Conclusion: The Twilight of Ideals

in The Lost Promise of Patriotism

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780226315836
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226315850 | DOI:
Conclusion: The Twilight of Ideals

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This chapter concludes with some thoughts of prowar compatriots who had hearkened to Woodrow Wilson's millennial promise; Debs and Addams had to come to terms after the settlement with the dashing of their prophecies of peace. The cosmopolitans wanted Americans to act like “democrats,” that is, to stand on moral principle, to mix freely with those above and below them, to view an attack on others' liberty as an assault upon themselves. They disassociated republicanism from martial and patriarchal virtues, rendering republicanism itself more “democratic” by emphasizing the moral strenuousness of safeguarding democratic principles. Debs and Du Bois, particularly, appeared concerned to defend a radical reading of the American past from a wave of historical revisionism that had swept through the nation's public school curriculum during 1890, and which threatened to transform the likes of Washington and Lincoln from stalwart defenders of principle into sentinels of the status quo.

Keywords: prowar compatriots; cosmopolitans; democrats; democratic; historical revisionism; republicanism

Chapter.  2698 words. 

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