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tv   History of the Treaty of Ghent  CSPAN  March 22, 2015 9:00pm-9:35pm EDT

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words and to pass for arguments intended to show that the negro ought to be a slave, if he shall now really fight to keep himself a slave, it will be a far better argument why he should remain a slave than any i have ever heard before. i have always thought that all men should be free. whenever i hear anyone arguing for slavery, i feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally. i suppose you are all going home to your family and friends. the service you have done in this great struggle, i present you sincere thanks from myself and the country. this is not merely for today but for all time to come, that we should perpetuate for our
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children's children, this great and free government. i happen temporarily to occupy this big white house. i am a living witness that any one of your children may look to come here. as my father's child has. the nation is worth fighting for. to secure such an inestimable jewel. [applause]
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[applause] >> every sunday at 8:00 p.m. and midnight eastern, learn from leading historians about presidents and first ladies, their policies and legacies, here on "the presidency." to watch any of our programs or check our schedule, visit you're watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. >> all weekend long, american history tv is joining our media cable partners to showcase the history of columbus, georgia. to learn more about cities on our 2015 tour, visit we continue with our look at the history of columbus. this is american history tv on c-span3.
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jeff seymour: we are in the national civil war naval museum in columbus, georgia. we are on the banks of the chattahoochee river. the purpose of the naval museum is to tell the stories of the navies during the civil war. we are the only facility that focuses entirely on that particular story. we are in a unique place right here inside the museum, right here inside the museum are the remains of the ironclad that was built in columbus during the war. specifically, we are about midship of the vessel. this section was missing. it fell apart during the recovery process, and this was a great vantage point to take a good look at how this thing is built, and what areas are used are different purposes. -- for different purposes. an ironclad is a wooden ship.
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you still have to build the structure of the ship out of wood. on the outside of it, above the waterline, is iron plating. this provides the ironclad to the vessel. if you want to think about it like this, it is like putting a man inside of armor. most of the ironclad's are used in coastal waters and rivers, and what they were designed to do is essentially protect, in the confederate's case protect local port cities and river towns, which leads us to why the jackson was built in columbus and columbus is so far from the coastline. columbus is the second most important industrial site in the entire confederacy. the confederate navy began building this ironclad here to protect this very important site. there was always the fear that the union navy would mount an attack up the chattahoochee river to take this city.
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the reason the columbus is such an important target is because of the industrial capacity here. they are producing uniforms, boots, munitions here. this is where the columbus depot was. the uniforms produced here went largely to the western army. this is an internal way for the confederate to produce their own material rather than having to import so much from outside. construction on the jackson began in august 1862. she was launched into the river in december of 1864, when wilson's raid came through alabama and had columbus. the bottle -- battle of columbus took place. april 16, 1865 general james wilson is a union cavalry officer and he commanded 10,000 cavalry troops.
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their job was to attack through the states of alabama and georgia. their goal is to destroy important targets like columbus because of industrial output to disrupt supply lines, disrupt communications, anything they can do to further along the collapse of the confederacy. typically and ironclad, especially like the jackson, would be used at a port city and if there is an approaching army, the vessel can move up around the waterway and fire its big guns at the opposing forces. this is typically what confederate ironclad's did. however, in the case of the jackson, she is right at completion in april 65 and there is no crew for it yet. officially, the confederate navy
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has her on the list, official navy register as the next ship to be officially commissioned. however, the war is winding down and the confederacy is collapsing. there is no crude for the jackson available yet. during the battle of columbus, she sat at the navy yard. the navy guys never could come aboard and get her steam up. there wasn't enough men available to do this. it sat there during the battle and did nothing. it's a nice showpiece, so to speak. the next morning on the 17th wilson's men came into the navy yard and they started burning everything. they can't leave a viable weapon like this behind them, so they stuff flammables all over the ship and they set it on fire and they cast it loose into the river. for two weeks this vessel is
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slowly floating downstream the chattahoochee and burning. there is a debris field between here and the final wreck sites. i finally caught -- it finally got caught in the bend of the river, and she sank. the water finally put out the fires, and we have what is left of her now. her length is 225 feet long and she's 57 feet wide at her widest spot. we estimate she weighed 2000 tons. the majority of the ship is made out of wood. it is when construction, and the hull is made of a southern longleaf. we are at the back of the -- the stern of the casemate. this gives us a great advantage to see what they call would look like. -- the hull would likeook like.
