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tv   Declaration of Independence and 1776  CSPAN  August 6, 2016 3:15pm-4:01pm EDT

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exhibit "1776 -- ,"eaking news: independence featuring the first newspaper printing of the declaration. the artifact is on loan from philanthropist david rubenstein, who discusses the importance of the document and why colonists wanted to break free from britain. this event is about 45 minutes. >> good evening. i'm delighted to welcome all of you who are here tonight and those of you who are watching on .elevision and online i'm jan newhart, the chair and chief executive officer of the freedom forum. tonight, we mark the opening of um's newest exhibit,
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of 19 copies of the declaration of independence. the rare newspapers on loan from businessman and philanthropist david rubenstein, and tonight, we have the distinct honor to have him join us in i'm sure -- in what i'm sure will be a fascinating conversation. he practices what he calls patriotic philanthropy. he doesn't, he says, because he thinks it is important to recognize the unique rights and freedoms we have in this country. um and freedom forum, we love that focus because that is what we do, too. the 1776 exhibit is one of the many high-profile ways we champion freedom, free expression, and the first amendment. yearthan 18,000 people a
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see our exhibitions. we convene programs so people of different beliefs can come together to discuss pressing issues related to the five freedoms of the first amendment, and our educational programs that provide teachers worldwide with course material touch more than 3 million students. exhibit, in addition to showcasing the issue of "the pennsylvania evening post" features interested -- interactive kiosks. around the gallery, they use the form of a graphic novel to show how they gathered in philadelphia to break the bonds of british rule and forge a new nation. i would like to welcome press pass members tonight, our members of the friends of the first amendment society, and corporate engagement program members to thank them for their um's work. the newse
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most of all, i would like to thank a bit rubenstein for thank the 17 seven -- david rubenstein for making the 1776 exhibit possible. transformativeen . here are some of the other things david has done to recognize, promote, and preserve the precious rights and freedoms we enjoy as americans. he gifted millions to restore the washington monument and the lincoln memorial. he helped preserve our founder'' legacies at thomas jefferson's monticello, george washington's mount vernon, and james madison's montpelier. he purchased a seven hundred 10-year-old copy of the magna carta and returned it to the national archives so it would be accessible to the public. proving that he cares about living beings beyond humans, he made a generous gift to the national zoo to help the giant pandas reproduce and escape extinction. but david does not just give.
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he gets involved with the institutions he supports. he chairs or sits on dozens of and serves as chairman and ceo of the carlyle group. he likes to remind audiences that philanthropy is an ancient greek word meaning love of humanity, not just rich people writing checks. or our community to thrive, we need as many people as possible to share their ideas, their time, and their talents, and david is certainly leading by example. he has unquestionably made the world a better place for humanity, and for that, we should all be forever grateful. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome -- please join me in welcoming david rubenstein, and ceo,nterviewer, newseum jeffrey herbst.
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[applause] mr. herbst: i would like to welcome our audience. david, thank you for joining us and thank you for making this wonderful exhibit possible. do you think you could tell us why and when you developed this deep interest in american history? mr. rubenstein: well, i did have interest in it in high school when i was in baltimore and in college as well, but i would not say it really came to a head until i had a chance as a young man to work in the white house. when i was 27 years old, i was deputy domestic policy advisor to president carter. when you are that age, you worked around-the-clock. you love for you are doing, as i did, and you have the time to think about the historic beginning of the white house. i also live in the washington area. when you live in the washington area, you get more and more involved with historic-related things, so it is a combination of all that.
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herbst: how true are you to this newspaper first printing of the declaration of independence? : it is not an legal document in the historic sense, nothing constitution or bill of rights, but it was the first time the colonies came together and issued a statement that was heard around the world. it was really their declaration of their reason for wanting to be independent. it has become a historic document not so much because it declared independence, but because some things in the preface -- the preamble, i -- became inspiring words for that generation and subsequent generations. i think the declaration of independence has become a symbol of the creed under which our country is theoretically established in which all men and all women are created equal. we have struggled to live up to that creed but those words in the preamble really are the symbol of what our country
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should be about. mr. herbst: the exhibit goes through the context and run up to the declaration of independence. in retrospect, it all, as history often does, seems inevitable but maybe you can describe the event. was it british miscalculation? could they have kept a hold a while longer of this vast territory? mr. rubenstein: as i like to remind people in britain, sometimes when you depart from a larger organization, it may not be the end of the earth because we departed and it worked out ok for us, different circumstances though. what really happened -- and this is interesting for those who have not really studied it -- the british had a "not ridiculous" position. their view was -- we have protected the colonies and spent a lot of money in the french and indian wars and now we would like to be compensated and we are still providing protection so pay us some taxes. it is not an uncommon thing for governments to impose taxes.
