By William R. Taylor

William Taylor's Cavalier and Yankee was once essentially the most recognized works of yank heritage written within the Nineteen Sixties. The publication is an highbrow heritage of the South sooner than the Civil warfare, the conception of it within the North, and the influence it had upon the kingdom within the years from 1800 to 1860. First released in 1961 and out of print for numerous years, Taylor's vintage research is still necessary to the examine of the pre-Civil battle South.

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Extra info for Cavalier and Yankee: The Old South and American National Character

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After 1830 few Southerners shared more than halfheartedly in the drive for cultural self-sufficiency and in the sentiment of cultural nationalism which characterized the North. This impulse was increasingly checked by the growing intensity of sectional feeling. The drive for the cultural autonomy of the South—a paper revolution which did not proceed beyond a few manifestoes —was even more short-lived and unproductive than the impulse which it replaced. It was kin to the movement for the economic independence of the South which found expression in De Bow's Review and in the proceedings of the Commercial Conventions of the forties and fifties.

The cosmopolitan outlook of the Revolutionary generation was communicated to a bare handful of Southerners who attempted to carry on the older [37] CAVALIER AND YANKEE traditions of the coastal South in the face of growing obstacles. Talents of a different kind were called for and men of a different stripe were soon receiving the recognition which had once gone to gentlemen of the old school. The result was the alienation of a generation of highly educated Southerners who tended to view changes taking place within the South—and the nation—with mounting alarm, and to take a tragic view of their own displacement.

This was the experience of Richard Henry Wilde, a cultivated Georgia politician who retired from Congress in 1835 in order to go to Italy and devote himself to poetry and scholarship. "Never, most assuredly," he recalled, "since I bivouacked in my boyhood amid a wilderness lately in the possession of the Indians . . "29 The Southern Planter as Doomed Aristocrat Despite many similarities, the image of Europe which became popular in the South during the early nineteenth century was a significant variant of the new national image.

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