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tv   2020 Savannah Book Festival  CSPAN  February 15, 2020 2:01pm-2:56pm EST

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>> cilic hi, my name is and. welcome to the 13th annual savannah book festival. the festival is presented by georgia power, bob, david and nancy, and -- we are especially grateful for jack and mary romano those who are our sponsors for this beautiful venue. we would also like to welcome our individual donors today. it is through your support that we are able to make festival
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events this saturday free to the public. 90% of our revenue comes from our donors and members, and we thank you. before we get started, i have some housekeeping notes. first, amarillo socks who is one of the authors who is scheduled to make a presentation at 315 and the lutheran church fellowship hall, she has had to cancel. mr. larson will be signing festival purchase copies of his book immediately following his presentation. if you're planning to stay for the next author, after this presentation, please move forward to fill the seats as the venue entities. this will help the ushers get people seated for the next session. please turn off your cell phones so they do not disrupt the
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presentation. we also asked that you not use of flash photography. later, as you exit the venue, you will see our volunteers with yellow buckets in the back. they will be happy to accept your generous donation to the savanna book festival. you can also make donations on the festivals app and website. please help us to continue sharing the love of books with the public. we will have the opportunity for questions and answers at the end of the talk. please come to the microphone in the center aisle to ask your questions. we want everyone to be able to hear your question. please limit yourself to one brief question, so that we have time for the answer and other guests have a chance to ask a question as well. averaging larson is with us today, courtesy of sherry jacobson and eugene, and holland
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letting mcadams. he is a university professor of history and holds the hue and hazel darling chair of law at pepperdine university. he headed to history department at the university of georgia. his numerous books include, the return of george washington, a new york times bestseller, to the edges of the earth, winner of the 2019 national outdoor book award, and simmer for the gods, america's continuing debate over science and religion for which he he received a pulitzer prize for history. he was an inaugural library fellow at national library for the study of george washington, located on the grounds of mount vernon. he lives in malibu, california. please give a warm savanna welcome to ever change larson. [applause]
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>> thank you very much and thank you for having me back to savannah. in this spring when the azaleas are out, that is always my favorite time i taught for 20 years at the university of georgia, that's where i started as a young professor, and eventually chair of the history department and those were some of my happiest days. i want to give a shout out today to -- who are here tonight, two of my oldest friends in the world, or at least my oldest friends in georgia herein to see me today and to be back in savanna. it is always in a tree. for lunch i made sure i had sweet tea and fried okra. now, i know the rules so what i'm going to do, i know i am not supposed to read except for a few minutes. what i thought i would do just to give you a little flavor of the book i thought i would read
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the first page which i printed out so i wasn't tempted to read anymore on the last page at the end tendency which my talk between them. i want to give you a feel for that if you don't mind. so, here's how i begin. my dear friend, with the last words that benjamin franklin adjuster george washington, came at the end of a letter written in what franklin knew would be the final year of his life. washington closed his response to franklin with a salutation, your sincere friends. in this exchange, written in the first year washington's presidency each expressed his undying respect and affection for the other with franklin adding the steam in washington topping him with veneration. at the time, franklin and washington were the two most admired individuals in the united states, and the most of famous americans in the world. their final letters to each other representative fitting into a three decade long partnership that more than any
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other peering would forge the american nation. their relationship begins during the french and indian war when franklin supplied the wagons for british general ill-fated assault on fort mccain and they buried under the dirt road of the retreating wagons. both had warned braddock against the frontier attack. rekindled in 1775 during the second continental congress, this friendship continued through the revolution, constitutional convention and establishment of the new federal government. perhaps because of the differences in their background, age, manner, and public image, the relationship is not why they commented on then and remains little discussed today, but it existed and it helped shape the course of american street. both have been held by historians as quote the first american. but, they were friends first and on like adams and jefferson,
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never rivals. their relationship gained historical significance during the american revolution when franklin led america's diplomatic revolution in europe and washington commanded the colonial army. victory required both to succeed in their success require coordination. this historic collaboration, when coupled with their role as the two most prominent delegates of the constitutional convention, helped to found a nation and propeller global experiment in liberty and republican rule. well, that's how i begin to try to step the stage. so, let me begin this talk by telling you what led me to discuss this relatively unusual peering. it was a partnership, and that's what i use in my book. but it was not the type of partnership that we generally write and read as historians. usually those are hierarch
