Read e-book online A Disease in the Public Mind: A New Understanding of Why We PDF

By Thomas Fleming

ISBN-10: 0306822016

ISBN-13: 9780306822018

By the time John Brown hung from the gallows for his crimes at Harper’s Ferry, Northern abolitionists had made him a ““holy martyr” of their crusade opposed to Southern slave proprietors. This Northern hatred for Southerners lengthy predated their objections to slavery. They have been confident that New England, whose spokesmen had all started the yank Revolution, must have been the chief of the hot country. as a substitute, that they had been displaced via Southern ““slavocrats” like Thomas Jefferson.

This malevolent envy exacerbated the South’s maximum worry: a race struggle. Jefferson’s cry, ““We are actually to be pitied,” summed up their dread. for many years, extremists in either areas flung insults and threats, developing intractable enmities. by way of 1861, just a civil struggle that will kill 1000000 males may shop the Union.

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Extra info for A Disease in the Public Mind: A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War

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Third, there were fewer species in the New World, and those which existed only there tended to be “cold-blooded” insects and reptiles; and fourth, domesticating animals caused degeneration, especially when that domestication occurred in the New World. As he developed this litany of New World animal degeneration, Buffon extended his claims to humans, or, more specifically, to one type of human—the indigenous American Indian. 44 This idea can be traced back as far as Hippocrates and Aristotle (who spoke of people in “cold countries” being “impulsive),45 and Buffon’s readers would have been aware of this history.

Noxious vapors and corrupt juices” * 37 This special relationship with the emperor may also have been one of the reasons that, to the ultimate dismay of the Revolutionary War generation of Americans, de Pauw was given the honor of composing the entry on America in the influential Supplément de l’ encyclopédie in, of all years, 1776. Cornelius de Pauw was a one-dimensional character in the story of degeneracy. His vitriol was genuine, but it was his only historically defining trait. His sole claim to fame (or infamy) is his work on New World degeneracy per se, which is to say that he was read for his thoughts on degeneracy and not for historical content.

In addition to what was there when Buffon took over in 1739, he had considerable sway with royal ministers, and was able to procure significant funds to add specimens to the cabinet. 34 Buffon was also able to gather data directly on some species, albeit in very unnatural settings. One such setting was his family estate, where he cordoned off one area and attempted to create a “semi-wild” environment that he stocked with foxes, hedgehogs, cats, chickens, dogs, badgers, and a monkey named Jocko.

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A Disease in the Public Mind: A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War by Thomas Fleming


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