Introduction: Delimitations of period; romance and economic change; differentiating imperialisms of East, South, West; romantic philosophies: Physiocratic agrarianism, French equalitarianism, English laissez faire; a counter-philosophy -slavery and a Greek democracy

Book I
The Mind of the South

The mind of the South old-fashioned. Two germinal sources: Virginia, from which derived Kentucky and Tennessee; South Carolina, from which derived the Black Belt


I. THE OLD DOMINION: The mother of the agrarian West. Transition from middle- class to plantation ideals. Increasingly libertarian


I. Jeffersonianism an expression of native conditions. Interpreted in terms of Pysiocratic agrarianism, natural rights. Terminable nature of compact the source of states-rights doctrine. Struggle between capitalistic and agrarian economics. Virginia the leader of the latter movement
II. John Taylor-Agrarian Economist: Leader of the young Republicans. His works. Theory founded in Physiocratic doctrine. Aristocratic origins of the political state. Examination of the principles of John Adams, Hamilton-social classes derive from exploitation. Danger of a paper aristocracy. His philosophy summarized

III. JOHN MARSHALL--Last of the Virginia Federalists: His strategic position. Middle-class sympathies; intellectual qualities. A politician on the bench. Two fixed ideas: sovereignty of the federal state; sanctity of private property. His decisions Federalistic. Two main groups: sovereignty of the judiciary; irrevocable nature of contract. The Yazoo Fraud case. An arch conservative


I. Plantation backgrounds: The literary renaissance followed English romantic movement. Kennedy's Swallow Barn and the rise of the plantation tradition
II. William Wirt: The man-embodiment of eighteenth century culture. The British Spy-characteristics. Life of Patrick Henry-solution of the problem. Later shift in political sympathies
III. Nathaniel Beverley Tucker-A Virginia Fire Eater. His parochialism; his pessimism. The Partisan Leader-dramatization of Calhoun's philosophy; the note of romantic extravagance. Hatred of democracy-appeal to South Carolina 33


I. William Alexander Caruthers and the transition to romance. The Kentuckian in New York, a contribution to intersectional good will. An appreciation of northern qualities; a criticism of slavery. The Cavaliers of Virginia, the new spirit of romance. His slight reputation
II. John Pendleton Kennedy-A Southern Whig: The man-Jeffersonian backgrounds; influence of Edward Gray. Turned protectionist, accepted the doctrine of progress. A romantic; an amateur. Swallow Barn--an idyl of plantation life- slavery. Horse-Shoe Robinson; Rob of the Bowl-cavalier romance. Quodlibet-a Whig satire of Jacksonianism. His later career
III. Edgar Allan Poe: Relations to southern environment -his prejudices against New England. Aloofness from Virginia ideals. A problem for abnormal psychology and belletristie criticism. An artist and a critic


I. SOUTHERN IMPERIALISM: Shift in attitude towards slavery-consequences to Jeffersonian democracy. The Black Belt-reasons why cotton became king. Reaction of the South to imperialism. Jefferson Davis-his character 57


I. Three streams of thought: Virginia humanitarianism, western individualism, Carolina imperialism. Increasing dominance of the third. Rise of a defensive strategy; appeal to the Constitution
II. John C. Calhoun-Realist. His influence-destroyed Je_ersonianism for the new South. A southern Puritan. His early career-a nationalist. The year 1828 a turning-point-recognition of the danger of democracy to slavery. Two lines of defense: states rights, constitutional checks. Amplification of the second by extension of the principle of the veto. Failure of existing checks to protect minorities. Fallacy in the conception of democratic majorities-an obscuring of the economic basis of politics. Doctrine of the concurrent majority. Conception of democracy-an attack on theory of natural rights. His objective a Greek democracy. Likeness to John Adams
III. Alexander H. Stephens--Constitutionalist: The man -passion for freedom under law. His localism expressed in states rights. A confirmed liberal-fear of extralegal powers. His Constitutional View of the War between the States. Theory of the terminable nature of compact-doctrine of good will. A political thinker, rather than economic. Position on slavery
IV. Francis Lieber-A New-Modeled Federalism: A German liberal influenced by English constitutional practice and the Common Law. His doctrine of historical evolution. Liberty founded in institutional self-government. A laissez-faire conception of the political state