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partnerships where you have a mentor and mentee relationship or supporter, like washington and hamilton, or jefferson and madison, or maybe lincoln and his team of rivals in his cabinet under him. this was different because he was a partnership of equal. of people who had equal stature basically when they came into it. equal greatness actually. now, those sort of parents to exist and they are important. if you want to think of some others, think of say franklin to eleanor roosevelt and winston churchill during world war ii. they were both necessary in their own ways to win world war ii. but, one was not subordinate to the other, both were necessary to defeat germany, they work together in an alliance even though by that time they were both truly phenomenally great men for all, -- for all
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churchill had done and roosevelt living through the depression. another example might be telling the story of the passage of the civil rights act and talking about lbj and martin luther king. both are independently important. both were critical but in different ways. and so, this was that sort of partnership. now, while why i picked on this? well, when i think about it, there were probably three ideas floating around in my head. one, i started out as a scholar of leadership study. i studied under james mcgregor burns, the founder of leadership studies, and i'm interested in leadership studies. and, here you had two legendary leaders, legendary leaders who brought the country together, a
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country that was divided into 13 states in a vast frontier, states that do not trust each other, yet, these people were so above that they were national heroes. think of, i taught at university of georgia, the college that you teach at undergrad is franklin college. named for benjamin franklin in tennessee was originally named franklin when it first applied to join the union. most states have a franklin county. most states also have a washington county and indeed one state is named after washington. so, these two people were unit fires. they had leadership skills that could draw people together. indeed, think of it. after the war, franklin became governor of pennsylvania and he was elected, they call it president back them the highest office that was before the constitution. he was elected governor or president to pennsylvania twice
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unanimously. washington was elected president twice unanimously. that is when there was sharp partisan differences in pennsylvania. and it was unanimous and he would've one another but there were term limits. washington was the same way, elected unanimously even after the partisan divide. he where people who were able in some ways to work together and both of them were called the indispensable american. both of them were indispensable. you to look at any historical study, all historians agree that the two indispensable people for the success of the american revolution and the constitutional convention were benjamin franklin and george washington. it would not have worked without both of them. sure, others were important, jefferson and adams, nathaniel green during the revolution, these were important but not
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indispensable. and people knew it back them. indeed, jefferson commented on it and said, the two of you, you and franklin are in another leak beyond us and the whole world knows that. adam said the same thing but you know adams in a snarky way, he had that famous line that all people remember about the revolution is that franklin threw down of the lightning bolt and up pops george washington, and we want. but, they both recognize the same thing that they were the two indispensable men. and so, i was curious as to how these indispensable people work together. the same way i would be curious to know how roosevelt and churchill worked together in world war ii. how did they succeed in working together? now, that's a leadership studies question. second, risa might pick this topic was well, nobody had done it before. and i hate to say it, there are some wonderful historians who
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pick up a topic, walter isaacson can go right another biography of ben franklin and still say new things, though there have been many, many before. and, ron chernow can pick up george washington and write it again, though they have been many before. i don't do that. i'm not that i suppose, confident. i have had a history of picking topics that i think have been overlooked. that was in the scopes trial, when i wrote a book about the scopes trial, everybody had heard of the scopes trial or most people had come it was a fairly famous trial and american legend and people had seen the movie or seen the play, but no historian had ever written a book about the scopes trial. so no historian had brought to the looking over the archival material. same with the return of george washington. i looked at a narrow period in washington's life after he resigned as commander-in-chief and before he became president
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and that was sort of a forgotten period, so i could be one of the first to write on that. i could hit it new and fresh. and if you look at my other books, they had that same pattern. so, here were these two legends, these two indispensable people who i had covered for years teaching every year, teaching your time if your kids go to georgia, and teaching all of them in that huge hall with about 450 students in introductory american history and, there i would talk about them, washington and franklin and i could tackle the question, but nobody really had studied how they work together. i could look at that question so it was something new i could write on and try to bring something new to the topic rather than go back over something that had been studied. and finally, i was drawn to the topic and the improperly the
