By David Mayers
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Extra info for Wars and Peace: The Future Americans Envisioned 1861–1991
Soldiers in the Philippines. S. unity while conferring liberty on the slaves. Dominion in the Philippines would amount to enslavement of a race of ten million souls, he protested, for which justification the United States would seek excuse in the discredited arguments of the antebellum South: backward races benefited from the supervision of a white overseer. Hoar too rejected as spurious those arguments that wanted to impose on remote peoples forms of government that bore no organic link to their history or culture.
Military engagements against Indians in the waning decades of the nineteenth century gave further, if unintended, meaning to what historian Bernard DeVoto called “the plundered province” of the Far West. Nor had corruption in high office ended with the departure of Grant’s scandal-ridden administration. Abuse thrived at every level of government, including the main municipalities like New York, where Tammany chicanery was tradition. Against this marring of the democratic landscape, the determination of mugwumps was hardly more availing than the whine of Henry Adams.
He also realized, however dilatorily, that justice demanded attention be given to the plight of black men and women. His hope was that mercy and justice could be harmonized through compassion, but untimely death prevented him from devising the details. Might he have found a workable formula? Probably not. The dilemma resided in this obvious logic: mutually exclusive claims could not be equally legitimated. Despite Radical efforts, racial justice was subsequently sacrificed to national unity. Deplorable conditions of black life in the South (and elsewhere) festered for decades until a revitalized civil rights movement began after World War II to redress the inequities.
Wars and Peace: The Future Americans Envisioned 1861–1991 by David Mayers