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tv   John Ferling Apostles of Revolution  CSPAN  August 26, 2018 6:02pm-7:21pm EDT

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around the world are failing to produce economic growth. at ten, fox news host greg gutfeld offers his take on stories he's taken over the years. we wrap up at 11:10 p.m. eastern with observations on the politicals last resistance to the trump presidency. that happens tonight i'm booked to be on c-span2. television for serious readers. this weekend's schedule is available on our website, here is john on the american revolution. [inaudible conversation] [inaudible conversation] >> thank you for joining us. it is nice to see a full house particularly on a beautiful spring day.
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i think that on nice spring days we may have limited audience because everyone wants to be in a café. i'm glad our speaker drove such a great crowd. it usually helps when you turn them on. hopefully that works. if you missed it, i just said thank you for joining us. it's a nice to see some new faces today. if this is your first time visiting i would like to extend a special welcome. we are the oldest historical society in america founded in 1791. specifically to collect the history of the american revolution which is pertinent to our conversation. we hold about 13 million manuscripts in the collection. the material is available free of charge. you can come whenever you would like. this room is normally found in a reading room. you can access a great wealth of
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material through the american history and american revolution. we collect up until yesterday. all of that material is available to the public. we produce an active roster public programs such as this evening's talk and academic audiences. we do all of this to the support of our members. if this is your first time visiting, i hope you'll consider supporting the organization and continuing our work. so, we pull a small selection of items from our collection that highlights topics discussed tonight. if you have not had a chance to look at the case i hope you will at the end of the program. these are letters from our adams papers. there from john adams and john quincy adams. in this case, john adams. it relates specifically to the
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three individuals being discussed this evening. in keeping with john adams, they are not necessarily the most flattering account. i hope you'll have a chance to take a look at what adams thought of his contemporaries. tonight, we'll hear from a professor emeritus at west georgia. he has a new publication, jefferson, payne, munro and the struggle against the old order of america in europe. he explores the lives and revolutionary ideas of three prominent founding fathers. it covers the american uprising from great britain through engagements on battlefields, to the threat posed by the ideals of the federalist party. with the french revolution in anarchy in the background jefferson's election as president and john adams is not a big fan of. a great period to cover in a great subject.
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he has lectured here many times and is authored of many books on the american revolution, including the ascent of george washington, a leap in the dark, and most recently on american history, the american revolution and the war that one it. a book on which he spoke here in july 2015. i hope you will join us in welcoming him back to the stage. [applause] >> thank you. thank you for coming tonight. i want to thank the massachusetts historical society for inviting me. i came up to boston every year for probably 25 years to do research of various libraries.
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i always spent at least two or three days at a minimum here at the massachusetts historical society doing research. i could come anytime during the summer that i chose. somehow the boston red sox were always at home when i came. i don't know how that worked out. two of my favorite places in the world are the massachusetts historical society in fenway park. [laughter] i'm going to show you some powerpoint pictures later on. i have to confess, cannot figure out how to seamlessly work it in to my talk. i'm going to wait and show the pictures following my talk. it is a little unconventional. if you came for the picture show, save your popcorn. that will come later on.
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my book is on thomas jefferson, thomas paine and james munro. and an attempt to look at those three try to understand something about them. also by choosing three people to understand something about the period that they were involved in. in their case, these are three people that were involved in two revolutions, the american revolution and the french revolution. so, there is a great deal in the book that i cannot cover tonight and the time that i have. maybe if there is something i don't cover that you are interested in, maybe we can get to that in the question and answer later on. the american revolution was something that 20% of the people living in america did not
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support at all. they remain loyal to great britain. there was another group that supported the insurgency but did not support independence. people like john dickinson, for example. there are people who supported independence but did not want much change to occur in america. they wanted it to remain as it had in the period. there are people who supported the insurgency and thought they wanted changes until changes began occurring, and then i got worried and began putting up a bulwarks to change. then, there were people who supported the insurgency and independence, and change.
