Study Guide

The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America - Part 1, Chapter 3 The Wilderness, Section 4 Summary & Analysis

Louis Menand
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Part 1, Chapter 3 The Wilderness, Section 4 Summary

Holmes cherished his Civil War experiences for the rest of his life. These experiences had led him to decide that imposing a belief on other people would always lead to violence. He had fought for what he thought was right, and even when he realized he just held a different opinion he continued to fight. He thought each person in society had these tendencies.

He sat on the Supreme Court for approximately sixteen years and continuously changed his views. He believed that right and wrong were influenced by circumstances surrounding the action. He used this belief to decide the outcomes of trials he heard. The ideals of democracy and capitalism were also prevalent in his decisions. He heartily defended freedom of speech and economic reform. He believed that although he may not agree with a...

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This section contains 280 words
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