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America's Second Revolution: New England, Old England, & the Civil War
Why did most of Great Britain’s intellectual and artistic class sympathize with the Confederacy, either overtly or covertly, during the Civil War? This presentation examines the cultural conflict that erupted between New England poets and intellectuals and their British counterparts as a result of tensions arising out of the Civil War.
Scholars have long debated the question of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s relationship to the abolition movement and the degree of his commitment to the antislavery cause. Some early commentators depicted Emerson as an active social reformer, while others have seen him as a contemplative dreamer, serenely aloof from frenetic reform activity.
Prof. Gougeon is a Distinguished University Fellow at the University of Scranton, where he teaches American literature. He is the author of Virtue’s Hero: Emerson, Antislavery, and Reform and Emerson and Eros: The Making of a Cultural Hero.