I studied the issue when I wrote a book called Baby Boom II. I had noticed many obvious similarities between the period 30 years after the Civil War and similar period In the 1970s.
As I studied the issue I discovered that there was a baby-boom resulting from the Civil War.
What was of great interest to me was the rise of a movement very similar to the hippies in that earlier Baby-boom. No history of that era had been written at that time. So I wrote my own.
The parents of the Civil War boomers were mostly in the new territories where they had moved after surviving the War. The political movement that they created was named the People's Party. The People's Party matured over several decades and became the Progressive movement. Here is a modest but good study of the People's party.
The Civil War baby boom had all of the same qualities of the WWII baby-boom including health-food nuts, sexual freedom, music (ragtime) clothing, new businesses and communes.
What I am now realizing, thanks to the Tea Party, is that both baby-boom movements and the Tea Party are drawing on an indigenous American political attitude. All three, have a complete contempt for secretive and corrupt government practices.
How this unusual, nearly mystical, phenomenon keeps popping its head up at the time it is most needed, will remain beyond my understanding. But in all three cases (we still have two months to go to see if the Tea Party is going to have its impact) there was a vast improvement in the level of American democracy.