By James M. McPherson
James McPherson has emerged as one in every of America's best historians. Battle Cry of Freedom, his Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the Civil warfare, was once a countrywide bestseller that Hugh Brogan, in The ny instances booklet Review, known as "history writing of the top order." In that quantity, McPherson accrued within the large sweep of occasions, the political, social, and cultural forces at paintings through the Civil struggle period. Now, in Abraham Lincoln and the second one American Revolution, he bargains a sequence of considerate and fascinating essays on points of Lincoln and the conflict that experience infrequently been mentioned in depth.
McPherson back screens his willing perception and sterling prose as he examines numerous serious subject matters in American background. He seems heavily on the President's function as Commander-in-Chief of the Union forces, displaying how Lincoln cast a countrywide army approach for victory. He explores the significance of Lincoln's nice rhetorical talents, uncovering how--through parables and figurative language--he was once uniquely capable of speak either the aim of the struggle and a brand new which means of liberty to the folk of the North. In one other part, McPherson examines the Civil warfare as a moment American Revolution, describing how the Republican Congress elected in 1860 handed an excellent blitz of latest legislation (rivaling the 1st hundred days of the recent Deal), and the way the struggle not just destroyed the social constitution of the previous South, yet significantly altered the stability of energy in the United States, finishing 70 years of Southern strength within the nationwide government.
The Civil conflict was once the only such a lot reworking and defining event in American historical past, and Abraham Lincoln continues to be an important determine within the pantheon of our mythology. those swish essays, written through considered one of America's prime historians, provide clean and strange views on either.
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Additional resources for Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution
That “is a libel upon the whole character and conduct of the men of ‘76,” said Bryant. ” The South was rebelling “not in the interest of general humanity, but of a domestic despotism. ” Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, added the New York Tribune, invoked “Natural Rights against Established Institutions,” while “Mr. Jeff. ”10 Many secessionists conceded that their movement was essentially a counterrevolution against the anticipated revolutionary threat to slavery. Indeed, they proudly affirmed it.
The war can ony be ended by annihilating that Oligarchy which formed and rules the South and makes the war—by annihilating a state of so ciety. ” The congressional leader of the radical Republicans, Thaddeus Stevens, was equally outspoken. We must “treat this war as a radical revolution,” he said. Reconstruction must “revolutionize Southern institutions, habits, and manners. ”6 European radicals also viewed the American Civil War as a revolution. In London, Karl Marx followed the American war with intense interest.
No. It is a matter of interpretation and emphasis within the context of a fluid and rapidly changing crisis situation. The Civil War started out as one kind of conflict and ended as something quite different. These apparently contradictory positions about Lincoln the conservative versus Lincoln the revolutionary can be reconciled by focusing on this process. The attempt to reconcile them can tell us a great deal about the nature of the American Civil War. That war has been viewed as a revolution—as the second American Revolution—in three different senses.
Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution by James M. McPherson