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Constitution Day Seminar Series The Carthage community is invited to attend the Constitution Day Discussion Series. Co-sponsored by the Kenosha Civil War Museum and the Jack Miller Center, the series engages community members in discussions about the relationships between the Constitution, slavery, and the Civil War. Participants will receive articles and primary sources to facilitate conversations on topics led by Carthage faculty.

“The Reconstruction Amendments”

Noon Friday, Sept. 17, at the Kenosha Civil War Museum
Led by Professor Eric Pullin
Participants in this conversation session will discuss the political struggles that led to the passage of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments. Between 1865 and 1870, many Americans hoped these amendments would transform the United States from a nation “half-slave and half free” to a nation that experienced a “new birth of freedom.” Discussion will explore the tragedies, successes, and hope of the Reconstruction Amendments. 

“The Philosophy of Free Speech in the First Amendment”

Noon Friday, Oct. 15, at the Kenosha Civil War Museum
Led by Professor Paul Ulrich
This discussion will explore the First Amendment as a philosophic text that contains a vision of what it means to be human. It will take into account passages in the Federalist Papers and some speeches by Abraham Lincoln to show that these great political men thought deeply about the highest human faculty, reason. 

“Wartime Freedom: Lessons from the Civil War”

Noon Friday, Nov. 19, at the Kenosha Civil War Museum
Led by Professor Thomas Powers
Participants will consider the extent to which a tension between liberty and security is built into the logic of the United States Constitution. The first most serious test of the question of how best to reconcile these two competing concerns occurred during the Civil War. President Lincoln took steps that are debated to this day and the best starting point for thinking about his position is to be found in a series of landmark Supreme Court decisions that followed. We will examine Lincoln’s actions, his defense of them, and the response from civil libertarians on the Supreme Court. 


History, Political Science, Kenosha Civil War Museum, Jack Miller Center


Eric Pullin,