America was a land that was beginning all over again, dedicated to nothing much more complicated than the rather hazy belief that all men had equal rights and should have an equal chance in the world. In such a land Lee stood for the feeling that it was somehow of advantage to human society to have a pronounced inequality in the social structure.
Lee was tidewater Virginia, and in his background were family, culture, and tradition the age of chivalry transplanted to a New World which was making its own legends and its own myths. He embodied a way of life that had come down through the age of knighthood and the English country squire. In such a land Lee stood for the feeling that it was somehow of advantage to human society to have a pronounced inequality in the social structure.
Lee, had a view for greater America in terms of a leisure class, backed by ownership of land; in turn, society itself should be keyed to the land as the chief source of wealth and influence. It would bring forth a class of men with a strong sense of obligation to the community; men who lived not to gain advantage for themselves, but to meet the solemn obligations which had been laid on then by the very fact that they were privileged. From them the country would get its leadership; to them, it could look for higher values of thought, of conduct, or personal deportment to give it strength and virtue.
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