By Herman Belz
This extraordinary portrait of Abraham Lincoln present in this booklet 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 eventually a richer Lincoln than has come via some of the biographies of Lincoln written at a distance after his demise. to those that are well-known purely with some of the retouchedversions of Lincoln's lifestyles, Abraham Lincoln: A Press Portrait might be a welcome-if occasionally surprising-addition to the literature surrounding the guy who's might be the relevant determine in all of yank historical past. The brutality, certainly that malignancy of a few of the therapy Lincoln acquired by the hands of the clicking could surprise these readers who think the second one half the 20th century has a monopoly at the journalism of insult, outrage, and indignation. That Lincoln acted with the calm and readability he did less than the barrage of such assaults can in simple terms increase his stature as one of many nice political leaders of any country at any time.
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Extra info for Abraham Lincoln, constitutionalism, and equal rights in the Civil War era
22 My understanding of Lincoln questions this interpretation. A principal ground on which I do so is the fact that Lincoln conceived of his political thought and actions in constitutionalist rather than revolutionary terms. Discussing the Civil War as a revolution, James M. McPherson observes that imprecision in defining the word 'revolution' has been the source of historiographical confusion in interpreting the conflict. "23 In analyzing revolution historically as a type of political action, however, and in the light of political theory, it seems to me equally important to take into account the element of deliberate design and conscious intent.
If the war was a revolution, then Reconstruction as a confirmation of the results of the war was by definition a revolutionary process. Although northern war aims were not revolutionary, it is true that at the end of the war conditions were sufficiently unsettled to constitute a potentially revolutionary situation. Under the circumstances, Reconstruction might have been projected with revolutionary purpose and intent. So unrevolutionary was the thinking of the Republican authors of Reconstruction policy, howeveror so inconclusive and unformed any revolutionary aspirations they may have harboredthat they forced the defeated Confederates to exercise the right of consent and participate in the reconstruction of their own state governments.
I acknowledge this support with deep gratitude. I am especially grateful for scholarly criticism and insight provided by Michael Les Benedict, Mark E. , Phillip Shaw Paludan, James McClellan, and Paul Mor- Page xi eno. I am indebted to Dr. Paul Cimbala, editor of Fordham University Press's The North's Civil War series, for suggesting publication of this book and for his thoughtful and constructive editorial judgment. Finally I wish to thank Dr. Mary Beatrice Schulte, Executive Editor of Fordham University Press, for the expertise, energy, and good will with which she guided preparation of the manuscript.
Abraham Lincoln, constitutionalism, and equal rights in the Civil War era by Herman Belz