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The American Spirit in Literature: A Chronicle of Great Interpreters
     

The American Spirit in Literature: A Chronicle of Great Interpreters

by Bliss Perry
 

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An Alexander Hamilton may urge with passionate force the adoption of the Constitution, without any firm conviction as to its permanence. The most clear-sighted American of the Civil War period recognized this element of uncertainty in our American adventure when he declared: "We are now testing whether this nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long

Overview

An Alexander Hamilton may urge with passionate force the adoption of the Constitution, without any firm conviction as to its permanence. The most clear-sighted American of the Civil War period recognized this element of uncertainty in our American adventure when he declared: "We are now testing whether this nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure." More than fifty years have passed since that war rearmed the binding force of the Constitution and apparently sealed the perpetuity of the Union. Yet the gigantic economic and social changes now in progress are serving to show that the United States has its full share of the anxieties which beset all human institutions in this daily altering world.
"We are but strangers in an inn, but passengers in a ship," said Roger Williams. This sense of the transiency of human effort, the perishable nature of human institutions, was quick in the consciousness of the gentleman adventurers and sober Puritan citizens who emigrated from England to the New World. It had been a familiar note in the poetry of that Elizabethan period which had followed with such breathless interest the exploration of America. It was a conception which could be shared alike by a saint like John Cotton or a soldier of fortune like John Smith. Men are tent-dwellers. Today they settle here, and tomorrow they have struck camp and are gone. We are strangers and sojourners, as all our fathers were.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940012292766
Publisher:
Library of Alexandria
Publication date:
02/26/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
395 KB

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