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the three people i chose all into that latter category. all three did support change. in fact, for them it was the essence of the revolution. they cannot bring about change as long as the colonies remained part of the british empire. independence was crucial for bringing on the changes that they hope to to affect. the three people i chose were similar in some ways and different in many ways. pain was about six years older than jefferson, jefferson was 15 years older than james munro. the three met one another but they were not never together. all three were never together at one time. jefferson probably met pain during the five or six months
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that both of them were in philadelphia in 1775 or 1776. there is no record that they met, but they probably did. they lived a couple of blocks from one another. after common sense came out in january 1976 the pain was well-known. they were known to have frequented the same bookstore in philadelphia. they probably met. they may have met again in 1783 in philadelphia, jefferson had gone there hoping to get an appointment as it -- a diplomatic appointment abroad and it is possible they met there. again, there is no record that they did meet at that juncture. in the late 1780s, payne knocked on jefferson store in paris. we know they met them. we know pain dined with
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jefferson at jefferson's residence. and they probably got together on other occasions. when pain came back to the united states after 15 your absence in 1802, he called on jefferson several times at the president's house in washington. munro on the other hand met jefferson as far as we know the first time in 1779. when jefferson was governor of virginia. he became a law students under jefferson and also as a veteran soldier in the revolutionary war, he undertook several risky measures for governor jefferson.
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he remain close to jefferson for the remainder of his life. so close in fact, while he was living in fredericksburg he wanted to move to charlotte charlotte's burke to be closer to jefferson. he bought a house that's on the grounds of the university of virginia. he subsequently purchased additional property that was not too far from a monticello. he intended to build a house there but was offered a position as administered to france. when he left, he asked jefferson and james madison and his uncle, joseph jones, who was a well known lawyer in virginia, had been a member of the virginia assembly and congressman. ps those three they would pick up the site on the property for
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the house to be built. one of them did, think it was probably his uncle who picked out the site. when munro returned from paris he constructed his residence known as asheville or highlands. when the foliage is off the trees in the winter you can see monticello from that residence. munro met pain and idolized pain. he had certainly read what pain have been writing over the years. he met him for the first time in 1794 when he went to paris as united states minister to france. pain was in prison at the time. the luxembourg prison.
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munro sprang him from the prison after a ten month residence there. he brought payne to live with him, payne lived under munro's roof for about eight months. about six months or so into his resident, the munro's who had not had a vacation had a chance to do sightseeing in europe and left to go on their trip. only two or three days out of paris they received news that payne was near death. he had developed an absence in his side. given the lack of antibiotics it could have been a fatal illness. they dropped everything and raced back to paris. monroe retained a surgeon who came in. he didn't cure it, it took about four years for the abscess to be
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care. but, monroe obviously survived it. they were together with one another but not all three together at one time. not too long ago, i heard a news story on public broadcast about predictability studies. i did not know there was such a thing as predictability studies. according to the story, people don't have a particularly great track record of predicting. so, it made me think, i wonder how they would do with these three people if they look at them when they were young and what their predictions would be about these three becoming successful and famous. with jefferson it would have
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been a slamdunk. he was born to the gentry in virginia. his father had been a member of the virginia assembly. he was guaranteed a college education. he went to the college of william and mary. i don't think there is much question that jefferson was going to go places. monroe would have been dicey. he came from a more humble background. it was a background that i'm one respect was somewhat like john adams, in that his father was a farmer, but he also worked other jobs to enhance his income. without additional income he was able to provide for his son's education. i think that uncle, joseph jones who did not have children of his
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own probably pitched in some money too. he was able to go to a school that prepared him for college. he was a classmate with john marshall for one year at that school. then, he went to the college of william and mary and probably lived in the same dorm, maybe the same room, we do not know that. jefferson had lived there 15 years or so earlier. like "alexander hamilton", he chopped out of college to join the army. he was an 18-year-old in 1776 and he joined the third virginia regiment that was marching and drilling right outside his dormitory window. he then went off to war.
