Educator's Guide: Social Studies: Presidential Powers


Presidents Lincoln and Davis took many legal steps normally reserved for their Congresses. Both Presidents exceeded their powers under their constitutions and violated basic rights guaranteed under the constitutions. Were they justified?


Students will compare the presidential powers granted under the U.S. and Confederate Constitutions. Divide the class into groups, each group will research an aspect of Lincoln and Davis' presidential violation of power and report to the class their findings. Each team will analyze the rationalization the Presidents used to justify their policy.


Habeas Corpus Court system Military expansion Denial of First Amendment rights of free speech and assembly Monetary issues

Classroom Activities:

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies


  • 9- 12


Students will analyze the expansion of presidential powers during the Civil War.


Research materials, pen and paper.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

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