believed that he needed to communicate his desire to uphold the Constitution of the United States. He felt that southern states needed to understand this. For this reason, he states his responsibility as president to uphold the Constitution in the very first sentence.
In compliance with a custom as old as the Government itself, I appear before you to address you briefly and to take in your presence the oath prescribed by the Constitution of the United States to be taken by the President before he enters on the execution of this office."
He did not open his speech with this line by accident, he wanted to demonstrate that he was a faithful servant of Constitutional government early in the proceedings. The speech continues to express how Lincoln desires to respect the Constitution and his role within it. With regards to Article IV, Section 2 of the United States Constitution,...
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