Excerpt from Presidents of the United States, in the Century From Jefferson to Fillmore
The purpose of this volume is to present as much of the history of the United States during the first half of the nineteenth century as may find a proper place in the biographies of the foremost political personages of that period.
These foremost personages are the eleven presidents who served during the years from 1801 to 1853. They were in some instances the largest and most important political figures of their day, while in other instances they were men of lesser degree than other contemporary statesmen who never won the presidential prize. But notwithstanding the inconspicuous influence of several of the presidents, the history of the country is more closely related to the succession of Chief Executives than to any other generic group of men. Such presidents as Jefferson and Jackson made history, not only for their own terms of office, but for succeeding times; they were like the forces of nature and environment, they signally moulded the political life of the people and its expression in government; they were the founders and organizers of parties; they created policies; they raised issues and precipitated events; history could not escape them.
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