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this vessel is designed specifically for river travel. it is designed not to go out on the open ocean, but specifically for the problems of the river. here this wood plank was sort of like an edge, because it is an edge. this is where the iron plates would come down, just wrapped around what is called the knuckle. you have the waterline here and the iron plates come here and the ends are resting on this wood plank here. also, if you will notice, the wood planks, the boards here they look like they've got cracks in between them. it's very wide apart. but, this is the problem when the vessel was recovered when they brought it out of the water they set it up on the shore and
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let it dry out. it cracked and constricted. when she was launched into the river, one of the local newspapers reporters noted in the paper that she floated like a duck on a pond. she barely leaped. an amazing job those constructors did on this vessel. from this vantage point, you're looking towards the stern of the vessel. you're looking at the back. moving forward, you can see where the shafts of the propeller are embedded in the whole of the ship, where they come through the hull. the shafts would have been coming forward towards the pistons of the steamship, or the steam engine. you get those pistons moving back and forth, turning the propeller shaft. you have two of those, two big ones right here along this section behind this superstructure. and right here is where the steam engine would sit.
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you've got the boilers right here, and if you're able to look up we've got a recreation of the smokestack. we've got the smokestack going straight up, and up above the upper deck, the smokestack extends about 40 feet. from this vantage point we are able to look down on the jackson trade we are essentially at deck level. you looking out towards the main casemate of the ironclad. those oval shapes you see are the gun ports of the jackson. the jackson is armed with six brooke rifles. the brooke rifle is a rifle gun. it fires large bullets instead of cannonballs. the brooke rifle has an effective range of about five miles, and a solid round lays about 120 pounds. the particular brooke rifle we are firing today is one of the
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guns built specifically for the jackson. he was cast at the silva naval works in selma alabama, and completed in january 1865. >> at your command. >> ready! >> fire! [explosion] jeff seymour: boom, you have the explosion. it is simple, yet so effective. after the war, people basically knew where she went down. it's not a question of having to discover where she was. the physical process of recovery of the jackson took place in the early 1960's. they began working on a process in 1961, and they started to
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build a dam around the wreck site and they try to flush the water out of the interior. they had to start digging the gun boat out of the mud. when they pulled the vessel out of the river bank, what they had to do is tell this material back up the river, and they used a tug boat. they've got some flotation devices under it and so forth, but they are pulling the wreck the two pieces of the wreck up the chattahoochee river with a tug boat. they have to live it with cranes up on the river bank. that was at the location of the old museum. in the late 1990's they begin construction on this nice, new facility. it was completed in 2001. in order to move this vessel from that place to this location , they used one of those big trucks that they move houses on.
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they had to move it very carefully down one of the streets of columbus. when they actually build the building, they built three sides here and they backed the hull of the jackson in here, set the braces under it, and slowly pulled the truck out from under it. once they got everything in here and in place, they build the back all to the building -- wall to the building. it was an amazing engineering feat to pull this off. there are only four ironclads from the civil war that we can study right now. the jackson is right here, and this is why this facility is here. it is first and foremost to tell the story of this particular ironclad and to show people there are more than just one or two ironclads. there were many. we have one of the best examples of that right here.
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>> throughout the weekend american history tv is featuring columbus, georgia. our cities tour staff recently toured there to learn about its rich history. learn about columbus and other stops on our tour at /citiestour. >> ratified in february 1815 the treaty of ghent brought an end to the war of 1812. up next on american history tv, park ranger jim bailey at the fort mchenry national monument and historic shrine discusses the history and importance of the treaty of ghent. he examines the origins of the war and how british and americans despond it to the treaty. this half-hour event is hosted by the octagon museum, the same
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house and temporary executive mansion in which president madison signed the treaty in february 1815. jim bailey: good afternoon. my name is ranger jim bailey and i am a park ranger with the national park service in baltimore. --the birthplace of our star-spangled banner. in september we observe the 200th anniversary of that moment. today, and the rest of this weekend, we are observing the 200th anniversary of the end of the war of 1812 and the treaty of ghent. that is what we will be talking about today. what was the treaty of ghent? what was the war of 1812? as we go through slides, please don't hesitate to call out the question or ask me to back up if i go too fast. they told me i had about two hours. i hope you brought snacks. you're going to talk about the
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treaty of ghent, or how i learned to stop worrying and love canada. this is a postwar painting of the exchange of the treaty as it was negotiated on christmas eve of 1814. the british commissioners on the left, the american commissioners on the right. it is called the piece of christmas eve. while the treaty is signed on december 24, it does not go into effect, not yet. the british understood that 200 years ago. that is something that 200 years of americans have forgotten, the treaties don't go into effect until two things happen. anybody know what they are? they have to be ratified. who ratifies a treaty in the united states? the senate. what else? the president has to sign.
