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ERIC Number: ED466427
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jun-18
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Lincoln's Spot Resolutions. Teaching with Documents.
National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.
Tension has existed between the legislative and the executive branches of the U.S. government over war powers since the United States Constitution simultaneously vested Congress with the power to declare war and the President with the power of Commander in Chief. When Texas declared its independence and claimed additional territory to the Rio Grande, Mexico broke diplomatic relations with the United States and refused to recognize either the Texas annexation or the Rio Grande border. When President Polk drafted a message asking Congress to declare war on Mexico in May 1846, he asserted that "Mexico has passed the boundary of the United States, has invaded our territory and shed American blood upon America's soil." A freshman Whig congressman from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln, questioned whether the spot where blood had been shed was really U.S. soil. On December 22, 1847, he introduced the "Spot Resolutions," one of several congressional resolutions opposing the war. It was never acted upon. This lesson plan uses two pages of Lincoln's "Spot Resolutions," as well as photographs of James Polk, John L. Slidell, Zachary Taylor, Daniel Webster, John Quincy Adams, Charles Sumner, and Abraham Lincoln as historical primary source documents. The lesson plan provides teaching activities, including history and civics and government standards correlation and document analysis activities. Contains the documents and a written document analysis worksheet. (BT)
National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001. Tel: 866-272-6272 (Toll Free); Fax: 301-837-0483; e-mail: For full text:
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: Mexico