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so, i am not sure how one of the predictability studies would deal with the monroe. with pain, i think they all would have missed. payne was the son of a craftsman born in a small town called bedford, england. it was a market town 50 miles northwest of london. it had only a brief education, five or six years of education, formal education and that was it. he was pretty much earmarked for a career as a craftsman himself. i do not think anybody would have guessed where payne was going to go. these three individuals i think shared a couple of things in common. one was that all three of them
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were terribly ambitious. jefferson once said he had a little tincture of ambition. i think it was a great deal more than a little tincture of ambition. payne knew that he did not want to be a craftsman the rest of his life. he twice ran away from home as a youngster to try to enlist on a privateer. this was during the french and indian war and what french and historians call the seven years war. his father raced after him, caught him enjoyed him back home. the second time payne succeeded in escaping and it was a very dangerous year as a privateer.
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after that, i think payne one off to london and two other places in england looking for other pursuits. sometimes he would have to to come back and apply his tray. he was applying the same trade as his father. he was a stay maker which meant he carved stays out of will bones that women worn their dresses. monroe, if you read monroe's letters, are jefferson's letters, jefferson does not say very much about his ambition. if you read monroe's letters, it just jumps out at you and grabs you by the throat. he was extraordinarily ambitious. he was always trying to move to the next office in the next best
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thing. ironically, or maybe not ironically, interestingly he winds up holding the same positions that his patron jefferson help. he, like jefferson served in the virginia assembly. like jefferson, he became governor of virginia, more than once. like jefferson, he served in congress. like jefferson, he was the minister to france. like jefferson, he became president of the united states. he was quite an ambitious person. the second thing that they shared in common was that all three were radicals. jefferson, i think before the first shots were fired, was interested in bringing about
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change in virginia. he self the system that existed in the england, and oligarchical system in which a tiny fraction of the population controlled much of the wealth and much of the power. he saw that same thing beginning to occur in virginia. he knew there is no chance of bringing about change as long as virginia remains within the empire. i think jefferson is a revolutionary for the same reason that other people became revolutionary. there are many reasons why people became revolutionaries. for some, it was economic for jefferson, there may have been an economic factor.
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he could have done better as the tobacco planner outside the empire than within the empire. for many people, they thought parliament had overstepped its boundaries, for many people it was just a matter of america becoming autonomous and being able to control their own destiny. jefferson i think you race all of those things plus others probably led jefferson to beak, revolutionary. also in his case, there is a matter of hoping to bring about change. jefferson said at one point that a transformative experience in his life was going to college. there, he met professor william small and as jefferson put it, small fix the destinies of my
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life. small was the only non- clergyman at the college of william and mary. he was only nine years older than jefferson and introduce jefferson to the enlightenment to montesquieu only eight or nine years before jefferson began college and he becomes an apostle of the enlightenment. the idea was to apply reason to everything jefferson begins to question america and the actions of parliaments and the actions of the british monarchy. and those things led jefferson down the road to radicalism. with payne, and i have to confess, of the three i feel
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closest to payne. the reason is i had a somewhat similar experience to payne. i came from a working-class background. my father worked with his hand, were hardhat and work for a large chemical company. for me, the transformative experience of my life was going to college. for pain, who comes out of a working-class background, the transformative experience of his life was going first to london. when he goes to london he finds many different clubs, coffee houses and places he can go to. here, -- he hears lectures. a new yorker in london at the
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same time wrote that london provided the contemplative mind with some new matter every moment. for payne, there were many moments like that. he said in one of his letters that he was always interested in science, math and after the american revolution he becomes a bridgebuilder. in london, he goes first to hear people talk about science and math. like jefferson at the college of william and mary, he discovers the enlightenment there. then, he goes to clubs where people are talking about politics and reform and one place he goes to his honest wigs and then enginemen franklin he
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played it know him real well is probably through these discussions that he becomes aware of the english reform movement. he becomes part of that and will go much further in his thinking than most of the people in the reform movement wets. for the most part they did not question the king. they were questioning the authority of parliaments and wanting to change parliaments to broaden representation within the house of commons, pain if you have read common sense which is a visceral attack on monarchy goes much further than the
