The United States of America

The United States of America

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The United States of America

The United States of America

Read FREE!

Excerpt

From the inauguration of Thomas Jefferson at the beginning of the nineteenth century to the outbreak of the Civil War sixty years elapsed. Since the Civil War another period of sixty years is just drawing to its close. The student of American history finds a marked contrast between these two equal periods. In the first the emphasis is upon the confirmation of the physical, political, and constitutional foundations of national power -- the expansion of our domain to the Pacific by migration, purchase, and conquest; upon the broadening of the basis of democracy by the extension of the suffrage, the popularization of official function, the liberalization of state constitutions; and, above all, upon the vindication of the Hamiltonian-Websterian doctrine of a strong central government as against repeated assertions of the Federal principle of states' rights culminating in secession and war. A valued critic of the first volume of "The United States of America" has justly summarized it as an exposition of "the gradual permeating, molding, assimilating, of various communities and institutions by a steady expanding force indicated by the term 'nationality.'"

The emphasis of the present volume, which deals with the post-war period, is quite different. The author's theme is still the development of American democracy, but the conditions of that development are changed. New problems have arisen. Instead of the sectional cleavage between North and South along political-constitutional lines, we have an economic sectionalism between East and West. Instead of the pre-war attitude of noninterference with business on the part of the government, we note the consciousness -- dawning slowly at first, but growing strong with the rapid development of industrial consolidation -- of the need for some sort of Federal control of "big business." Instead of the traditional policy of detachment from the rival-

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