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but the colonies said -- we have the rights of all englishmen and we got those in our charters. those rights say we have the rights given to us by the magna carter and subsequent documents in english history. and they said among other things no taxation without , representation. taxes are being imposed and we are not represented in parliament and we are not happy. they went through a series of skirmishes -- legal skirmishes and military skirmishes and ultimately, the first continental congress was created in 1774. it was designed to say -- the colonies want to come to a resolution on how to deal with this and their view was that we have to stay part of the british empire. because they were british people and not really interested in being independent. there was no real talk about independence then but they did not get very far. the king and the parliament would not respond and the king had the attitude that -- these were being insurgents and he would not tolerate or listen to
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their pleas. their view was that the king we are subject to and we are not part of the parliament and he is not listening or answering our entreaties. the second continental congress got to be more complicated when they decided that they might need to be independent. a resolution was introduced by a few members of the second continental congress authorizing a vote on independence. some of the states did not have the authorization so they went back to their respective jurisdictions and tried to get authority to vote for independence. they got that. they came back. and in 1776 at the end of june when they came back, they saw on their desks a document that had been drafted by thomas jefferson with the help of benjamin franklin, robert livingston, and roger sherman and that committee of five had been tasked with the idea of coming up with a declaration of independence assuming the vote for
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independence would occur. when they came back, the document had been drafted largely by thomas jefferson. it was sitting there. to beoted on july 1 and independent. on the subsequent evenings, they took up the declaration. the declaration was ultimately approved with some changes. jefferson was upset with the changes. he called it mutilation of what he had written. interestingly, thomas jefferson, though a brilliant writer, he did not talk very much. as president, he made only one speech in public. the first inaugural address. he had a high pitched voice and he was not comfortable as a speaker. when he was sitting in the second continental congress and they were mutilating his document in his view, he did not say anything.
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they went next door to mr. dunlop, the printer and asked for several hundred copies. they went to washington to read to the troops. and the king of england. to know what was being done in the colonies. and the king of france. and so forth. ultimately, the next day, after the dunlop copy was printed, the text was printed in the "pennsylvania evening post," the first newspaper printing of the declaration of independence. that is how most americans probably learned about it. there were not that many broadsides compared to the number of newspapers printed. the broadsides were distributed relatively more slowly than newspapers were. if you take a look at the newspapers that were printing and printing the copy of the declaration of independence, there were many of them after the first couple of days -- here in the pennsylvania evening post was the first time they could see what had been agreed to at the second continental congress. it became a document that had a lot of meaning for americans subsequently.
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at that time, the focus was just on declaring independence and saying what the sins of king george were, but as history has unfolded, no one cares about the sins of king george and no one cares about the fact that it declared independence because that is a historic fact and it is not that relevant now. it is the preamble that everyone focuses on. is where the most famous sentence of the english language "we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with such inalienable rights including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." and that is the part of the declaration that lives on. jefferson wrote that -- he had 17 days to write the declaration. like most people, he waited until the last couple of days. if you are a member of the continental congress, you had 20
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or so committees you were a member of. he did write it though and showed it to john adams and ben franklin. they politely edited it and then he submitted it for review. jefferson wrote that when he had two slaves with him and he had others back at monticello. of the people at that convention -- i'm sorry, continental congress were slave owners. and in the declaration, the word slavery does not appear. and you want to say -- how can you say that all men are created equal when you have slavery? that was one of the obvious inconsistencies regarding what they were talking about. they wanted all men created equal. they wanted to be free of england and independent and treated the same way british people were treated but they did not want to treat slaves or women that way or those who were not white, male, and christian. so it was an incongruous thing, and people often ask how could
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jefferson have written this? he did not need to write it but he added it because he had written something similar before in virginia, the preamble to the virginia constitution and he felt that there were certain inherent rights that humans had , but his view was if you are born with certain inherent rights but the way our society has evolved, we cannot have blacks and whites living together. jefferson early in his career thought we should end slavery or end it by having slaves be free and they should live elsewhere. subsequently, he gave up that view because politically, it was difficult to support that view. jefferson's view later in life was probably slavery should not be tolerated, but it was thought of as unrealistic to end it, and he did not become a principal advocate for ending it. jefferson's statement that all men are created equal, though,
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became a creed of our country. later on after the declaration of independence, after the revolutionary war, in other countries, people took up the rallying cry that all men are creating it. even though jefferson jefferson never explain what he meant, he lived 50 years after he wrote that sentence. never actually explain what he meant. people have taken it to mean this is what the goal of our society should be another society say that is the goal. people have equal rights and equal opportunities. in our country, we are struggling to get there. but that is why it is so important because it became the creed of our country. the person who believe in that more than anyone else was abraham lincoln. when abraham lincoln was a young politician, he was not someone who believed that all men was created equal. later in life he began to become a fan of the declaration of independence and he began to say yes, we should go towards that goal.
