By Herman Belz
This extraordinary portrait of Abraham Lincoln present in this publication is drawn solely from the writing of his contemporaries and extends from his political beginnings in Springfield to his assassination. It finds a extra seriously beleaguered, much less godlike, and at last a richer Lincoln than has come via a number of the biographies of Lincoln written at a distance after his dying. to those that are conventional merely with a few of the retouchedversions of Lincoln's lifestyles, Abraham Lincoln: A Press Portrait can be a welcome-if occasionally surprising-addition to the literature surrounding the guy who's maybe the significant determine in all of yankee historical past. The brutality, certainly that malignancy of a few of the remedy Lincoln got by the hands of the click may perhaps surprise these readers who think the second one 1/2 the 20 th century has a monopoly at the journalism of insult, outrage, and indignation. That Lincoln acted with the calm and readability he did lower than the barrage of such assaults can in simple terms improve his stature as one of many nice political leaders of any kingdom at any time.
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Extra resources for Abraham Lincoln, constitutionalism, and equal rights in the Civil War era
25 I question the value of this revolutionary interpretation both as a contribution to historical understanding of Lincoln's statesmanship and constitutionalism and as a teaching concerning the nature of the American political tradition. A second issue relevant to the war as a revolutionary experience is the nature and tendency of civil rights policy in the Civil War era. The revolutionary thesis argues that wartime emancipation, the abolition of slavery, and the conferral of citizenship upon blacks in the Reconstruction amendments fundamentally altered American society and revolutionized the constitutional order.
10 To the extent that they were Marxist economic determinists, progressive historians like the Beards may have considered the Second American Revolution historically necessary. That did not mean, however, that it was a good revolution from the standpoint of social philosophy. On the contrary, the capitalist triumph marked by the Civil War threatened the existence of political and economic democracy in the United States. So strong was this implied normative judgment that, in a relative sense, the revolutionary thesis was sympathetic to the southern planter class because it resisted northern capitalism.
273-75, 287; George Fort Milton, The Use of Presidential Power, 1789-1943 (Boston: Little, Brown, 1944), pp. 109-11. 12 Rossiter, Constitutional Dictatorship, pp. 212, 224. See also Rossiter's "Constitutional Dictatorship in the Atomic Age," The Review of Politics, 11 (October 1949), 395-418. 13 But this changed in the 1960s as the liberal consensus in American historical writing collapsed, and presidential governmentnow called the "imperial presidency"came under attack in the aftermath of the Vietnam War.