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p. 242. Advancementlocked

  • Allen C. Guelzo


‘Advancement’ describes how, in the aftermath of the War of 1812, the penetration of the markets promised a social and moral revolution equal to that of 1776, through the cheapening of production, wage labour, steam-powered transportation, and inexpensive start-up costs. The old Jeffersonians looked darkly at mobility, because it threatened to disturb the stability and permanence upon which the independence of the yeoman rested. To Lincoln's generation, however, stability was merely another word for stagnation, for the repression of talent and imagination. Advancement was what was uppermost in the twenty-five-year-old Abraham Lincoln's mind when he sat for the first time in the Illinois state legislature in November 1834.

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