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Prudence, Politics, and the Proclamation

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Publication Date: August 2007

Publisher(s): Heritage Foundation (Washington, D.C.)

Author(s): Allen C. Guelzo

Series: First Principles

Topic: Politics (Nationalism)

Keywords: Thought; Lincoln; first principles; Prudence

Type: Other

Coverage: United States


Abraham Lincoln understood emancipation not as the satisfaction of a "spirit" overriding the law, nor as the moment of fusion between the Constitution and absolute moral theory, but as a goal to be achieved through prudential means so that worthwhile consequences might result. In Lincoln, we have our best glimpse of prudence in a liberal democracy.