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english reformers of the 1770s. he had an idea of a tax collector and in the 1760s got fired from the job and a few years later got rehired and was sent to loose which is on the south coast of england was stationed there. he had a radical tradition that went back to the english civil war a century earlier. pain picks up some of his ideas there as well. for monroe, monroe was an 18-year-old college student in
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1776 in williamsburg. the revolution was around him. even though war was around him he begins picking up ideas from everything that is in the air so to speak. he goes into the army and undoubtedly gathers ideas while he's in the army. particularly he finds a fellow named here. he was about monroe's age. he too had quit college in france to volunteer to soldier in america. he comes over him becomes an aide take camp with the general. he was posted at valley forge as was monroe in the winter of
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1778. they became so close that on days when they did not see one another they wrote letters to one another. i think it is probably the individuals that introduce monroe to the enlightenment's and broadens his outlook on things. during the american revolution, we all know and because of the time constraints i won't say much but will take questions on it. if i disappointed by not saying too much about it. pain wrote common sense and the american crisis during the revolution. pain also soldiers during the
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revolution immediately after independence was declared he founded a voluntary company that marched off the coast of new jersey general washington posted them across from staten island's intending to bring them into action depending on what happened. they never got call to action and the enlistments were first short period. when the enlistments ended everybody in the outfit went back to philadelphia, but not pain. pain went north up to new jersey where general nathaniel greene was headquartered. he volunteered to serve green as secretary. so, pain was in washington's retreat a cross new jersey and
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november of 1776. pain came under fire during that retreat. he said at one point he was giving exaggeration. it was probably true that enough cannonballs was over his head and he get use to the sound of it and didn't flinch. the other thing to mention was pain sold lots of copies of common sense, far more than any other pamphlet published during the coming of the revolution. now, we know as the results of some good historical work that he probably cannot publish quite as many copies of common sense that was once thought. but he did publish several thousands of them and could have
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made great deal of money off the book. he could have made the equivalents of $50000 a day. again, he could have made a good deal of money. but, pain gave away most of what he made to the continental army so they could buy gloves, blankets and whatever for those that were serving in the army. jefferson writes the declaration of independence during the revolution. again, i skip over that but, i wanted to mention two things, one is that some historians in
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recent years have belittled jefferson's contributions in the and argued there is nothing in it that was original something that john adam set a couple hundred years ago. jefferson also said that he was trying to reflect what had been said in congress and capture the mood of the public at that moment. i think those that question missed one point. that is, i don't think anybody could have written the declaration of independence that jefferson composed. most would have written a lawyer like statement. jefferson's was solely are cool
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that people could read it easily and understand it. it was a moving document. i would ask you with the exception of constitutional amendments, what else has been published by congress in the last 225 years that anybody really remembers. but people do remember the declaration of independence. in part because of the way jefferson wrote it. the other thing i wanted to mention was that no one really knew that jefferson authored the declaration of independence until 1790s when he becomes the head of a political party. his party makes the public aware of what jefferson had done, i
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find that arresting that he would do that. george washington, at the end of the revolution retained david humphrey, wanted humphreys to write a biography of washington and even helped humphreys by telling him how to smooth over mistakes that washington had made militarily in a couple of wars. benjamin franklin's whole life is spent in self-promotion. jefferson doesn't say anything about it. when he is in paris, somebody published in a parisian newspaper that attributed a declaration to john dickinson. jefferson wrote a letter
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jefferson wrote a letter to the editor saying it wasn't the case but then he didn't send a letter. years go by before the public becomes aware of it. in monroe's case, he is soldier of thought is several major battles. he was at trenton, brandywine, monmouth, brandywine he's standing next to lafayette when lafayette was wounded. at trenton he was wounded himself. he took a bullet in the shoulder and came about that close to being a fatal wound. the bullet severed an artery. showing how sometimes things happen in history that are on plans. when that battle in the hours
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before that battle monroe's battle was posted on the road leading north to trenton from keeping anybody from going in a row. the man made some noise and it caused dogs to start barking. it was two or 3:00 o'clock in the morning. the man who lived in the house came out and was irate being awakened by his stocks. he began cursing these people. then he found out these are soldiers and what was going on. it turned out he was a physici physician. he said i will accompany you down there. he was with monroe and monroe's unit when monroe was shot. he had the medical skills to take care of that severed artery. it saved monroe's life.