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final step was that it was a writing challenge. i come in my stage in life, like, i love to do research, i love to be in the archives and i knew this could bring me into the archives because i had to carefully track where washington was at all times, where franklin was, where they coincided, where they met together, and i found there is a lot more than i expected. look at all of their letters, their comments about each other. but, then to try to tell the story together, if you're telling a normal joint biography about washington and hamilton then you just follow them working together. you just follow the overlapping career. with franklin in washington you had two icons of american history. people think they know about them. there is received wisdom. not all of it is accurate
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because they are larger-than-life, they are legends and what to do say at the end, if you have the legend by go with the facts. so, you have this idea of what these people were like ian's, what your idea is that they are very different people. washington stern and reserved and well, and sort of like your stern father figure and franklin flapping into with humorous and a twinkle in your eye, sort of your favorite uncle image, so we already have america's uncle image i suppose how to tell the stories together when they had so much happen independently, because what you had as you had these two individual men standing greatness and then coming together and working together and then going apart and then coming together again and going apart again. and so what i ended up doing was
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go back and forth between them over time, follow, just tracing and outlining their history because you have to, when you have people who are legends rather than real people, you have to reestablish the facts of these people of who they were why it was important what they brought to the bringing together. and then when they came together i read in great depth, when they meet together, when they would have times together and then when they separated the again it would be like following the trail separately and then when they came together deep and out. and so, it was a challenging writing, objects and one i enjoy doing. so, like the challenge. it was a research challenge in a writing challenge in something new. now, what did i find as i work through these people? well, think about it. you had franklin, they first came together in this surprise me. i figured, honestly what i
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expected to find was a working partnership and that's why the title which was given before i actually wrote the book when i proposed it it was the founding partnership. when i got done i realized it could have been the founding friendship could have been the title. but, i was working on the framework that they were going to be partners at certain times and looking for the partnership. i found that started much earlier than any historian had ever noted. i found out they did not start in the revolutionary war, it started in the french and indian war. in the 1750s. now, by that time franklin had risen from virtually nothing to be the leading citizen of philadelphia. philadelphia then was the second largest english-speaking city and the entire world and by far the largest and most important city in america. now, he was an indentured servant, came from a very poor family in boston and literally
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fled his indentured services and was therefore in immigrants in quaker, pennsylvania. he developed not just a printing shop, way beyond that. he became one of the richest citizens certainly in pennsylvania, really in the new world, because, he developed a whole new chain of print shops it. he in a regraded backward into mills, and to be in the postmaster, he also wrote contents for his publications. he became the leading american humorist of his day. red all over the colonies, the almanac is just one example of that. so, he had risen to leadership. and when the french and indian war came, he had moved in the politics as well and he was basically the leader of the non- quaker party know he got along
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great with quakers, he was a leader of the non- quaker party in the state legislature. when the french and indian war comes, if you remember the french and indian war was fought initially over the ohio country the area around pittsburgh, eastern ohio, western pennsylvania and west virginia, centered on what is now pittsburgh. and because of the fluke of the way the british had written the original charters, that area was claimed both by pennsylvania going west and virginia going northwest. following the potomac northwest. the area around pittsburgh was claimed by both. income the french and that touches of the french and indian war. when that starts, they, working with the native americans started to be massacres of the pennsylvania settlers as well as the virginia settlers. so the quakers resign because they can't fight and then that
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turns over to ben franklin and he becomes the commander-in-chief of pennsylvania forces. he designs the military and raises the military and goes out to the. he is so clever was right where to put the forts to protect the frontier. he builds the fords, he's on the frontier. washington, who is 20 years younger, he has relief or to a day. he was not supposed to be leader of his family estate, his father was a plantation owner and sort of a feeling tobacco plantation, tired swale. it had gone to his older brother, he had two older brothers. he was the first son of the second wife and back then in virginia everything went to the oldest son. he was not going to get anything. he thought he had to work for a living and we go out to the frontier and become a surveyor. and then, both of his brothers die. and, his older brother, lauren
