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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  December 16, 2012 1:00pm-1:25pm EST

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i love being a doctor not. there is no better job in the world and come out from surgery and say if mom is going to be funny and here's what we did, but i also love talking about the subject because i feel like from my position at hawkins being open and honest about this problem, other people have come in and spoken about it and i think i'm going to continue to do some speaking at different
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meetings at conferences and still operate about three days a week. >> that sounds great. individually write another book? - chip davis and fer marty makara the book is "unaccountable" and we appreciate you taking the time today. good to be with you. that was "after words" of which nonfiction authors letter interviewed by legislators and others familiar with their material. "after words" airs every weekend on booktv at 10 p.m. on saturday, 12 p.m. and 9 p.m. on sunday and 12 a.m. on monday. you can also watch "after words" on line. go to and click on "after words" in the book tv series and topics list on the upper right side of the page. university of pennsylvania
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professor stephen hahn discusses his book the political world of slavery and freedom. that's next on booktv. he argues historians have presented an incomplete picture of african american emancipation and struggle for civil rights that followed. professor hahn was interviewed at the university of pennsylvania in philadelphia as part of book tv college series. >> university of pennsylvania history professor steven speed is the author of this book "the and political worlds of slavery and freedom." professor hahn before we get into the subject of the book what is this image on the front cover? >> that's a very good question coming and the answer is i have no idea. the editor and the press proposes it is a very eye-catching image. when i showed it to friends and colleagues to have no idea what it meant. it doesn't clearly relate to anything that took that's how
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they chose it. it's a really interesting photographs, and i think it speaks to complex connections within the african-american communities that involved gender as well as power but beyond that >> professor d8 going to the topic of the book what do we know about slavery in the u.s.? >> well, one of the issues i try to deal with in the book is the process by which slavery ended and the geographical reach of slavery. the view that tends to be handed down is by the 19th century certainly of the country neatly divided between the so-called free states and the so-called slave states and the civil war growing out of the conflict. my issue is not whether slavery is at the root of the civil war,
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which is certainly was, but what interested me was the relationship between the early emancipation of slaves in the northern states and the leader emancipation much larger in scale in the southern states. slavery was legal in all of the british colonies and all of north america at the end of the 18th-century, and gradually northern states, northeast and mid-atlantic states abolished slavery but i realized this was a gradual process that took a long time. that what we discovered as there was leaves a new jersey in the 1860's, and most of the states that abolished slavery between c-17 80 and 1804 which is the period that we customarily look at had to do it again leader in the 19th century because there was so much ambiguity as to what the road from slavery to freedom
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was. so, thinking about that, i tried to then step back and say if this is the case what does this mean for how we should understand emancipation in the united states and the notion of sectionalism between freedom and slavery that organizes our understanding of american political history. so i've been arguing one of the essays in the look that slavery is national, and the communities of run away slaves should be understood by what we call marroons and people of dissent and what we call the northern states and the slaves and the southern states are important circuits of communication and activity that we should pay more attention to. >> what were the primary documents used to researcher box? >> i was using a lot of
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different things. i was using narrative's that were written by the slaves that ran away to freedom, and one of the things that struck me is that although we tend to think about the fly or the ohio victory as the great divide and once you got to the of the site you were so-called free, and like myself it intended in our work to focus on the first half of the narrative which is the enslavement in the south. but when you got to the other side the very powerful theme was the gray area of freedom and how precarious life was in the so-called free states and how many were always felt the need to either go to canada were to britain because there was no way of really achieving freedom because of the fugitive slave laws. so these were really important. looking at the emancipation
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statute passed by individual slaves and recognizing that basically they didn't free anybody but with exception the only freed the children of slaves and then became adults dependent on the age and gender and the state in each particular case. and then the very grey areas when the courts seem to be okay with former slaves then being injured so some people had been enslaved who were liberated by these immense pension statutes ended up finding multi-year if not lifelong ventures somehow the court felt that was okay for a while. and also the fact that we there was tiring of slaves if, someone who was a slave in kentucky might be hired in pennsylvania where slavery had been
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abolished. now it will often allow a sleeve to remain in the state for specified period of time. the line between slavery and freedom in the united states is kind of and distinct, and even as late as the election of 1860i think lincoln very powerfully the republican party very powerful we tried to the case for sectionalism. i think it is more of a political construction and reflection of the reality. >> we talk a lot today about the red states and blue states but there are a lot of conservatives in california and a lot of -- was it the same with slavery? was there a lot of sympathy? >> i cut its more to the point that the democratic party was probably up to the election of 1860 during the period of