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pain was in danger during the revolution as well. twice all jefferson was governor of new virginia the british invaded and at least raiders came in rather large raiding parties in virginia and richmond where the capital was located at the time jefferson had to flee the city with his family. later on, in june of 1781 just a couple of days after his term as governor of british leader arrives in charlottesville hoping to capture the legislature which was meeting there. a party of a score or more
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british soldiers rode up the hill. jefferson had been alerted by the paul revere jack jewett who was bending his elbow and sell the british soldiers writing by an road like the wind to get there. he alerted the assembly men and then rode up the hill to monticello. so, jefferson barely escaped going down the other side. all three served in the revolution in face danger. but, at the end of the war all three were at loose ends. jefferson had perhaps the toughest governorship of any wartime governor during the revolutionary war.
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he's faced with difficult decisions with british invasions, he made some mistakes are made some choices that turned out not to be perhaps the best choice. he made enemies and as he left office some old friends like patrick henry who had been a friend of jefferson's for years turned on jefferson and demanded an investigation of jefferson's governorship. so, jefferson at that point says, i am through with politics, with public office, i will never serve again. he may have meant that. he may have planned to spend the rest of his life on the home with his wife and family and
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could have been involved in public life again. but his wife died and that changes everything. and he does come back into public life. when the war ended, he is discredited and he writes a letter to monroe following cornwallis surrender in the climactic battle siege at yorktown. jefferson says, as an american, as originator, i covet as large a share of the honor in accomplishing so great of an event. but he knew he would not get credit for and he did not get credit for. pain was at loose ends at the end of the revolutionary war. pain had gotten a job thanks to
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john adams as secretary to a committee on foreign relations in congress. it was the ideal job for thomas paine. the committee almost never met. he was trying to paycheck all the while. but, paine wrote something and perhaps unwittingly put something into what he wrote that revealed secret intentions by the french. the french minister was upset and let congress know that that was public information. so then he began demanding paine's head. i think he was motivated not so much as what he had an overtly
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leaked out but because he had made enemies with his radicalism and he was fighting for price control in philadelphia on the side. that made enemies among some very wealthy powerful merchants. in the end, rather than let it string on and come to a vote, paine resigned his position as secretary. while the debate was going on in congress, the congressman for new york and have to confess, out of all the people he ran into in the book, he is the only when i came away with with a feeling of loathing for. and he set up a in his remarks that pain was a mere adventure
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of england without fortune, and without family connection. roll that around in your mind, this is five years into the war. pain has written the most famous things in america, other than the declaration of independence. what counts is without fortune and family connections that says about what it meant to morris. pain was devastated by that. he went back to his apartment and said he did not come out for 60 days. he just really falls into a state of depression as a result. it's a guy who is pulled himself up from the slowly position in england to become a writer of
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great importance, person who is revered by many but the elites in america regard him as without fortune and without family connections. pain took a lot of criticism in his life, but that cut him more deeply than anything that was ever said about him. one part of the book that i won't have time to go into governor morris left paint to rods in the luxembourg prison. he did not do anything to get pain out of prison. pain was aware of that and he low morris. he also unfairly blamed george
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washington for having him thrown in prison. i don't think washington had anything to do with that. i do think he knew payne was in prison and did nothing to get him out of prison. when monroe went over in the summer of 94 as the american investor to france, he did was not even aware that payne was in prison. payne left the army in the late 1770s because he could not get a command position. he comes back to virginia hoping to get something back in the virginia line for the virginia militia. he struck out there as well.
