45 pages 1 hour read

James M. Mcpherson

Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution

Nonfiction | Biography | Adult | Published in 1983

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Essay Topics


The text explores how the Civil War changed the meaning of liberty in the United States. With references, explain how the concept of liberty changed in meaning throughout the war.


In Chapter 2 McPherson highlights three different aspects of the Civil War that Abraham Lincoln’s activity helped to make revolutionary. What are these three aspects, and do you agree that Lincoln’s actions helped to define them as revolutionary? Would the results have been the same without his actions? Explain.


Throughout Chapter 3 McPherson highlights several responses that Southern leaders had to Lincoln’s goals for emancipation, viewing it as an act that violated liberties enshrined by the Constitution. Go to Page 46 and read the excerpts of the Constitution there. Do you think any of these arguments against emancipation are legally sound, by the letter of the law? Why or why not? Does this give you a better understanding of the political world Lincoln had to navigate?