To What Extent Did The Civil War Constitute A Revolution In American Society? Whether or not the Civil War constituted a revolution in American society has long been debated by historians. But if you take a look at history, you can clearly see that in fact, the civil war did constitute a revolution in American society by three big things: Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural, Blacks being allowed to fight in the Union army, and the Emancipation Proclamation. Abraham Lincoln was the profound leader of our country.
In his second inaugural address, Lincoln says, “One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves…Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged”. This way of thinking had not been a way of thinking for anyone before the Civil War.
African Americans were not seen as equals, and to finally have people that weren’t black stepping out and voicing their opinions about back oppression was the first of many signs of revolution. And what came from such thoughts? For the first time in American history, African Americans were allowed to fight in the Union Army. Prior to the war, African Americans had absolutely no rights. No voting rights, no military rights, no nothing. Now, African Americans are gaining the rights that white people have as well.
Now that they are able to fight, they are able to create more change. Finally, the passing of the Emancipation Proclamation was the biggest of all signs that a revolution was constituted. The Emancipation was the saving race for African Americans, and the one thing that ushered in the new social age of America. Blacks were now free men and women. Free to take on the world the way they have always dreamed of. The way that white people had always dreamed they wouldn’t.
That the Civil War indeed constituted a revolution was best expressed by Abraham Lincoln when he stated, “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations”.