Essay Sample on Exploring Pre-Civil Wars: Horwitz and Law Olmsted's Extraordinary Journey

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1110 Words
Date:  2023-02-27


Horwitz followed Frederick Law's journey to the South to explore is that there are still pre-civil wars in his time. He tracked Olmsted to find out if Americans are still divided. Horwitz wanted to discover if America is still one country. This extra-ordinary journey was purposely meant to re-shape the national, which made Law Olmsted embark on his career as a journalist. For more than one and half centuries, there are rumors of pre-civil wars in the southern part of America. Horwitz followed Law Olmsted's route using the possible mode of transport that Olmsted used. Horwitz wanted to explore the critic Greil Marcus which was famously know as "the old, weird America. Horwitz also wanted to ramble across America just like Olmsted to find out if his impressions will differ with Olmsted's. Horwitz wrote in his book,

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"I planned to do the same. Beyond that, I had no plan, other than to follow Olmsted's path by whatever transport I could. Parallel journey, 160 years apart: what he saw then and what I would see now. No booking, no itinerary. Just a ramble across America with long-dead Fred as my guide."

Additionally, Horwitz followed Olmsted, journey because he wanted to peruse Olmsted's letter in a quiet room at the congress library. Spy on the South is enlightening and is detailed with absurdity.

Horwitz planned the journey to the South to find out if people understand about the pioneer who is behind the construction of Central Park. He also hoped to find out the pioneer in the development of urban centers in the South. Also, Horwitz was raised in the area that was greatly affected by the civil battle. He intended to find out if there are still civil wars in the South. He was interested in understanding the causes of slavery and racism in America. He wrote:

"This journey had also taken Olmsted across the nation's enduring fault line-between free and slave states in his time, and red and blue states in mine. No current issue carried the moral and explosive force of slavery. But, there were inescapable echoes of the 1850s: extreme polarization, racial strife, the demonization of the other side, embrace of enflamed opinion over reasoned dialogue and debate.''

Horwitz also wanted to find out if it was possible to travel around Texas in the 19th century. He found out that most of the Texans refer to the Lone Star State as the "South." Besides, he wanted to challenge people's beliefs. He claims that it is so discouraging to discuss matters about ideas if people occupy different notions of what they believe is a reality. He also wanted to explore some of the regions which ware unfamiliar to him. He wrote in his book:

"These words stirred the nomad in me. I'd traveled widely, as a foreign correspondent in the Middle East and elsewhere, and as a roaming scribe in my own country. But the vast territory Olmsted crossed on his second Southern journey was mostly unfamiliar to me, including nearly the entirety of Texas."

Olmsted began on his journey to search for a purpose. His dispatches provided one. He wanted to describe the region as well as understand the great division in America because he hoped that by understanding Southern views on slavery would allow people to find neutral ground for abolition. Horwitz claimed that;

"Before embarking on his Southern tour, Olmsted wrote a friend that he sought "reliable understanding of the sentiments and hopes & fears" of Americans on the other side of the nation's widening divide."

Similarly, Horwitz took the same journey to investigate today's great division in the South. He studied race, although he was also interested in exploring the political division in the country. These divisions extended to other parts of the country, but it is hidden in the South.

Olmsted spent nine months to travel four thousand miles. Horwitz traveled for two years to come to the same distance that Olmsted covered in nine months. Horwitz's journey to the south ended one week before Trump was elected. He started his journey from West Virginia, where he traveled for two years until he arrived at his destine-which is the South.

Horwitz discussed many themes while he was in the South, unlike Olmsted who only addresses two issues. Horwitz explained economic, environmental, and political issues. He also highlighted these themes with disturbing, humorous, and poignant commentary. He also noted low productivity in American manufacturing in different areas like West Virginia, and the level of unemployment in these regions. Horwitz also described the current racism and slavery during Olmsted's journey and the current trends. He wrote:

"This galvanized anti-slavery Northerners and led many toward a more confrontational stance against the institution's spread. Should federal power "again be perverted" to "prolong and invigorate" slavery, Olmsted wrote, the nation must stand ready for "combat in aid of Liberty."

The Southerners supported Olmsted's argument by accusing the North as a bad example, suggesting that people who have White-collar jobs describe other people's work as crime and suffering. Horwitz learned that this notion is dangerous because it attempts to curtail democracy to justify the rule of a few aristocratic. He also learned that:

"For the American experiment to survive and thrive, there must be "places and times that the rich and the poor, the cultivated and well-bred, and the sturdy and self-made people shall be attracted together and encouraged to assimilate."

He also learned that the venues that will lead to assimilation would exert an increasing influence upon people, and expose the enemies of Democracy. He also learned that uplifting people would benefit the whole community rather than individuals.

"...the potential for mass uplift and the virtue of seeking "the highest good, of the whole community."

In the last chapters, Horwitz concluded by comparing the divisive era with the divisive error of Olmsted. He also noted the similarities, and he wrote:

"The most glaring parallel was the retreat into tribal and partisan camps, tuned to frequencies so divergent that the reasoned discourse Yeoman had initially sought was a virtual impossibility."

He also found out that many of Trump supporters are friendly and decent. Some of those supporters were experiencing severe economic problems because the government sometimes betrays them. He concluded by acknowledging that the national divisions are due to the lack of sense of mutual understanding and governmental unit.


Despite the depressing reflections, Horwitz ended narrative about his journey with hope. Through his observations in the park, he deduced that the democratic vision of Olmsted is still vibrant and alive. He also noted the ethnic diversion in the park, which gave home hope of democracy in the South.

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Essay Sample on Exploring Pre-Civil Wars: Horwitz and Law Olmsted's Extraordinary Journey. (2023, Feb 27). Retrieved from

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