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Dr. II. von HOLST,
PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF FREIBURG.
TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN BY
JOIIN J. LALOR.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1895,
By CALLAGHAN & Co.,
The six years whose history is treated in this part of my work, [this and the following volume of the American version) are the most important in the development of the “ irrepressible conflict,” between the north and the south. How fully warranted that expression of Seward was, becomes more apparent than ever, during this period. The want of reason, the passions and the increasing demoralization of the professional politicians are, indeed, still found in alliance with the powers of fate, but at the same time, their impotence in the presence of the progressive and sternly logical development of actual circumstances, becomes more and more apparent. Seldom has the What, that is the Essential in a process of development in the world's history and the life of a great civilized people, been so little influenced by what the holders of political power have done or left alone, as in this case.
What they did and what they left undone, ha'l a modifying effect only on the How of the process, and even on that only in a surprisingly small degree, becanse the leading politicians themselves were a necessary product of those actual cir
* Owing to the size of the fourth installment of Dr. von Holst's work in the original German (Compromise of 1850—Buchania': Slection), we have found it necessary to divide it into two, in English, the first covering the period from the Compromise of 1850 to the t visas Nebraska Bill inclusive, and the second the period from the Kanses. Nebraska Bill to the Election of Buchanan. This preface of the author is therefore intended both for the present volume and the fifth of the translation.