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had been commander-in-chief of the virginia militia because of his earlier service in the battle of cartagena in an earlier war and so washington not only seceded to mount vernon and the plantation he also seceded to the title of head of the militia. so, he is still in his late 20s, he is head of the virginia militia. he heads up to defend the same country and indeed, some of his antics touch off or worsen the situation but in the end, they are successful. and so, franklin and washington begin working together then as colonial leaders defending the frontier and fight in the, that's why they got involved with braddock. in fact, they were fighting there braddock comes over with an army and is going to move back and take the fort duquesne
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and, he has this idea of taking his 5000 men british army and marching across the mountains in single file with the wagons. franklin is telling him, those native americans are going to chop you to shreds. and he says, they may do that year petit east militias, but they won't do that to the british army, they did it to the british army. the only ones who fought well and that encounter were there virginia troops with washington because they knew how to fight in that situation. so anyway, there they were, they work together and met together often and already knew each other. after the french and indian war franklin goes off and is the agent for the legislature in london. he already by now is one of the most famous scientists in the world, his writings are read worldwide. he is a true major figure in the
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enlightenment. washington meanwhile goes back to his plantation, he finally gets it himself from the widow of lawrence and he turns this feeling tobacco plantation into five successful wheats farms. he is a very smart farmer who knows he is never going to make it with tobacco and grow sweets. eventually build the largest whiskey distillery in the new world, the processes wheat and grains and he gets the best grinding stones in the new world and sells his product all the way to china and all the way to the new world because it was such finely grained. so, you have two incredibly successful business people, to people who had supported and worked with britain, with franklin over there, washington in the new world and then comes the war. and, there were four things i suppose that both franklin and washington learned during the french and indian war.
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it is important. they learn that you cannot trust the british. the british would happily texas without representation. second, they learned that americans, no matter how great they were, no matter if they were brown franklin, the greatest scientists in the world, they would always be second-class to the british. same way with washington. washington, his brother had gotten an official british commission because he fought with the british. washington tried to get back to, he was colonel of the highest rank you could be, the british would not promote him. he was a colonel in the virginia militia but that was ranked under all british officers. so we had a take order from lieutenants and that's golden because he knew he was greater than that, just like franklin, they were both men who knew who they were more comfortable in their own skin, that's one reason they could get together because they didn't have petty
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jealousies, they knew who they were. they also learned that the only way these colonies can never win and ever advance is by working together. franklin wrote during the french and indian war, wrote the first political cartoon ever made in america, that's one with the rattlesnake chopped in pieces with each state and said, union or die. only by working together washington learned that because of the colonies needed to work together militarily that's how they eventually conquered for -- it was a force without five colonies that did it. they knew union. and finally, they both commented on the, they finally realize that after the battle in which the british troops were destroyed he said, you know, for all the want of fame of the british army we can beat these guys and frontier fighting. they are not so invincible.
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so, they learned all of them and they brought that with them to the second continental congress. when they went to the second continental congress in 1775 they were far and away the two most famous, most important, most lauded people there. they were the american heroes already from their previous light. so, they were appointed to every committee at first. that's when they began working together because they served on all the military communities because franklin was known as a military leader of franklin then proposes washington along with others to be commander-in-chief. and if you have franklin behind you, you're going to get the job but he had his own reputation as well. and then after franklin goes they work together in philadelphia and then when washington goes off to the front franklin is head of them. commission and always keeps going to meet with him.
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he goes up to cambridge which was during the siege of boston washington's headquarters he goes to new jersey when the battle moves to new york he actually believe it or not the poor guy 70 troops to canada on the invasion of canada. he is clever enough to bring his own bedding because he's afraid he's going to get license things but he still has to sleep in a floor on burnout buildings and the guys in his 70s. so, their meeting together and working together and then franklin after the declaration of independence which she cowrote, because they know he's america's greatest diplomat he sent over the most experienced diplomat while he served as the agent of pennsylvania he was still good backend disk and an hour talking about the early 1760s. several other states has to be there agent including georgia. he was your agent, he was the colonial georges agent as well.