I. Difficulty of the southern position. A reply to northern industrialism- civilization and labor exploitation. Contrast between wage-slavery and black slavery certain advantages of the latter. Southern replies to Uncle Tom's Cabin
II. William J. Grayson: The Hireling and the Slave as a southern document. A contrast: the wretchedness of the wage-slave in industrial centers; the contentment of the black slave on the plantation. His attack on Abolitionists

IV. ADVENTURES IN Belles-Letters
I. Old Charleston: The capitol of the planters-aristocratic, Puritan, Victorian. Traditional home of Federalism. Culture old-fashioned. A distinguished society
II. William Crafts-Charleston Wit: A southern Robert Treat Paine, seeking to domesticate Boston culture in Charleston. His work
III. Hugh Swinton Legaré--Intellectual: A southern Puritan. His career. A legal scholar, interpreting politics in terms of the Common Law. A lexolater, contemptuous of political philosophers. A juridical romantic. Accepted the economics of laissez faire and capitalism. Pessimistic in regard to the South. Hostile to Nullification and Calhoun. The weakness of slavery
IV. William Gilmore Simms: A plebeian snubbed by Charleston, yet loyal to the Charleston parochialisms. A realist hampered by the current romanticisms. The most virile figure of the old South. A rich and generous, nature-likeness to Fielding. The picaresque note in his work. Reasons for his exploitation of "blood-pudding." Lieutenant Porgy. His two major themes: his special frontier compared with Cooper's- his revolutionary tales. His treatment of the Indian. The Yemassee, compared with Cooper. Later life




I. The Inland Empire and Jeffersonianism. Romance and social change. Rise of the middle class, and clash of philosophies. Economic origins of western Whiggery
II. Henry Clay: The embodiment of Whiggery. Reason for his shift from Jeffersonianism. His theory of paternalism


I. Andrew Jackson-Agrarian Liberal: The rise of western equalitarianism. Federalist contempt for a Democrat. Jackson our first great popular leader. Characteristics. Early drift towards middle-class position; reaction to agrarianism. Repudiation of Whiggery. Hatred of aristocracy. His attitude towards the Bank a return to the economics of john Taylor. His attitude towards the state a modified Jeffersonianism. His influence on American democracy. Effect on later Whig strategy
II. Lincoln-Free-Soil Liberal: Liberalism and the Declaration of Independence. A Jeffersonian who came to the defense of natural rights. Equalitarianism and laissez faire. The problem of free soil-a realist seeking to reconcile them. His "divided house" position an appeal to political realism. Good will versus coercive sovereignty. The prose of his speeches. Lincoln and the myth makers

III. THE FRONTIER IN LETTERS: Romance and the Inland Empire. Two main conceptions: Boone and the Dark and Bloody Ground; Crockett and frontier humor

I. The Romantic Frontier
II. The Realistic Frontier
  • (1) Augustus Longstreet and the Georgia Frontier: The native realism of Georgia life. A frontier plebeian who developed middle-class qualities. A follower of Calhoun, but at bottom a Jeffersonian agrarian. With the rise of Abolitionism abandoned natural-rights philosophy. Georgia Scenes-the note of realism 158
  • (2) The Davy Crockett Myth: The popular appeal of the Narrative and the rise of the Crockett myth. Origin at Washington. Three stages: frontier waggery; anti- Jackson spleen; the Alamo adventure. A Whig attempt to catch the coonskin vote-a byproduct of Jacksonian methods. The beginnings in Sketches and Eccentricities. Effect on Davy. The Tour and the Life of Martin Van Buren. Conjectural authorship. How Davy was made a Whig. The Exploits and Adventures. The Narrative-the real Davy a wastrel 165

Book II
The Mind of the Middle East

A product of two centers: Philadelphia, New York. Lack of intellectual backgrounds 173

