Essay on Abraham Lincoln And The Second American Revolution

753 Words 4 Pages
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. This decision ultimately destroyed the socio-economic structure of the south that was built on slave labor. Politically, the southerners began to lose their political dominance due to the rise of the Republican Party. Opposing slavery due to it degradation of manual labor, the Republican party changed the nature of the American political system. Barrington Moore described the war as “the last capitalist revolution” due to the fact that it was reactionary (based on the fear of change) as well as progressive. Initially, in relation to the war, Lincoln took the conservative stance of “standing on middle ground” and fighting a limited war (a strategy to get the other side to surrender without harming civilians and private property).…

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