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anyway, he goes over the one he's over in france he is the key person to figure out how to get french support because they know they can't win with the french because we had nothing, we couldn't raise taxes, we did not pay our troops, we didn't even quote the troops of the french made the uniforms. at times half of our army was barefoot, did not have shirts and this was in winter when their stay in like in the winter in moorestown. those were the top times -- franklin was working closely with washington to arrange the close, the guns, the issues to be shipped over and ultimately to send over money of course getting loans from the french and gifts from the french because of his skill then also
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sending over troops in the french navy. indeed, when the final victory comes because the battle of yorktown and granted, cornwallis hennepin was a very strategic to march up to virginia especially when he had someone as bright as nathaniel green liberating georgia and south carolina behind him. but he then goes out to the coast. the only way he is defeated and therefore the war one is at the french navy comes in and placates him there were more french troops on land and the battle of yorktown than there were american troops and those were all arranged by franklin. sows constantly back and forth. also the great european generals and military leaders, all of them franklin found them there
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franklin sent them with the letter to washington. so, they were working together back and forth throughout this whole period, then they separate out, washington goes home and rebuild his plantation in mount vernon. very successfully writing the articles about international farming journals. franklin comes back and becomes governor of pennsylvania that's when the constitutional convention meets in those two states, it's virginia and pennsylvania on the first two states to move to have a constitutional convention partly because washington and franklin both have been fighting for a stronger union from the beginning. franklin all the way back to the french and indian war and his proposal the albany plan which is quite similar to the
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constitution. both have fundamental agreements. both of them knew both of them saw the colonies with states collapsing all going the wrong way, all fighting their own way. you cannot even trade between them because each had their money had their own commerce and both of these men have been businessmen and they wanted to grow the pie for everybody. that meant you needed one national economy that would grow for everybody and so they will both wanted a central government much like the original albany plan and washington had written this during his famous letter to the state which is the last major writing while general back in 17831 central government that would have control over foreign policy over military, no
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separate malicious over foreign affairs and over interstate and international commerce and also had the power to tax and spend for the general welfare and then leave the things that are what local to the state. that was their idea of a federal government and they shared that together. so they both push the constitutional convention to push that prayer franklin was in his 80s but still sharp as a tack and when washington to philadelphia the first place he went after dropping off his bags at robert morris house was to franklin files for a meeting. the reinforcing he did e-mail washington above border. and he opened it and they enjoyed it together under their mulberry tree out front in washington and franklin showed them his home in library. washington loved books. they knew they had a lot of men
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and they met together regularly they did differ on some things and i looked at it but they agreed on a stronger central government. they disagreed on the power of the presidency. washington wanted a strong one franklin wanted a strong what -- they -- over slavery. franklin was the leader of the first abolition society in america and washington of course was a slave owner. so they had their differences, but they work together, they both supported the final product as far better than nothing because otherwise franklin, both of them feared the whole experiment in liberty would collapse because both of them believed in america believed in divine providence in america was something new under the sun that
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was for a place for individual liberty and property rights and no monarch, they both deeply believe that in those things despite differences on certain issues kept them together. so, and, they both supported ratification and franklin got pennsylvania to be the first state to ratify, washington brought virginia in as the last state to ratify and franklin of course push washington to be the first president. so, i get these exciting times in their together and i cannot impact their letters come i can find meetings that people did not know they had before but just by tracking their routes. so, i know i'm running out of my time and i want to give time for you to ask questions so let me quickly close just by reading the very ends. the last page of the book so you can see after telling the story
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where i come to. >> i write, despite their flaws, franklin and washington have held up better than most leaders of any age. theirs was the founding partnership that launched a nation, over the years the harshest critics of franklin have focused on his promoting no falsified middle-class virtues. no man was ever glorious who is not laborious he wrote in an poor richard's almanac for 1734 adding a year later the ever famous one early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. generations of americans took franklins maxims to hard and credited them as their way to wealth. just as surely generations of intellectuals from edgar allen protest f scott fitzgerald marked franklin as a pedestrian prophet of pragmatism yet, franklin was a man of many faces
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who, as at one time or another dawn many masks in his writings, ranging from the first, the wealthy witty widow silence too good to his last, the arab slaver, mahatma and abraham. judging franklin solely on his richard saunders guys scarcely does injustice. washington did not wear multiple masks, but so carefully cultivated the firm faith of republican virtue that he once famously cautioned the gilbert stuart, my accountants never yet betrayed my feelings, look at the 1 dollar bill, it's probably true. this aspect of washington's personality can make it difficult to see behind the public image as it is to look beyond franklins multiple guises then as now, the pennsylvania printer in the virginia planter