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the british knew this. they had been burned by the americans in earlier negotiations, where they figured , we are working with the americans, they negotiated this, and they sent it back, and all of a sudden the american congress is making changes. that's not how it is done in europe right -- europe. you can see kind of the plane diplomatic clothing of the american civilians versus the british admiral the undersecretary for the colonies, and in admiral. is her actual quotes taken from original documents. feel free to have a seat. history is fun right? this is john adams and this is the former senator from delaware. don't tell the vice president.
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real quick, think to remember is the treaty of ghent and the war of 1812 alltel place against this larger backdrop of global events, the napoleonic wars and the french revolutionary wars. we declare our independence, we fight the war for independence we win, and we inspire the french to have their own revolution. this starts about 20 years of conflict. this is the battle of leipzig called the battle of the nations. over half a million men were engaged, the largest battle before world war i. this is not only the 200th anniversary, but also the 100th anniversary of world war i. roughly 150,000 casualties. the war of 1812, by comparison will amount to maybe 10,000 men total from both sides. the war of 1812 is a tiny
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sidelight to this larger global conflict. it is what causes the war of 1812. it is what helps the united states negotiate an end to the war that doesn't and with us surrendering large amounts of territory. what was the word 1812 about? free trade and sailors writes. -- sailors' rights. what the heck does that mean? while this big war is going on between great britain and her allies and friends and her allies americans are getting pulled into it. the british are going to impress or forcibly draft into their navy over 6000 american citizens before 1812. think about that. 6000 american civilians, not american sailors off of u.s. naval ships, but american citizens plying their trade among american merchant vessels are going to remove -- to be removed from the decks by
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british warships and forced to serve in their navy. this would not be put up with today, 200 years ago, americans are up in arms. the british and the french are also seizing american ships. 900 vessels are seized by great britain and france before 1812. the british are seizing ships that they believe are bound for france. they don't want americans helping out the french economy because they're at war with france. not to be outdone, the french don't want to supply great britain either. they both passed conflicting orders that you can trade with us, but not the other guys. you're in the proverbial rock and a hard place if you are an american merchant. the french are seizing ships and impressing sailors. great britain has a bigger navy. who was our ally during the revolution? right. who was our enemy?
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no matter what the french do we're also going to push that off to the side. the greater threat is great britain. this will lead to a declaration of war in june of 1812 for free trade and sailors' rights. this work could have been declared in 1810 1808, 1806. by 1812, a host of factors combined that congress is finally going to push for a vote of war. we know they voted in favor of the war, but it barely passed. the war of 1812 will be the most unpopular war and the most divisive war in american history. one other war will divide the country more than this, and that's a civil war. lesson 51% of congress will vote in favor of a -- less than 51% of congress will vote in favor of a war. we declare war against the greatest empire in the world. the american people are split right down the middle.
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6000 men, 900 ships. everybody agrees that is not cool, but people voting against the war are saying, the british are only doing this to us because they're fighting this war against france. what would the world look like if france wins versus great britain wins? that is why they're voting against the war. let this war in europe take care of itself, then they will stop seizing men and ships. those of you who are declaring war, what are you going to fight it with? we only have about 12 ships and our navy, 12,000 men in our army. the british have over 250,000 battle hardened veterans and about 600 ships at sea and a global empire. on paper, who will win this war? great britain. the war is going to go. as you might imagine, very badly for the united states. there are a few bright spots,
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such as the constitution versus guerrier in 1812. one of those dozen warships sinks a british warship. to great britain, they have gone from 500 ships to 499. not a big deal. but their pride. their pride has taken a huge hit, which means our morality has gone through the roof -- morale has gone through the roof. it doesn't affect the war at all. with the exception of the constitution versus the guerrier and a couple other naval actions, essentially an unmitigated series of disaster and if -- defeat for the united states. a man will be court-martialed and sentenced to death, and his sentence will be committed only because of his revolutionary war service in his age.
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these are dark times for the united states. 1813 is not much better. 1814, the british invade the chesapeake and burn the white house just a few blocks away in august of 1814. a foreign army is marching at will throughout maryland. they've turned chesapeake bay essentially into a british lake. by 1814, the treasury is practically empty. there is no draft. nobody wants to fight the war. war loans are not being bought. there's not only no money in the treasury, there is no money being pumped into the war effort. remember how divisive things were at the beginning of the war? what do you think two years of disaster and defeat have done to that division? unified us as one people? absolutely not.
