SAT Subject US History Practice Question 983: Answer and Explanation
64. The Civil War has been called the "Second American Revolution" because
A. it made the United States totally independent of Great Britain, which, for the first time, accepted its former colony's political and economic independence.
B. it eliminated the old economic system of slavery and set the country on the road to rapid and unhindered economic growth.
C. the methods of fighting were directly inherited from the war for independence.
D. Abraham Lincoln has been called the second George Washington because of his statesmanship and his military leadership.
E. the problems of race, the fundamental contradiction in American society, were solved.
Correct Answer: B
The elimination of slavery brought the United States onto the road to world economic leadership because the existence of slavery had been holding it back, according to the historians Charles and Mary Beard. They analyzed the development of the United States from an economic point of view. Full, unhindered capitalism won in the Civil War was the basis of the "Second American Revolution." The War of 1812 has been called the "Second War for American Independence" (A) because Britain finally recognized that the United States was no longer her possession. Guerrilla warfare (C), which was characteristic of the patriots in the Revolution, was not a major factor in the Civil War. Historians disagree over Lincoln's ability as a military leader (D), and regardless, similarities between Washington and Lincoln alone would probably not be a reason to call the war the "Second American Revolution." The problems of race (E) were certainly not solved by the abolition of slavery-we are still arguing over issues from affirmative action to the flying of Confederate battle flags over state capitols today.