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so, when this occurs he's no longer in the army. he's practicing law. he knows that he's missing out on the laurels that people were winning at yorktown. one other thing on a transformation and it's important to take a second to say something about it, jefferson was transformed someone by his stay in paris. in his summary view and pamphlet that came out in 1774 about 18 months before independence, jefferson talk some about the monarchy but his major focuses on parliaments. even when he is critical of the king it not saying that the king was acting frantically.
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he is critical of the king for not acting as an arbiter between parliaments, the colonies and not representing the colonists of fulfilling its constitutional role. when jefferson is in france, his views change he had a tour that took him down to italy and it goes through the countryside when he sees how farmers are living in france i think that is a transforming experience for jefferson. workers were all around him in paris and he doesn't say anything about workers. but farmers were something else. jefferson writes, i was much an
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enemy to monarchy before i came to europe. i am 10000 times more so since i have seen what they are. he was aghast at the wretched existence he had witnessed among the class of laboring husbands. often times he quoted voltaire who said people in europe were either the hammer or the animal. so when madison and other friends wrote to jefferson and told him in the late 1780s there were people in america who were bemoaning the fact that we did not have a monarchy, jefferson said them over here and let them see. if any american thinks that kings, nobles or priests are good conservators, send them
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here. they will see with their own eyes that those who rule our confederacy against the happiness of the mass of people. he said the deplorable state of humanity in europe could only be traced to monarchs that were propped up by great standing armies and allied with an ultraconservative church driven to maintain the property of this country, concentrated and very few hands. we think of jefferson after this as someone who is fighting hamilton and the wars of the 1790s. he was, and i think he sees hamilton's program as leading toward an oligarchy in america.
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he knew from madison and others that hamilton had lauded the british system of the constitutional convention. jefferson believed that hamilton wanted to remake america and britain's image the oligarchy at all, maybe even monarchy and all. so he fights hamilton to the 1790s. i wanted to read too briefly the election of 1800 he calls it the revolution of the second american revolution. he said that jefferson wrote to a number of people and outlined his program. i wanted to read from a sentence here and there from four or five
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of the letters. to me, he sounds much that he says somewhat like a 21st century progressive. he said he stood against anything that might lead to an american oligarchy. he remarked that he had not reserved men's honesty to increase with their riches. he was opposed to a standing army in time of peace which made overall the public sentiment. he was appalled when the clergy was engrafted in politics, arguing that they were a formidable engine against the rights of man. he disapproved of executive preponderance over the legislative branch, dominion which could only be maintained
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by immense patronage by multiplying offices making them very lucrative all of which had to be paid for by the laboring citizen. he disagreed with governments that wish to go backwards instead of forward to look for improvement and is one of the foremost apostles of the enlightenment, jefferson was horrified by those who raise to cry against reason and scientific revelation. i think feeling as a result of the election of 1800 that they had won a over hamilton, if they could come back today and see how to play hamilton which vilifies jefferson and ignores payne, they might have different
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conclusions. they might see signs of a oligarchy in america today. let me take five minutes and show you the pictures so you can get your popcorn out now. we'll take a look at the pictures. this is the paining of the declaration of independence, this is jefferson right here. this is washington's suit rendering his commission for congress just a few days before congress in 1783. in this picture, i think this got cut off. you can see jefferson in the
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picture, but i think it got cut off on the side. this is from the painting, this is thomas jefferson. the next two or three are of jefferson at different points in his life. this is a picture of thomas paine. they had trouble paint both himself and. [silence] in the late 1780s. he collected paintings of people and this painting wasn't discovered until a few years ago. when it was discovered, someone had punched out the eyes of payne. the painting had to be restored. here's another painting of pain
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and probably the most famous one of all done about 1790 of pain. payne toward the end of his life lived it briefly with a man named john jarvis who is a painter. when payne died jarvis learned about that the same thing came over to where they four had died. he made this bust of payne. this is probably what he look like at the end of his life. this one didn't come out either, yes it did, this is washington crossing the delaware. the person holding the flag is supposed to be james monroe. but monroe did not cross with jefferson or with washington. he was up guarding that road
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leading out of trenton. he had crossed several hours before washington crossed. >> this is the surrender of the hession set trenton. i don't know if you can see it very well or not, over here is monroe. he's lying on the ground and he has been wounded. that is the dr. who is with him. . .
