Everett's career illustrates what was happening in the schools as well as in the larger society. The old rhetoric departments, which emphasized persuasive public speaking about public affairs, eventually became departments of English, which forgot Ciceronianism as they devoted themselves strictly to literary studies. Everett exemplifies the transition from classicism to polite literature. He was a neoclassical orator, partly Ciceronian and partly belletristic. He was successful primarily with those who appreciated this neoclassicism, that is, the more conservative genteel Americans; but his oratorical popularity extended to the general public. His lifetime popularity and the fact that his collected orations were reprinted frequently until thirty years after his death show that the neoclassical ideal was not dead, but his failures show that it was dying.