chapter  6
Secession and Loyalty
Pages 34

The Civil War was fought for a complex of reasons, but chiefly Abraham Lincoln's need to maintain the Union as a whole, against Southern claims to the right of secession. The war destroyed two social orders, both justified by the same God: not just the "race of stately planters" and their Southern feudalism, but the old entrepreneurial democracy of the North. The survival of the Genteel Tradition was ensured by the authority of its critics, among them Edmund Clarence Stedman, an important anthologist and an influential voice in the "new ideality" that guided the postwar age. The rise in American expatriation after the Civil War was not due only to dissent from American commercialism and opportunism; it was also a response to artistic hunger for more complex literary awareness's and forms. Mark Twain threw himself into America's chaotic postwar materialism and became the voice of its confusions and contradictions, its hopes and nostalgias.