T HE slavery question, after the repeal of the Missouri Compromise in 1854, became so grave that the historian in describing the period is apt to convey the impression that it engrossed the minds of Northern men, that a large part of the North was resolved upon resistance to the extension of slavery, spending all its energies in the controversy, and that the country stood still, awaiting the issue of the tremendous conflict. But for him who aims to write the story of events within the memory of many men now living, it is an advantage that he may presume upon their recollection to fill the gaps involved in the very art of writing history. "Happy the people whose annals are tiresome," said Montesquieu; and in stirring epochs the routine of work and the round of pleasures of the majority -- these blank leaves of history which, if written over, would indeed be tiresome -- are overlooked by the reader in the interest excited by the characteristic events. To men born during and since the war of the secession, the events of 1850-60 are almost as far away in spirit as the French Revolution is from their fathers and their grandfathers. When under the
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Publication information: Book title: History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850 to the McKinley-Bryan Campaign of 1896. Volume: 2. Edition: New. Contributors: James Ford Rhodes - Author. Publisher: Macmillan. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1892. Page number: 459.
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