Quotation by Michael Kammen

The Civil War divided a nation, whereas the American Revolution created and unified it. The Civil War exposed our vilest flaws, whereas the Revolution shaped our character and (we generally assumed) displayed our courage, principles, and highmindedness for all the world to see. What happened in 1776 somehow reflected glory upon us, whereas what happened in 1861, when the polity disintegrated, became an object lesson in the perils of extremism and selfishness.
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