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>> this is governor morris during the revolution. this was put out symbolize the link between the united states and france during the french revolution. jefferson, payne and munroe believe the revolution inspired the french revolution inspired. they probably understated the problems in france but i think they were on target but as
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french officers were inspired by america to take ideas about america back about the american revolution back to france. i wanted to show a couple of cartoons of thomas paine who developed he develops rosacea that causes redness mostly of the cheeks. it can it can be brought on by many things, stress, alcohol consumption and certainly he consumed his share about the hall. you can see the artist these are all english cartoonist so they
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take pains to show him with his rosacea. here he is again during that revolution and here he is again with a the rosacea. this is the last one. and from welcoming pain to the present and the image was so large i cannot get that shrunk down to a manageable size but jefferson is depicted as satan and this is paine but as they try to pull down the united states government and you can just eat down at the feet of paine there are several bottles
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of liquor referring to his fondness. thank you very much i i will be happy to take any questions. [applause] >> i am wondering you said paine publications were fewer than they thought were published? but i think everybody thinks he was an influential voice in the revolution so can you speak more
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to his influence? >> no question he did publish thousands of copies of common sense and washington even gave it to the continental army it was in newspapers even in pamphlet form and thousands were published in newspapers and it may have been read by town criers in the village greens. obviously he was not a lawyer and did not write in a lawyer a lawyer like manner he made a deliberate attempt in everything that he wrote to try to write so
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that people who were not terribly well-educated would have no difficulty reading. one of the 13 issues of american crisis instead of a deadly doll where he gets involved in economic issues because of the collapsed american economy you can always hear him sigh this wasn't a very lively pamphlet. i wanted to mention one thing that there is a later publication by paine that isn't very well-known today although somebody did mention it in in an op-ed piece about one year ago it is a pamphlet a pamphlet that came out 1797 called agrarian
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justice. i wanted to mention that just to show how far out in front of the thinking of other people he was. because paine thought if you could get rid of monarchy and aristocracy problems are solved. obviously that didn't happen they did get rid of them in france but then there was the reign of terror. so he rethinks and agrarian justice is his argument almost sounds like franklin roosevelt with the new deal and is proposing makework projects, stipends or pensions for people that at two different stages in life.
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one, when they are reaching adulthood with marriage to start their family on a good footing and then later when they are older attention to shepherd them through the latter years. no one else was saying anything like that and he is about 100 years ahead of time. finally during the time of bismarck or other european countries moving in that direction and 150 years 150 years later the u.s. in the 1930s will move in that direction. >> first of all thank you very much this is fascinating and love listening to you i am so impressed with the amount of study that goes into producing something like this.
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jefferson among other things with the life of the more common man and was restricted to the agrarian utopia that we could have. at the same time i i remember that one passage where jefferson was writing about meeting a poor woman and the implication that it could come to america that i describe it as what happens if this comes to america but how did they feel about people and manufacturing like their rights? was the objective that people shouldn't be in manufacturing
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that they should have no arms and everything is utopia or those that were in manufacturing >> i think jefferson understood there had to be commerce and manufacturing so he knew that some people would be involved in that. but he obviously didn't have a crystal ball and did not know how rapidly the country would industrialize although by the time he dies in 1826 he understands and is somewhat disillusioned that it is coming along faster than he thought it would. but it had taken 150 years for people to get from the coast of jamestown out to the appellation mountains and jefferson is thinking even though they didn't have this territory until later
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he was thinking it would take hundreds of years to get to the appellations out to the pacific ocean. and during that time the great majority of people living in those prairies in illinois and indiana would be farmers so he saw that going on for a very long time and talked of them being the chosen people. but one thing quickly evolve the letters that i read in putting together the book, maybe what struck me the most was that at one point munro writes to jefferson that monroe is practicing law and tells jefferson i hate it. i. i don't like the law. i want to do other things.