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appeared too dissimilar to maintain lasting friendships especially since the former posed as a man of the people while the later praying to as one above them. yet, focusing on their distinct public images obscures their fundamental similarities. hard-working and entrepreneurial, franklin and washington had successful business careers outside of government another never viewed themselves primarily as politicians, both prospered as colonists and supported royal rule until realizing that britain would not extend basic english rights to americans, jealous of their liberties, they turned against the crown and never looked back. each nurtured deep, lifelong friendships with both men and women. natural leaders, people trusted them and they trusted others. both men listened more than they
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talked. compromised to secure and. relied on others, sacrifice for the common good and never, ever wavered on principle. and both were reformers, franklin compulsively so. they saw problems and tried to fix them, franklins fixes range from mechanical tomorrow, lightning rods and bifocals to constitutions and popular philosophy. washington's included constitutions of course but also agricultural reforms, shaped by the enlightenment franklin washington shared a republican ideology and the progress of his fate that relied on human reason and divine providence rather than traditional ways and established dogmas they sought truth and accepted facts, life could get better they believed, there is did. as the old order collapsed around them they crafted a
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better one to replace it. one that lasted for over two centuries. they did not see it as perfect and never thought it would last forever, if people allowed it, franklin weren't even the constitution for all its virtues would lead to tyranny with the president serving as he warned defeatists of monarchy. the example of franklin shows what individuals can do in times of faction, fraction of failure to address problems and improve the state of affairs. we will not be driven by fear the legendary broadcast journalist edward would say about later americans, if we dig to the leg ureter americans if we dig deep into her history and our doctrine and remember that we are not descendents from fearful men. he surely had the likes of franklin and washington in mind. and so at the onset of world war ii the war that made world famous in his four freedoms
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speech, resolute franklin delano roosevelt quoted franklin, those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve near the neither liberty or safety. franklin was more than a pennsylvania printer. washington much more than a tidewater planter. they were larger-than-life american originals whose partnership in revolutionary times laid the foundation for the worlds first continental republic which has lasted for nearly 250 years. each recognize the other's goodness and greatness and viewed one another as partners in the fight for liberty. others saw this too, despite their critics, franklin as i noted was elected to his states highest office unanimously twice and washington was elected to the nations highest office unanimously twice. both men willingly relinquish their public stations to return to their private positions. indeed, they preferred for private life to public power.
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yet, there they were, and are the two indispensable americans. franklin and washington, the founding partnership. thank you. [applause] >> thank you questions. >> i believe i am right on time. some may have to leave but if there are questions from people i would love to talk more about these people welcome. my host cemex so what advice and guidance do you think franklin in washington we give the current administration. [laughter] >> it's easy to know what advice washington would give, because he gave it in his farewell address. when he stepped down as president his main call was to
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avoid partisanship. that's what the dress was about. it also says it is an avoidant tingling foreign alliances and it also stresses the importance of union, that we have created something remarkable, both of them honestly you can read their private letters as well as their public statements, both of them believed there was divine providence behind the united states. that this was something new under the sun and, this was a model for the world, but, they did not want foreign alliances, franklin showed that in the way he dealt with their friends always playing them against the english, they knew they had to work with foreign countries but they try to avoid alliances, they tried to stress the importance to everyone that we are not first virginians or pennsylvanians, we are first americans. they would use that term, franklin is the first one who regularly uses the terms
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americans but we know what they would say is, partisanship. partisanship will drive us apart and we need to pull together. i would be their advice because that's what they said. any other questions? [applause] you are there other questions you can say from there and i will repeated want. [inaudible question] >> the question was did i ever see where they changed each other's? i would say there franklin deep into washington's understanding of the importance of union. washington came down, was down a philadelphia, even though he was already commander-in-chief he was back there in the weeks leading up to the declaration of
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independence and that was also the time when the articles of confederation were introduced and franklin immediately tried to toughen them and make them or more like the albany federation and washington started speaking much about the importance of a stronger union, so i am sure that was one, also, it's hard to know who was really first, but certainly it was a back-and-forth between them, originally when the revolutionary started, there was this idle notion that liberty and justice will prevail and therefore these colonial militias such as the minutemen that descended down from new hampshire and were out from an infra- massachusetts and surrounded the british in boston after the battle of lexington and concorde that they would easily win. now, franklin knew the british,
