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Barnes, H.E. (1921). Some Reflections on the Possible Service of Analytical Psychology to History. Psychoanal. Rev., 8(1):22-37.

(1921). Psychoanalytic Review, 8(1):22-37

Some Reflections on the Possible Service of Analytical Psychology to History

Harry Elmer Barnes, Ph.D.

I. Psychology and the Newer History

I am sure that all who have listened to Dr. Clark's suggestive and stimulating paper will agree that its main significance lies in the fact that it constitutes one more striking symptom of that promising tendency towards a closer coöperation between history and psychology. Surely no one could have failed to realize how superficial have been those earlier attempts to analyze the personality of Lincoln which have been based wholly upon popular psychological concepts and premises or, still worse, have founded their interpretations upon transcendental ethics or orthodox theology. The concrete data presented by Dr. Clark is of the utmost historical value and will contribute very greatly to a better understanding of the psychology of this remarkable American who did so much to shape national policy during five of the most critical years of our history. No doubt there will still be those who will trace Lincoln's hatred of slavery back to the victory of Arminius over the Romans in the Teutoberg Forest, to the universal impulse to liberty from the Teutonic Folkmoot, to the Magna Carta—that alleged harbinger and bulwark of all subsequent liberal sentiments, or to the Conciliar Movement, but most of us will welcome with genuine relief a system of individual psychology which will throw some light upon the fundamental background of human reactions to those basic problems of order and liberty, of authority and rebellion.

It would seem, then, that, important as are the pertinent details concerning the personality of Lincoln which Dr.

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