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popular e elections for the national office with the majority party in the united states. and there was a party the was devoted to what we might call state rights and local control and we put together a coalition that included the slaveholders in the south, and a whole variety of people in the north including urban laborers and they were pushing back against the potential promise of the centralization of power. i think that is true that state rights or spread. some think the secessionism was sufficiently widespread that the lincoln administration is really worried about it. remember, california and oregon, the centers of power in the united states, this is one of the reason lincoln wanted to build the transcontinental railroad once the civil war begins because he wants to expand the reach of the federal authority there was fear that there would be a west coast --
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if you think about why did lincoln do what he did it for some princess of carolina part of the logic of this was in the states that have already succeeded from the union, but the prospect of the country as a whole falling apart of the federal government didn't assert its power and its authority, the west coast there were some secessionist sentiments and in the midwest we can talk about new york becoming a free port of entry like britain and germany. so we look back knowing the result of all of this which of course led to the emergence of the nation states with much greater powers reached is a precarious it was for a long period of time but it's also important to recognize the slave
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rights in terms of the civil war it was a broad state right settlement but the only state that seceded from the union were slave states and i don't think that is significant, too. there is no way of understanding secession and state rights outside of the question. >> prisoner steve, the nitze fusion proclamation committed to put an end to all the discussion and any existing remnants of slavery? >> it didn't. it was a very important moment because the united states, the lincoln administration exercising his power as commander-in-chief, it is a war measure, the abolished slavery without compensation to the owners, this is new. the northern states abolished slavery gradually because they were addressing the compensation. the property, having abolished property rights, you know, and without threatening other
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private property. so they abolished slavery without compensation and they dropped the colonization which had been central to emancipationist discourse from thomas jefferson to abraham lincoln and they provided for the military recruitment of people of african descent both of whom were slaves because of rich americans were not allowed to serve either in the united states army or the state militia because of the connection between military service and citizenship claims. oliver and the emancipation proclamation did not cover all of the slave states. it left out states that had remained loyal to the union and it left out areas of the confederate state that were under federal control. the tension between who is going to complete the eletes edition process lincoln for a while encouraged the border states to do it themselves even gradually
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and he was going to offer federal assistance. what's more is as important as the emancipation proclamation was, it was a war measure and this kids to the issue of the 13th amendment. what was going to happen once the war ended with the emancipation proclamation maintained its legal authority or what it effectively be overthrown by the courts, the 13th amendment came to secure the emancipation. but we also have to remember, too and its major proclamation will be ineffective they won the war end of the confederate side surrendered and was late in the war marked the was a lot of talk about an armistice and it was pretty clear that if there was an armistice the principles of the emancipation proclamation really would go out the window. certainly at that point there is no question that slavery would not return as it had been before. butry does go backwards in
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>> steven hahn what was the participation of the african-american slaves in their own political freedom? >> this is something of enormous interest to me and has been of other scholars and there is a lot of pushback between steven spielberg's film now precisely because he doesn't acknowledge the significant effect back to the activities have been pushing emancipation. there is no question one of the things that interested me is why they did what they did during the war to read for a long time as they begin to recognize that they did play a role meaning leaving the plantations heading to the union lines underlining the slavery where it was in existence and forcing the union side to deal with the slavery question when the lincoln administration initially at least would have preferred not to at all. they wanted to deal with the
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issue of secession and reconciliation and thought that slavery would complicate the process. but the issue is why did they do that? and i was interested in the ideas, political ideas the slaves brought into the era and have a much more sophisticated understanding of american politics to be recognized that they had allies in the republican party of lincoln and you read the newspaper accounts. there's a lot of talk about what the slaves think is what is going on, that they think lincoln is going to move against their owners and once he is elected there's a feeling that in fact emancipation the come when he is inaugurated emancipation has been declared but it's not being enforced on the ground and once the union
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army invades i think this knowledge or interpretation which is wrong but nonetheless it is one of these amazing cases in history where people that seem to be sold outside of the process understand the meaning of these and better than anybody on the inside and in reality imagine the political issues. >> how many african american slaves fought in the union war on the union side? >> roughly 150,000 southern slaves fought in the union army or navy during the war. about 185,000 african-americans and all and about 80% of them were from the south. there is talk about african-american slaves fighting for the confederacy there is no evidence of this whole taken by
