The first of these legacies is the pacification of foreign relations among liberal states. 14 During the nineteenth century, the United States and Great Britain engaged in nearly continual strife. But after the Reform Act of 1832 defined actual representation as the formal source of the sovereignty of the British parliament, Britain and the United States negotiated their disputes despite, for example, British grievances against the Northern blockade of the South, with which Britain had close economic ties. Despite severe Anglo-French colonial rivalry, liberal France and liberal Britain formed an entente against illiberal Germany before World War One. And in 1914-15, Italy, the liberal member of the Triple Alliance with Germany and Austria, chose not to fulfil its treaty obligations under the Triple Alliance to support its allies. Instead, Italy joined in an alliance with Britain and France that had the result of preventing it from having to fight other liberal states and then declared war on Germany and Austria. And despite generations of Anglo-American tension and Britain's wartime restrictions on American trade with Germany, the United States leaned toward Britain and France from 1914 to 1917, before entering World War One on their side.
Although the book is mostly based on real events from Knowles' life, still remember that this book is not a work of non-fiction. Knowles himself says that the characters, even those that he bases on real people, are a hodgepodge of different traits and qualities, and many of the dramatic conflicts of the book are not based upon real events, but were invented for the sake of the story. The inspiration and the fuel for Knowles' book was taken directly from his own life experience, but this does not mean that it is solely Knowles' experience that makes up the meat of the events of the book.