The Life of Thaddeus Stevens: A Study in American Political History, Especially in the Period of the Civil War and Reconstruction

The Life of Thaddeus Stevens: A Study in American Political History, Especially in the Period of the Civil War and Reconstruction

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The Life of Thaddeus Stevens: A Study in American Political History, Especially in the Period of the Civil War and Reconstruction

The Life of Thaddeus Stevens: A Study in American Political History, Especially in the Period of the Civil War and Reconstruction

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The period of the Civil War and the Reconstruction of the Union has been the subject of more historical inquiry and production within recent years than has any other in American history. The books, essays, magazine articles, monographs and reminiscences that have been devoted to this period indicate the prevalent interest which the epoch holds for many men of many minds. As the period recedes in time and other events of moment come and go, there may be a recession in this interest, but it is not likely permanently to decline. As the history of modern Europe still centers about the French Revolution, so will the tremendous upheaval of the Civil War continue to occupy the center of the stage in the history of the nineteenth century in America. That struggle has been called from the bench of the Supreme Court of the United States "the greatest civil war known in the history of the human race." It is but natural, indeed inevitable, that generations of Americans should be interested in a struggle that has so vitally affected the history and destiny of their nation.

Thaddeus Stevens was the dominant figure in the American Congress during this notable period. It may reasonably be claimed that no more masterful leader ever directed the politics and legislation of the House of Representatives. The House under Stevens was not ruled by a system that created a one-man official power. A man then led the House according to his strength and the strength of his cause. Stevens was given no set of rules that arbitrarily suppressed . . .

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