By James M. McPherson
James McPherson has emerged as certainly one of America's most interesting historians. Battle Cry of Freedom, his Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the Civil conflict, used to be a countrywide bestseller that Hugh Brogan, in The big apple instances ebook Review, known as "history writing of the top order." In that quantity, McPherson accumulated within the vast sweep of occasions, the political, social, and cultural forces at paintings through the Civil warfare period. Now, in Abraham Lincoln and the second one American Revolution, he bargains a sequence of considerate and interesting essays on elements of Lincoln and the conflict that experience hardly been mentioned in depth.
McPherson back screens his prepared perception and sterling prose as he examines numerous serious issues in American historical past. He seems heavily on the President's position 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 abilities, uncovering how--through parables and figurative language--he used to be uniquely in a position to speak either the aim of the struggle and a brand new that means of liberty to the folks of the North. In one other part, McPherson examines the Civil conflict as a moment American Revolution, describing how the Republican Congress elected in 1860 handed an astounding blitz of latest legislation (rivaling the 1st hundred days of the hot Deal), and the way the warfare not just destroyed the social constitution of the previous South, yet significantly altered the stability of strength in the United States, finishing 70 years of Southern strength within the nationwide government.
The Civil battle was once the one so much reworking and defining event in American background, and Abraham Lincoln continues to be crucial determine within the pantheon of our mythology. those swish essays, written by means of one in all America's major historians, supply clean and strange views on either.
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Additional resources for Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution
The Henry E. Huntington Library “Lincoln and Liberty,” in Essays in the History of Liberty: Seaver Institute Lectures at the Huntington Library (1988). Gettysburg College Lincoln and the Strategy of Unconditional Surrender, 23rd Annual Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture, 1984. The Louis A. Warren Lincoln Library and Museum “How Lincoln Won the War with Metaphors,” Eighth Annual R. Gerald McMurtry Lecture, 1985. The Abraham Lincoln Association “The Hedgehog and the Foxes: Lincoln and Some Contemporaries,” in Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association 12 (1991).
The initial challenge to Beard’s thesis of the war as an economic revolution came from economic historians in the 1960s. They argued, first, that the basic developments which produced the industrial revolution in the United States—the railroad, the corporation, the factory system, the techniques of mass production of interchangeable parts, the mechanization of agriculture, and many other aspects of a modernizing industrial economy—began a generation or more before the Civil War, and that while the war may have confirmed and accelerated some of these developments, it produced no fundamental change of direction.
This revolutionary act had important consequences for social and economic relations in the new order. “The Second American Revolution,” writes Foner, “profoundly if temporarily affected the relationship of the state to the economic order. … The freedmen won, in the vote, a form of leverage their counterparts in other societies did not possess. ”26 In Foner’s judgment, this exercise of political power was more important than land redistribution would have been. ”27 Reconstruction legislatures enacted certain taxes, mechanic’s and renter’s lien laws, measures concerning credit and the like that protected the interests of sharecroppers and wage-earners against landlords and employers.