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 The thing which lifts him into a place of undoubted significance in the course of American history is this: he embodied the spirit of developing nationalism and gave it constant expression. As Jackson, though a nationalist, represented the attitude of domineering individualism so characteristic of the untutored frontier, Clay in a wider and a deeper way appealed to the lofty sentiments of the whole people. It is not a question now of broad interpretation of the Constitution, or of any theory of governmental authority, or of any opposition to states' rights, or of anything that was legalistic or even argumentative in character; it is a question of the spirit which made America a nation, the sense of national existence, of power, of bigness, of duty, in a word, of reality. Without this sense, without this feeling in the hearts of Americans, the Union could not have resisted the corroding influence of slavery and could not have made itself, by a mighty effort, the huge, self-conscious, personal being that it is today. Of course, this was the work of others also; it was the natural product of modern life and culture; it rested on the elaborate argumentation of Webster and Marshall; but Clay by the spell of an attractive presence, by personal charm, and by the lure of a fervid eloquence awakened and developed this sentiment and made it irresistibly strong. Perhaps the student of American literature might justly pass by the work of John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), on the ground that it possesses nothing of real literary merit and deserves no special distinction; he was not a great orator, if one judge by grace of expression and by power of public appeal, and he was not a writer gifted with special originality or charm of style. He was, however, for fifty years and more a prominent figure in public life—foreign minister, senator, secretary of state, president, representative in Congress; he prepared able state papers; for nearly twenty years and at an age when most men enjoy retirement from active service, he played a conspicuous role in Congress, speaking in behalf of free speech and the right of petition and defending the cause of free labour against the demands of slavery; he left for the use of succeeding generations a diary of his life, a source of comfort to the historical investigator and a pleasure to the lay reader of history, a diary astonishingly full and minute, filled with
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