Oxford University Press
In Looming Civil War: How Nineteenth-Century Americans Imagined the Future, Jason Phillips argues that in the decades before the Civil War most Americans shared one of two visions of the future. “Some people imagined themselves traveling through time, into a future ahead of them, and forging that future and their lives in the process” (4). Phillips calls this sort of temporal thinking “anticipation,” arguing that it was a feature of more modernist outlooks, and urges readers that it was built on a belief in free will and progress. “Other people imagined themselves stationary while time passed through them. The future remained ahead, but instead of moving toward it, these people watched as the future approached them” (5). Phillips describes this phenomena as “expectation,” stressing that it was common among more traditionally-minded men and women, and that it was characterized by an acceptance of fate and providence.
Pearson, Joseph W.
"Looming Civil War: How Nineteenth-Century Americans Imagined the Future,"
Civil War Book Review: Vol. 21
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/cwbr/vol21/iss3/11