The Middle Period, 1817-1858

The Middle Period, 1817-1858

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The Middle Period, 1817-1858

The Middle Period, 1817-1858

Read FREE!

Excerpt

There is no more serious and delicate task in literature and morals than that of writing the history of the United States from 1816 to 1860. The periods which precede this may be treated without fear of arousing passion, prejudice, and resentment, and with little danger of being misunderstood. Even the immaculateness of Washington may be attacked without exciting anything worse than a sort of uncomfortable admiration for the reckless courage of the assailant. But when we pass the year 1820, and especially when we approach the year 1860, we find ourselves in a different world. We find ourselves in the midst of the ideas, the motives, and the occurrences which, and of the men who, have, in large degree, produced the animosities, the friendships, and the relations between parties and sections which prevail to-day.

Serious and delicate as the task is, however, the time has arrived when it should be undertaken in a thoroughly impartial spirit. The continued misunderstanding between the North and the South is an ever present menace to the welfare of both sections and of the entire nation. It makes it almost impossible to decide any question of our politics upon its merits. It offers an . . .

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