I. THE OLD capitol

I. Philadelphia the capitol of the older American culture. Its contributions to the Revolutionary debates. Its economic prospects curtailed by topograhy. Its decline with the removal of the national capitol
II. Brockden Brown and French liberalisms-influence of Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. Explanation of their appeal. Alcuin; A Dialogue. Arthur Mervyn, a study in Godwinianism. Wieland and the "blood-pudding' Influence on later fiction in America
III. Robert Montgomery Bird: His contributions to the romantic drama. Nick of the Woods-a realistic treatment of the Indian. A contribution to the myth of western humor


I. New York an economic rather than a cultural capitol. Reasons for its rise. The older Knickerbocker world disintegrating. Stephen Van Rensselaer and John Jacob Astor
II. Intellectual backgrounds: Lack of creativeness. Political divisions. Emergence of the boss-Martin Van Buren and Thurlow Weed
III. James Kent: The last of the old Federalist school. His political theory--a disciple of Fisher Ames. His Commentaries on American Law
IV. Beginnings of the renaissance: Salmagundi; The Croaker Papers. Fitz-Greene Halleck. His views-attitude towards the proletariat. Connecticut; Fanny. The last of the Wits


I. Washington Irving: His detachment. A flâneur. His years abroad. Reaction to the Reform Bill. An incipient liberal. Rediscovery of America. The mission to Madrid Contrast with Cooper. Political principles-drift towards the middle class. A Tour of the Prairies, Astoria, Life of Washington. His early and late work contrasted
II. James Kirke Paulding: His origins-a son of the people, distrustful of the middle class. Defense of America against the English critics. His idealism. The Backwoodsman; The Puritan and His Daughter. His rejection of English "blood- pudding" romantic. A Jeffersonian: Letters from the South an echo of John Taylor's agrarianism; opposed Clay's American Plan- satirized Clay in Koningsmarke. Westward Ho!; The Dutchman's Fireside. An amateur in letters

IV. JAMES FENIMORE COOPER-Critic: The problem of Cooper.
A barometer of his generation. Troubled by the transition from an aristocratic to a capitalistic order-lingered between worlds. His Tory origins-Judge William Cooper. Abandoned Federalism yet ill content with Democracy. Effect of his European travels. Likeness to John Adams-hated all cant. Two phases of his criticism: the older Federalist theories the fallacies of capitalism. The Monikins-an attack on the stake-in-society theory. The Redskins-an attack on capitalistic exploitation. A romanticized eighteenth century his refuge against the vulgarities of Jacksonianism and capitalism. Home as Found and The Redskins as studies in social criticism. His love of the wilderness and hatred of the frontier. The anti-rent trilogy. Picture of the squatter. His growing realism-Wyardotté. His later political philosophy-an ethical interpretation of sovereignty. Failure of the critics to understand Cooper 214


I. William Cullen Bryant-Puritan Liberal: Injustice done him by neglect of his journalistic work. An original mind. Transition from Federalist to Democrat. Influence of the English economists-an English liberal. Never a Jeffersonian, but anti-Whig. Influence of William Leggett and Parke Godwin. Attitude towards the labor movement. Defense of free speech. A critic of the rising capitalism
II. Horace Greeley-Yankee Radical: A practical man seeking a way out of the confusions of the times. His early life; defense of protectionism. His working back to Jeffersonianism. Interest in Fourierism. Champion of the farmer and the wage-earner. His "Vote Yourself a Farm" policy. Interest in the proletariat- interpretation of slavery. Cooperation. An idealist
III. Herman Melville-Pessimist: The source of his pessimism in life itself- effect of frustrations. His ancestry: the Gansevoort strain; the Melville strain. Contrast between mother and son; effect of his marriage. Stages towards pessimism marked by Typee, Mardi, Moby Dick, Pierre. Transcendentalism and reality. His democracy. A critic of America. Spiritual dissatisfactions-Clare!

