Yet what can we say about the United States in the late 1800s from the story thus far? What does it mean to be an abolitionist in a Norther State prior to and during the civil war? And why, at this point in the story is it still accepted for Mrs. Norval treat young Lola with such rude, conniving and hateful behavior. She is after all, an incredibly wealthy Mexican girl of pure Spanish blood. What amazes me is that an ugly, bloody civil war is being fought between the Nation and the South when Mrs. Norval's sentiments regarding someone with (false) colour in their skin mirror the beliefs of the Southerners regarding slavery. Mrs. Norval would have been completely at ease with her conscience if she had left Lola to sleep with their servants.
Although I realize that Mrs. Norval's racist way of thinking is not necessarily that of the senate and governors at this time but she is not alone in her evil way of thinking. All of New England seems to treat Lola with the same contempt and hate. Abolition of slavery was not the only reason the Nation and South were fighting but it was a very important one. I cannot understand at this point in the story - and with my limited knowledge of history of the United States - how politics can escalade to war when the sentiments of the Nation resemble those of the South.