Program Details

The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln at 150 Years: Lessons for a New Age

Stephen Engle
Video Catch-up

Course Description

Few presidents came into office with less political experience and lower popular expectations than did Abraham Lincoln. Still, he was a man of vision, ambition, conviction, and determination. In explaining the contest to northerners, Lincoln gave new meaning to the ideas of self-governance and relied on the cooperation of citizens to preserve the federal Union by responding to his call. His task appeared larger than the presidency itself, and he spent four years defining the Union’s course in restoring the founding fathers’ federalism. Along the way, he presided over citizens who looked to his leadership to keep his oath to preserve and defend the Union and the Constitution. He led the nation back to its formation, guiding and cajoling northerners to follow his lead and educating those citizens who lacked an understanding of the paramount meaning of the war and their relationship to the cause. This course will revisit his presidency with an eye toward lessons for a new political age.

About the Instructor

  • Stephen D. Engle, Ph.D., is professor of history, a prize-winning author, and director of the Alan B. and Charna Larkin Symposium on the American Presidency. He is a past Fulbright Scholar to Germany, a C-Span lecturer in American history, Andrew Mellon Fellow, and is currently a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, and a lecturer for the Smithsonian Institution’s Associates Program. In 2016, he was named Florida Atlantic University’s Distinguished Teacher of the Year and in 2019, he was appointed FAU's Faculty Athletic Representative to the NCAA.