Book III
The Mind of New England

The New England renaissance the last expression in America of eighteenth-century revolutionary thought. Given a native ethical bias. Twin tendencies of earlier New England. Static conditions of life-the renaissance a movement of liberalism, shaped by the Puritan strain 261



I. Old Boston: Conservatism of temper-a reaction from the revolutionary enthusiasm Of '76. Emphasized by refusal to entertain French romantic theories. The renaissance delayed a generation. The home of the stake-in-society principle; opposition to democracy
II. Fisher Ames and the Tie-Wig School: The spokesman of Boston Federalism. A conservative, given to pessimism. His political philosophy an adaptation of English Whiggery to the Calvinistic conception of stewardship; based on an absolute morality. Prosperity and the Saints-the end of government to protect property; hence it must be strong and coercive. Fear of faction. A repository of aristocratic prejudice
III. Robert Treat Paine, Jr.-Wit: The last of the eighteenth-century Wits. His verse. A Tory-attitude towards the French Revolution. His prose. Contempt for Jacobin doctrine


I. Changing economics after 1812-rise of industrialism. A new spirit of nationalism. Danger of agrarianism, particularism. Rise of the Whig party- middle-class capitalistic. Menace of the new southern school of states rights. Need of a new nationalistic theory of the Constitution
II. Work begun by Joseph Story: A Massachusetts Republican. Characteristics of New England Republicanism. His shift to Whiggery. His Commentaries on the Constitution: derived from the Common Law and The Federalist. His view of the compact-interpretation of "We the people"
III. Daniel Webster-Realist and Constitutionalist: Contrasted with Emerson- English in temperament. Two periods of intellectual development: an eighteenth century realist before 1825; a legalist afterwards. A disciple of Harrington. Two early speeches: The Basis of the Senate, The First Settlement of New England- an elaboration of the economic basis of politics. His economic theory- laissez faire. Shift to protectionism due to changing economics of his constituents. His reply to Hayne. His constitutional theory in The Constitution not a Compact-his debt to Story. His position on slavery-The Seventh of March Speech. Effect on his reputation. Comment of liberals. The Dartmouth College case. His failure


I. THE RENAISSANCE: The movement of liberalism more pronounced in New England because long restrained. Ethical rather than economic; German rather than French. Many-sided but rebellious 309


I. The stir in the church. French romanticism and Unitarianism. The conservative reaction. The dilemma of Calvinism-efforts to escape the horns of dogma. The growth of rationalism. The philosophy of Unitarianism -a recovery of the principle of primitive Congregationalism. Elements of conservatism
II. William Ellery Charming: A spiritual nature, concerned with two cardinal ideas: God's love, man's excellence. Slow clarification of his thought. Major tenets derived from Rousseau and the English Arians Attitude towards slavery. Theory of the political state-approximation to the position of Jefferson. On freedom of speech-the vita principle o Unitarianism


I. The Social Mind:
The Puritan conscience individual rather than social.
Influence of Unitarianism in awakening a sense of social responsibility. Beginnings of reform
II. Perfectionism: An extreme expression of ethical radicalism. John Humphrey Noyes, a Yankee Fifth Monarchy man. His doctrines-expression in Conventions
III. Brook Farm: An attempt at an economic solution of social maladjustments. Influence of transcendentalism. Attitude of certain transcendentalists. Hostility to Fourierism
IV. Abolitionism: The awakening of the New England conscience to the evil of slavery. The Abolitionists a remnant in Israel-their characteristics


I. William Lloyd Garrison: A flinty character. His early life. The Liberator. A primitive Hebraist-his antagonisms. His political theory founded on the Declaration of Independence. A Perfectionist. Nullified the Constitution. The strength and weakness of his methods
II. John G. Whittier-Puritan Quaker: The religion of the Inner Light. A primitive Christian-a Come-outer. Significance of Leaves from Margaret Smith's Journal. The politician amongst the Abolitionists. Reasons for his break with Garrison. Not a political thinker. His Abolitionist verse. His later verse. An anachronism in industrial New England
III. Harriet Beecher Stowe-A Daughter of Puritanism: Her Calvinist heredity. A sympathetic student of New England psychology. Intellectual antecedents. Old- Town Folks; Poganuc People. The Minister's Wooing a defense of the Calvinist clergy. Her contact with slavery Uncle Tom's Cabin; Dred


I. THE GENESIS OF TRANSCENDENTALISM: An expression of metaphysical Utopianism. Idealism long starved in New England. Derived from Unitarian doctrine of the open mind. German idealism and native impulses. A glorification of conscience and will-romantic. The note of mysticism. The outcome a movement of criticism 371

