The prominent historians Beards were very precise as to what they called a “revolution.” In 1940 Louis Hacker briefly summed up what later became recognized as the Hacker-Beard Thesis: “The American Civil War turned out to be a revolution indeed. But its striking achievement was the triumph of industrial capitalism. The industrial capitalist, through their political spokesmen, the Republicans, had succeeded in capturing the state and using it as an instrument to strengthen their economic position. It was no accident, therefore, that while the war was waged on the field and through Negro emancipation, in Congress’ halls the victory was made secure by the passage of tariff, banking, public-land, railroad, and contract labor legislation.”
Some famous historians and James McPherson occasionally talk of Abraham Lincolns “Second American Revolution” (the title of one of McPhersons books). They are absolutely correct to describe Lincoln as a revolutionary, however, the explanations they present to support this point of view are not fully complete. It is true that Lincoln led a revolution, but it was an anti-American revolution against nearly all the founding values of the country. It was a revolution against: free-market capitalism (Lincoln was a committed mercantilist); the principles of the Declaration of Independence; the Constitution; the system of states rights and federalism that was created by the founders; and the prohibitions against waging war on civilians embodied in the international law of the time as well as the canons of Western Christian civilization. Lincoln through all of his life never believed in equality of all races. He always viewed whites as the superior race. Maybe he wanted all races to be equal but not in the U.S. Lincoln is thought to save the union, however, it was only geographically, he destroyed it philosophically, and the union was not voluntary anymore. Lincoln eviscerated constitutional liberties in the North, which permanently weakened the constitutional protections of liberty for all Americans. Despite all of the arguing of prominent historians, the fact continues to be revealed as the history moves up but at the same time it sort of steps back away in history. I think, it is an individual right for everyone to view the Civil War as the Second American Revolution or not. Each generation will reason and view this event differently, according to background and political views.