Columbia University law Professor George Fletcher says that there are two distinct trends in the U.S. constitution. Prior to the Civil War the document emphasized voluntary association, individual freedom and republican elitism. President Lincoln ushered in the beginning of a trend toward organic nationhood, equality for all persons, and popular democracy. Although it took many years for the country to begin to achieve the latter goals, they are the bedrock of the newer, more complete constitution. Fletcher's book OUR SECRET CONSTITUTION: HOW LINCOLN REDEFINED AMERICAN DEMOCRACY is published by Oxford Press.

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