II. RALPH WALDO EMERSON-Transcendental Critic: His theory of transcendental criticism.
The early Emerson -an ascetic. Influence of first trip abroad-Nature. The gist of Emersonianism. Reasons for the contrast between the real and ideal. Estimate of democracy; theory of the political state-the ethical absolute -a transcendental Jeffersonianism. Theory of economics bias towards Physiocratic conception. A critic of contemporary America-its materialisms. Attitude towards reform 378

III. HENRY THOREAU-Transcendental Economist: His life business to explore the meaning of wealth.
His life an experiment in values. A Concord man who "signed off." A Hellenist interpreting spiritual values. The problem of economics stated. Significance of Walden--suggestions of William Morris. The challenge of slavery: Civil Disobedience. Compared with Godwin's Political Justice-doctrine of individual syndicalism. Admiration for John Brown. The extremist expression of eighteenth century individualism 392

IV. THEODORE PARKER-Transcendental Minister: His characteristics: a fighting man, a revolutionary.
Sermon on The Transient and Permanent in Christianity- marks the second stage of Unitarianism. His studies in higher criticism; his doctrine. His conception of human perfectibility-evolutionary. A primitive democrat; a political critic. Attack on current materialisms-criticism of Webster. A modern 406

V. MARGARET FULLER-Rebel: An embodiment of transcendental rebellions. The contradictions in her character as explained by Freudian psychology. Her training-a victim of sex. Contemporary analysis of her character. An intellectual child of eighteenth-century romanticisms-influence of Goethe. Transcendentalism -Brook Farm. Woman in the Nineteenth Century and feminism. Work as a critic. Career in Europe. Influence of Jean Jacques. The price of her rebellions 418



I. Brahminism and the genteel in letters-a refined ethicism. Dislike of realistic methods. Lowell's position
II. Brahminism and history: The New England school: Ticknor, Jared Sparks- methods of the latter. Bancroft's History of the United States-an attempt at a democratic interpretation. Prescott, Moley, Parkman-followers of the romantic school. Parkman considered
III. Longfellow: Influence of Germany. A poet of the library-his aloofness-his translations. The slavery poems. Characteristics

II. NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE-Skeptic: A temperament detached, rationalistic, unhopeful, skeptical about Utopias. Neither transcendental nor Unitarian in philosophy, but curious concerning evil. Intellectually unlocalized-his aloofness from romantic Salem. Like Jonathan Edwards in probing the psychology of sin. Tendency to symbolism and allegory. His intellectual poverty-revealed in American Notes. Brook Farm and The Blithedale Romance-reasons for his interpretation of Hollingsworth and Margaret Fuller. The sterility of his later years 434


I. Oliver Wendell Holmes-Beacon Street Wit: Dec4ne of his reputation. Holmes and Paine as wits. A child of the eighteenth century turned romantic. A rationalist hatred of Calvinism. Defense of Boston-a Brahmin rebel defending free thought. Attack on equalitarianism -dislike of the plutocracy-indifferent to proletarian problems. His heroes respectable. An amateur-a minor figure
II. James Russell Lowell-Cambridge Brahmin: Of the true Brahmin line. His intellectual confusions. Influence of his Tory heritage-the Lowells. His course determined by environment and certain dominant personalities. ree periods of his intellectual life: the Maria White period and his immersion in current radicalisms -reflections in his verse and prose; the professorial period- immersion in scholarship-his shortcomings as a critic-as a political writer; the ambassadorial period -influence of Godkin-resurgence of Brahmin conservatism- fear of democracy-of agrarian and proletarian movements-concern at political corruption failure to understand its causes-faith in civil service reform. His escape to London-the final Lowell an English liberal

Conclusion: Effects of the Civil War on earlier romanticisms -destruction of the slave economy; strengthening of the rival agrarian and capitalistic economies. Certain anachronisms-eighteenth-century liberalism-local home rule submerged by movement of consolidation. Romantic literary schools became obsolete. The sovereignty of the middle class and the emergence of realistic criticism 464