The Political Jeremiad Of Henry Adams

The Political Jeremiad Of Henry Adams

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The political and economic transformations the US went through in the wake of the Civil War created among many American citizens a strong sense of disappointment regarding the workings of government. In a tone reminiscent of the Puritan jeremiads, Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918), historian, essayist, novelist, and one of the keenest observers of the US political scene throughout the second half of the nineteenth century, lamented the fact that America’s system of government had reached such a critical point during Reconstruction that it had become urgent to recover the original meaning of the Constitution. This book examines Adams’ complaint against postbellum America, its institutions, politicians and citizens, clear evidence of a personal commitment to save the republic from the moral and political deterioration brought about by the Civil War. Unable to combine the principles of his own more traditional civic Republicanism with the new realities of industrial and financial...

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