By Mark S. Schantz
"Americans got here to struggle the Civil conflict in the middle of a much broader cultural international that despatched them messages approximately demise that made it more uncomplicated to kill and to be killed. They understood that loss of life awaited all who have been born and prized the facility to stand loss of life with a spirit of calm resignation. They believed heavenly eternity of transcendent attractiveness awaited them past the grave. They knew that their heroic achievements will be loved without end via posterity. They grasped that dying itself could be noticeable as artistically interesting or even beautiful."-from Awaiting the Heavenly Country
How a lot loss can a kingdom undergo? An the USA within which 620,000 males die at every one other's fingers in a warfare at house is nearly unimaginable to us now, but in 1861 American moms proudly watched their sons, husbands, and fathers burst off to conflict, realizing they'd most probably be killed. this present day, the dying of a soldier in Iraq can turn into headline information; in the course of the Civil struggle, occasionally households didn't research in their family' deaths until eventually lengthy after the actual fact. Did antebellum americans carry their lives so calmly, or was once dying so regularly occurring to them that it didn't endure avoiding?
In Awaiting the Heavenly Country, Mark S. Schantz argues that American attitudes and concepts approximately dying helped facilitate the war's great carnage. saying that nineteenth-century attitudes towards demise have been firmly in position earlier than the warfare started instead of coming up from a feeling of resignation after the losses grew to become obvious, Schantz has written a desirable and chilling narrative of the way a society understood loss of life and reckoned the significance of destruction it was once prepared to tolerate.
Schantz addresses themes similar to the pervasiveness of demise within the tradition of antebellum the USA; theological discourse and debate at the nature of heaven and the afterlife; the agricultural cemetery circulate and the inheritance of the Greek revival; dying as an immense subject in American poetry; African American notions of loss of life, slavery, and citizenship; and a remedy of the paintings of death-including memorial lithographs, postmortem images and Rembrandt Peale's significant exhibition portray The court docket of dying. Awaiting the Heavenly Country is key studying for an individual short of a deeper realizing of the Civil struggle and the ways that antebellum americans comprehended loss of life and the incredible bloodshed at the horizon.
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