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the federalist party and democratic republican party are tearing the political fabric of the country apart and the americans themselves. the governors of two new england states refuse to call out the militia when ordered to by the president of the united states. this looks really, really bad. we would kind of like to negotiate an end to this year -- this but does not involve the whole thing going under. we try right away, in august of 1812. a lot of democratic republicans thought, just by declaring war the british will take it seriously, and then we can negotiate. however, the british are like no you want to step into the ring we are going to see how this goes. two of the reasons we went to war, the seizure of ships and the seizure of men. one of them is dealt with before worse even declared. the british say, we will stop
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that. if there had been a red phone or that direct connection to great britain in 1812 200 years ago maybe the war would not have been declared. but we declared war. we don't feel we can back off without getting something. the british aren't going to seek an armistice. that doesn't work. in 1814 russia is going to offer to mediate an end the war for a couple reasons. one, keep great britain focused on europe. they just barely beat napoleon back out of russia in 1812. they don't want a repeat of that. they are an important trade with the u.s., with the war. they are saying, we will negotiate an end to the war and as soon as russia makes that offer we say, that's great, and we send off some peace commissioners to st. petersburg. we did not wait to find out what the british want to do.
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they said thanks but no thanks. our commissioners are cooling their jets in st. petersburg. in november 1813, the british will say, i guess we do need to make a counter offer here. and so they offer to set up direct negotiations. we will not do this to a third party. we will do it direct so we can stick it to these americans. it's not until may of the following year that the envoys are appointed. negotiations will run from august to december. while this is happening the british are also trying to negotiate a postwar europe. in the spring of 1814, napoleon is defeated. at the same time the british are worried about this war 3000 miles away, they won this 20 year conflict. what is going to look like? how will they hold together this
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fragile alliance that defeated napoleonic france? if you're great britain, what is your number one priority? europe, or america? europe first. what are some of the advantages going into the negotiations? we are fighting on home soil. things can't get any worse than they are right now. we are going to send the cream of the crop to negotiate this treaty. these are some of the smartest americans this country will ever produce. the best british negotiators are in vienna, working on the europe issue. they will send their second stringers to ghent. second stringers are still really good. they're not bad, they're just not the best. in britain people want to end the war. they have been fighting the war for 20 years. they have been economically supporting it for 20 years. the british negotiators know
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that whether they want to prolong the war are not, the home front is going to call the shots. they've got to get this done. british advantages. we did just kind of defeat the greatest military genius ever. we have a huge economy. that 500 ship navy that can blockade the united states and strangle its, supported native americans on the frontier. canada is still behind us. we just found cool. the british -- sound cool. the british have the upper hand in negotiations, or so it would seem. who are we sending? john quincy adams, minister to russia and federalist. james madison, what party is he from? micronic republican. he's appointing one of the highest-ranking members or one of the smartest minds of the opposing political party to
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these negotiations because he knows to end the war, we will have to have a partisanship here. john q.a. will go on to become president of the united states. henry clay, who will go on to dominate the scene for the next few decades, brand-new speaker of the house. jonathan russell, who's already in great britain. he was in charge of the affairs. james bay art, who is no longer in congress but a very well respected senator, and a federalist. and the former secretary of the treasury and a democratic republican. three democratic republicans john quincy adams, henry clay, albert ellison. and then russell and they art -- bayard. this is the team you want. there is a connection to my home
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park afford mchenry, christopher hughes. he's the secretary for the commission. he was commander of artillery -- artillery. john quincy adams did not think too highly of mr. hughes. he said, houston leave the whole science of diplomacy consists in giving -- hughes believes the whole science of diplomacy consists in giving dinners. who are the british sending? dr. william adams, admiralty lawyer. he's on the team because americans are known to favor legalistic arguments. lord gambier will look out for the british naval interests. they're not going to budge on this issue. the reason they can't is the minute they give up the idea of impressment what any british sailor does not want to be part of the navy, what are they going to do? desert to an american flag vessel.
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if you're great britain if you give up impressment, you just shot yourself in the foot. henry goulburn, is there to look after canada. still some very smart people. any questions so far? ok. what are the main issues they're going to tackle? we know the seizure of ships that was done. what is the number one issue? impressment. the u.s. will draw back immediately when negotiations began in august. in august, what is over? the polyphonic -- napoleonic wars. we no longer are negotiating with someone who's distracted. we are negotiating with someone whose military might is sitting there, ready to move. we will say ok, we know we're making this big deal about it. we will kind of drop down. free trade and sailors' rights
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at the beginning of negotiations , that is off to the side. were not even negotiating over the causes of this war. the british for their part are going to come back and say, any treaty has got to include a buffer zone in the northwest for native americans. this is not out of any deep rooted beliefs or effort to advance the cause of native americans, it is that they want a buffer zone for future invasions of canada. they want the native americans to be the first-line of defense. they soak up any american invasions, which gives them time to ship over troops and get organized. what does this buffer zone look like? 1/3 of ohio, all of michigan wisconsin, have of minnesota all of indiana and illinois. the american commissioners were a bit shocked. it would also


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