Abraham Lincoln And The Second American Revolution Summary

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In the book, “Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution”, McPherson elaborates on the trials of Abraham Lincoln to keep the Union together despite the growing division between the northern and southern states. The book discusses the legacy of the Civil war in relation to politics, economics, and post-war relations. McPherson presents the question: was the civil war revolutionary? In order to address the question, he defines revolution as “the overthrow of the existing social and political order by internal violence”. McPherson describes the overthrow of slavery as an economic and political revolution. In the socio-economic sense, the war was revolutionary when Abraham Lincoln decided that to preserve the union, slavery must be abolished. …show more content…
When he realized this strategy was failing (due to civilian aide to the resistance), Lincoln came to a “radical” conclusion that he must shift to a total war strategy, and destroy slavery to “…create a new birth of freedom in order to preserve the Union”. The total war strategy destroyed the slavery institute by cutting off its resources, equipment and food. McPherson discussed that from Lincoln’s perspective there had been a shift in the relationship between liberty and property in America. The constitution states that “…all men are created equal”. Lincoln interpreted that the word “men” included Negros. He asserted that we had departed from the ideas of Thomas Jefferson that liberty of one man to another meant nothing “…when in conflict with another man’s right of property”. Instead, we had adopted a new ideology: “make slaves of other people”. Lincoln wanted to re-adopt the Declaration of Independence & its practices to save the union, sparking fear in southern planters that eventually led to secession and the Civil War. Lincoln believed secession to be unconstitutional, and it being his duty to defend the constitution, he was obligated to resort to force to prevent these things from …show more content…
Lincoln was an effective war present due to the fact that he was smart enough to realize his limits and his lack of military experience. Lincoln 's best asset to the Union was his political side. He was able to put a lid on messy political situations and keep the Union out of potentially undesirable encounters. Through the Emancipation Proclamation Lincoln was able to connect his goal of preserving the union to the abolition of slavery, while not “stepping on the toes” of the border states that practiced slavery. Lincoln’s fundamental goal was to turn the war from a political focus to a moral focus to boost Northern support. In addition, he hoped that the promise of freedom would cause revolts among Southern slaves and lead them to support the Northern armies. Finally, Lincoln, himself, had come to believe personally that freeing the slaves was the right thing to

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