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their owners by the very end of the war there is a discussion about whether the confederacy in order to preserve its rebellion and to enhance its military capacities of to try to enlist slaves. the recognition by anybody that thought about it is that you couldn't do that without abolishing slavery that the very end of the war. the confederate congress does have an emancipation bill provides an enlistment but no guarantee of emancipation but the war ended before it could go into effect. the only other case is the louisiana native guards regiment of free people of color in new
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orleans who initially set for the confederacy that as soon as the union army moves and it invades the side, so i know there is talk about this as an ex able of the loyal to what i've never seen evidence that is compelling. >> professor hahn your narrative and the political world of slavery and freedom goes beyond the civil war. why does marcus garvey get so much attention? >> that is a very good question. when the book i wrote before the political work of slavery is called the nation under our feet. >> it's that african american politics from slavery to great migration when i was riding at that is how the book is going to end a and i also became more and more interested and persuaded by
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what i saw as a powerful separatist tendencies among the former slaves in the post and its asian period. i saw this crop up in a lot of different ways. and so i started -- and then i can across some information that suggested the movement to the basis in the south that had never been known about before. the more i looked, the more interesting it became and the more i came to recognize that he built a nationwide movement that was based only on the northern cities that we associate with, but in the rural and small-town south through more garbage out in the southern states than there are anywhere else in the united states and it's also an international movement sewing really cover really interested in this and one of the things i discovered in the book is finishing the nation under our feet i was having to rely on what i thought would be a
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secondary literature on the movement in the united states and i discover they're basically was one the there is a lot who as you know is a controversial figure but in terms of who joined, who was moved by it, who embraced the vision and with the understanding was, there was virtually nothing so the kind of cobbled things together and i thought i really need to know more about this. and one of the things in this book is what historians don't write about and why. there are certain episodes or certain interpretations that scare you in the face but somehow you refuse them or ignore them, and darbee is really one of them. almost any historian conversing with african-american history would acknowledge that it was the largest mass movement of people of african descent ever yet we know almost nothing about
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it. it just seems to me this was a very odd thing. and i think the reason is that it complicates the slavery to freedom of narrative which is about the civil rights movement. darbee doesn't fit in, and it identifies the tendency that is very powerful and it does show up among the civil rights activists. the more i look, the more i found the connection with the unnia is much more widespread than anybody would have thought. nixon, all of these people had garby connections. so there's a picture of politics that is much more complicated than we want to acknowledge and i think that we have come to terms with our past it the this case of slavery by conducting a narrative that is about how
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slavery in this and a lot of freedom is open and realized so the civil rights movement becomes a crucial ending point, and people live movements that don't fit into that are very problematic there's also the political spectrum who have an investment and i've been struck by that. i have pushback about that part of what i discovered is that the movement is still alive. there is a chapter in philadelphia, i organized a conference about three years ago on the scholarly conference as a small number of scholars who were going to prevent their book by the local newspaper and 150 showed up. we were all astonished by this but it gives you the sense that there is a lot of their that we need to know more about.
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stila well, professor speed eight, you mentioned garbyites. what is their focus to the? >> the universal negro improvement association, there is a chapter in philadelphia, there are some chapters in the allied states, there are chapters elsewhere in the world. i think it is also people who are kind of nationalists and their political view. they might embrace ideas about separatism, and so garby's ideas, are there understandings and they're also a sense of connection with africa that's very, very powerful. and i think it tends to be especially powerful among the sections of african-americans who are working class or poor whereas the civil rights narrative and the civil rights movement i think connect all lot
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more with african-americans who are middle class, who are well-educated and i think the civil rights movement had its greatest accomplishments in promoting the expansion of the black middle class and its greatest failures in terms of the large number of african-americans who are working class into working poor. >> book tv is on location of the atrocities pennsylvania in philadelphia talking with history professor steven hahn. what do you teach here at the university? >> wallen currently teaching a large course on the history of the american south from the civil war to the late 20th century. i teach a lecture course which is called slavery release and revolution that starts with the haitian revolution of the late 18th century and goes to garby. of about slavery of the emancipation a the the broad western hemisphere


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