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it's not particularly intriguing life doing this and jefferson writes back and says you should go ahead continue practicing the law and he says remember it helps break up the boredom of farming. [laughter] and i thought for him of all people to say that to acknowledge that about farming. >> so maybe you could expand a little a little on the distances that there were some among the three people that you talked about with the nature of their radical vision described by all three of them so talking more
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about paine specifically with his ideas than the other so i'm specifically interested in the mechanisms to representation and slavery? and my understanding is when paine returned to america treated not just as the british as a vile character but here in america his former allies treated him in a not very pleasant way to vilify him and some of that supposedly had to do the arguments about religion and atheism. can you speak to that as well? >> he? >> eagles back in 1802. he is battling his drinking problem all along and i wrestle with that more than any other
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thing in the book and i finally concluded he was a functional alcoholic and there are times when he is on the wagon for a prolonged period of time without drinking and then when he sails sales from france back to america in 1802 he does not drink a single bottle of liquor he's at sea for ten weeks without a drink so he's pretty thirsty when he arrives in baltimore and immediately goes to a tavern the owner finds out who he is and will serve him so he goes to another and the same thing finally he goes to four or five before he found somebody who would serve him a drink let alone rent a room a room to him
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but he wrote the age of reason which is an attack on christianity and the bible. and it alienated a great many people in the united states. this was people from the environment that talk about it in letters to one another but didn't say much about it publicly. but he did and as i mentioned he was convinced washington was behind his imprisonment and he nearly died in the luxembourg print -- prison he could have died from that and he was slated to go before the revolutionary tribunal and a great many people
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that did go before the tribunal that the next stop was the guillotine. fortunately robespierre was overthrown and killed before he was called before the tribunal. so he really had good relations of washington during the war. he visited washington he even invited him to come visit him at headquarters and spend a couple a couple weeks there in 1782. washington may have invited him to be a part of the parade down broadway when the british evacuated new york late 1783. but he writes a public denunciation of washington and really betrays monroe when he
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does that because he lives with monroe and he monroe tells him don't write anything that involves american politics while you are living under my roof because that comes against me. so first he wrote a letter literally a letter to washington and then he confessed to monroe he had written the letter and monroe sends somebody rushing off to the coast to get the letter before the boat sales so then he tells monroe i will never do that again. but it eats away at him and six months later he writes in the notes to monroe a letter to washington and when washington did not answer he wrote a public letter and it was published i'm
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not sure how many pages maybe 15 and just entitled letter to washington and he takes aim at everything. he was a terrible general. horatio gates and nathanael greene deserve credit for winning the war. not george washington. he blasts the decision of the washington presidency especially the treaty that was just confirmed or ratified by the senate. so that i i think help to destroy paine reputation as well. monroe really says nothing about slavery i think jefferson early in his career was the flow of slavery and work to eliminate the slave trade and i think that
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was the first step to ending slavery in virginia and that all changes after the revolution but paine did publish some short essays attacking slavery and certainly paine and jefferson were on the same page when it came to representation and assembly. jefferson drafted a constitution for virginia but it came into play to be considered by the assembly in 1776 but the impact and essence he proposed universal manhood suffrage to give land to all those in virginia that would qualify them under the property qualifications and went beyond
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that to formally propose that they be given the right to vote and certainly paine is writing the same thing against the constitution that the directory embraced in france in the late 1790s. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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>> i i just finished one book i will mention and now reading to others, a swedish author about a hockey team in a small town just a really a really good fiction book that i enjoyed i was also just given a copy of a copy of republican peril making the argument about postwar world war ii global order is falling apart and what you replace that with in a no man's land. then gone girl based on my wife's recommendation we both read it five years ago so i i fo cudecided to read that.


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