The first chapter of the book Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution by James M. McPherson touches on the subject of the so-called second Revolution. One of the main arguments is the comparison of the events of the 1860s and the events of the first American Revolution (McPherson, 1992). Among other things, the author pays great attention to the reaction of various scientists, philosophers, and historians to the events that took place in America. Also, in this chapter, the author touches on the historical background of this second revolution, describing in detail the situation of the slaves who lived at that time.
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Comparing the events of the two revolutions that thundered in the 18th and 19th centuries in America, the author reveals them through the prism of the views of the participants in these events. This argument is rather persuasive, because, citing many quotes, it highlights the attitude of Americans and their fears about the Civil War. However, the reaction of various scientists of those times does not seem so convincing. Certainly, the thoughts of Marx or Engels on this issue are important for the assessment of events. On the other hand, they are expressed through the prism of the ideology followed by these philosophers, which is deeply different from the experience of Americans. Finally, summarizing the situation of the slaves who were eager to gain freedom, the author quite convincingly demonstrates the prerequisites of the Civil War. Thus, this argument is critical to understanding the depth of the problems of 19th-century American society.
The seventh chapter, titled Liberty and Power in the Second American Revolution, covers the topic of liberty and civil rights. The author of the book puts forward the main argument concerning the Civil Rights Act of 1866. This chapter describes the controversy that this law, along with the Fourteenth Amendment, caused. The arguments in the chapter seem quite persuasive since they address the issue of liberty in America. This problem has been and remains relevant, and the parties have had lively discussions about it. By presenting the points of view of different parties, in turn, the author demonstrates how deep the problem of civil rights is. With these examples, James M. McPherson convincingly confirms the argument about the importance of this historical period for the United States.
McPherson, J. M. 1992. Abraham Lincoln and the second American revolution. Oxford University Press.