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he had been in britain and he knew this was going to be a long hard war and he wrote in letters come i don't think i will survive it, we need an organized continental army and so he goes out and meets with washington and cambridge and they try to come up, instead of colonial militias that served by the year and therefore all of them were going to be ended service and at the end of 1775 he said, that's no good, we need a continental army with these people signed up for the duration. and so, they talk back-and-forth about how to build such an army, so they are, they certainly crossed influenced each other a lot in washington realize that he needed such an army. so, that were the times were they would work together and sharpen each other, were they unsure franklin helped worked with washington to understand the force of union that was
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needed, the sorts of things that needed to be unified, but by this time they were both so experienced that they would just you can see it first and one, the other one picking it up because it made sense, they differed on certain things like what franklin was more fearful of a strong monarch because he had been in england, washington was more fearful that we be chaotic without a strong leader, they had their differences and they discuss those and they discuss slavery, so they did remain different, they were both independent actors but in the same way roosevelt and remain on some issues put on big ones they came together and you can see them come together through their meetings and that is how they would influence one another. the next question. >> their friendship, how did franklin convince washington to slaves with passed away? >> well, franklin urged the
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freeing of slaves. he urged the abolition of slavery. he urged individually people to free their slaves but a lot of people were urging, hamilton was urging, laughing was searching henry laurens from south carolina, one of the lawrence from south carolina note was searching washington many of the quaker leaders workers gene washington to free slaves was coming to. franklin, washington and subduing at the end of his life long after franklins intervention so come i don't think the credit ultimately goes to franklin. their credit all the goes to washington agonizing and long equivocating over this issue and certainly when i talk about the flaws people raise about these men just like franklin is sized for his pedestrian values that he has seen, he always called
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himself even after he became extremely wealthy, extremely employed chilly he called himself the middle and main which back then he met middle class because that's how he viewed himself and that's how he projected himself. washington did not view himself that way. so, they had those stylistic differences and so i think washington's decision to free slaves at his deathbed was not primarily attributable to franklin. it was attributable to a constellation of ideas and thoughts and urgings that many people, and by this time hamilton and lafayette would've had the strongest influence on him yes. >> would get both of you. [inaudible question]
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>> absolutely. the question is, i mention the french support, but, you ask about the dutch support and certainly the dutch did not contribute troops, but, they did, they certainly contributed bones, the dutch people are more likely to give loans, they are bankers, then gifts. but, they did support, and also, the one great reason why the revolution was successful was
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that the british were pulled away when france got into the war in spain got into the war and the netherlands got into the war, they got into the war against england but not necessarily against aligned with us. the french were aligned with us but not the dutch of the spanish but they joined an alliance so they were attacking british colonies worldwide. in india, southeast asia, but primarily in the caribbean because the most valuable colonies i know we are all proud of georgia here, but the most valuable colonies at the time to the british were not georgia and were not even south carolina, not pennsylvania or massachusetts, they were the sugar and colonies of the caribbean. that's where the real money was. in churning out great wealth for england. and so, the french and the dutch who both had colony in the spanish you had colonies in the caribbean started to attack the british colonies and actually
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took many of them over. and so, the british had to transfer enormous amount of their troops during the second half of the revolution down to the caribbean. so, half of the troops who were stationed in new york city under general clinton to fight the americans were actually transferred down and much of the navy to fight in the caribbean. so the dutch and that we played a major role of polling large levels of british troops away from the battle there was that situation that allowed americans to succeed. so, the dutch were very important. franklin was involved but that was more john adams. john adams would send over to work with franklin which is always very difficult because no one can work with john adams and
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he eventually goes to the netherlands to work with the dutch bankers and getting money for them. though of course there is also the backstop franklin and franklin was always writing communicating. thank you. [applause] thank you so much. this was wonderful. thank you. >> that was pulitzer prize winning historian edward lawson. if you missed any of this program or any of our other live coverage from today savannah book festival you can watch it online any time book
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>> author and white house correspondent, april ryan will be our guest set on in-depth, live at noon eastern on sunday march 1. here's a portion of one of her recent book to be appearances. >> there is an old negro spiritual when i think of freedom, oh freedom, oh freedom, oh freedom over me. and before i be a slave i be buried in my grave and if you all know the rest, and go home to the lord and be free. this is serious for me. this is so serious for me. because, if i am not allowed to ask questions you're not going to get the information that you need. if they are suppressing


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