When did America go from “These United States of America” to “The United States” (i.e. singular)? When did citizens in this country stop identifying primarily with their state (be it Massachusetts, South Carolina, or Virginia) and instead call themselves first and foremost “Americans”?
While we celebrate our country’s birthday tomorrow, many of us are unaware of how the U.S. Constitution — and our culture around the role of the federal government — has changed since the founding. Many of those changes are due to the Civil War and President Lincoln.
Berkeley Law’s constitutional law expert (and my colleague and faculty director) Dan Farber discusses these changes on the Weekly Constitutional podcast, “Abe Lincoln’s Constitution”:
Worth reflecting on this subject as we celebrate the 4th during turbulent political times.