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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 195

In many of the middle cantos, Pound focuses on the correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. He is also interested in the establishment of the first and second Banks of the United States, and on how these two early presidents clashed with Alexander Hamilton on economic policy. What was the purpose of the Bank of the U.S.? What were Jefferson's and Adams' opinions of it? What is Pound's opinion?

Beginning in Canto 13, Pound examines the thought of the ancient Chinese philosopher Kung Futse, or Confucius. What are some important Confucian ideas? How has Confucianism influenced Chinese society over the centuries? What is the current Chinese government's attitude toward Confucian thought?

Ezra Pound greatly admired the Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini, and Mussolini makes appearances in The Cantos. What was Mussolini's government like? How did he rise to power? What relationship was there between Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s?

An important cultural moment for Pound, one that informed the conception of The Cantos, is the Provencal or troubadour culture. Where did these people live? What language did they speak? How was their society organized? What does the word "troubadour" mean?

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