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famously when he gave his address at gettysburg, he said 4score and 7 years ago, our fathers brought forth a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. actually it was not actually that proposition that everyone was interested in at the time. wonderful sleight of hand. lincoln basically said, you thought we were fighting to keep the union together but we are fighting to end of slavery. subsequently other countries picked up on the concept of all men are created equal and it has become the american creed. jefferson and his colleagues itching for independence? did they have a different stance? what happened? mr. rubenstein: these were men who were born as englishmen. in fact, at the first continental congress in 1774, of
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the delegates who came, more of them had been london than philadelphia. there were 13 colonies and they were transacting with the british west indies or other caribbean islands or england more than they were transacting business among themselves. they really do not know each other that well because they were born as englishmen, that is what they thought they were. many of them had been educated in england. they did not want to separate. their view was that they had been promised certain rights in the did not want to break away from england because that was their country. wherever you're from, you probably do not want to separate from. they made so many entries to the department and the king to say what we do this, or why don't you take away this tax or we can find some way to work this out. but they cannot get any response they wanted from the british because the british government was split as well. let's treat the colonies a
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little better, they were not 100% saying to treaty colonies the way they wear. the king basically had a different relationship with the parliament and many people recognize. the parliament had taken control over the british government. the king was still ruling, but he was not making the major policy decisions. he was more or less a symbol of many of them. but the american colonists thought he was the symbol, therefore they appealed to him. but he did not have the ability to control with the parliament want to do. the majority wanted to punish the americans for being an surgeon. -- insurgent. in the end, the british played, overplayed their hand. they could have cut a deal with the americans. the americans really did not want to separate. it was only after the british sent troops over and killed americans in lexington, concorde, boston. they began to import german soldiers as mercenaries and began to do other things to the colonies. they were beyond the pale in the
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end. john adams and others said we had to be independent. it was not something preordained. suppose the british said, ok, you win, we'll take away the taxes. what would the americans have done? i think we would have evolved to be independent eventually. at some point because of our size would have been more powerful than england. but it was not preordained in 1776 americans felt they had to break away because it was really an overplaying of the hand by the british. host: we were talking before that now we associate the declaration of independence with july 4, but that is actually not correct. there is a more interesting story there. mr. rubenstein: yes. as indicated earlier, the delegates came back to the
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second continental congress and at that time they had gone to the states and got permission to vote for independence. although them did except for new york. only 12 states approved it, new york did not have permission. what happened was when they went to mr. dunlop and said print this up, they had a working draft that thomas jefferson had given them. he printed up copies, the pennsylvania post had its copies. copies were distributed. but nothing was signed. they felt to sign something, they needed to have an engrossed copy. very fancy handwriting on a piece of parchment. the delegates wanted to go home on july 4. they were tired. there was not a lot of air-conditioning at the time. [laughter] they had gigantic flies. they were anxious to get out of there. they were told the and grossman to will be ready around early
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by that time new york state august. would have given approval. despite some historical debating, it appears that on august 2, the majority of them came back and signed it then. it was actually therefore signed august 2. the debate about july 2, july 4 , here is the interesting thing about that. john adams and thomas jefferson were rivals. john adams was the real ringleader, the principal person advocating for independence. he had been a strong figure in the first continental congress and was very strong in the second. he was the person who said let's go back, send the delegates back to the states. get the authority to vote for independence. thomas jefferson was young. he did not want to be there. he had illnesses in his family, he would rather be in virginia because that is where the action was.
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who cares about the second covenant of congress? he was a junior man in the totem pole in virginia. and ultimately, add-ins and he came to a working relationship that was good then but over many years later, they fought. he fought over different principles. adams became president was a strong federal government person. jefferson became president but it was a weaker federal government and more of a closer to the people kind of democrat. that caused some problems. the problem between july 4 and july 2 was probably some of their disagreement and this is what it was, after they finished the vote on july 2, john adams wrote a letter to abigail adams. there are about 1000 letters between them. he said, this will be a day that will be celebrated forever in our history with fireworks because today we voted to be independent. he thought july 2 would be the day they celebrated.
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july 4 was the date the declaration explaining the reasons for independence was agreed to, not a legal document. more or less a propaganda document saying here is why we want to be independent. so, people at the time to not focus on july 2 or july 4, adams already said he july 2 to be the date they should focus on. a year later, the content of the congress was so busy with so many things they forgot the day. they forgot. they realized it, and they realize that at the end of the day. but the organizers have a celebration, they organize it for july 4. you might think this was insignificant but for adams, he would say the soul and substance of what really went on in the days of fighting for independence occurred on july 2. july 4, the document, that is not that significant. jefferson would say wait a
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second, i explained all the reasons and this is what everyone knows about it so july 4 is more significant. they sparred over what was more significant. adams was upset over the remainder of his life that july 2 was not celebrated. many people took it as a symbol of divine intervention or providence that the fact that both of these men died exactly 50 years after. they both died on july 4, 1826. people said somebody up there must be focusing on the fact that one of those two days is significant. [laughter] anyway. adams on his deathbed said, jefferson still lives and he did not know jefferson died a few hours earlier. host: they signed the declaration july 2, july 4. what did they expect to happen next? mr. rubenstein: well, they
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recognized it was an uphill struggle. remember, we did not really have a military. we did not have the ability to tax states or require them to send troops in. we had a ragtag army led by george washington, who had more experience than most people in leading military efforts, but most of the things he had led were not that successful. he was not a great military tactician. he lost more battles than he won during the war. he had very few troops to work with. many time the troops had no shoes, no equipment, very bare clothing. it was amazing they could hold them together. they were not being paid at all. the colonies had the fervor, saying they had the moral right. if people think they are morally right, they're going to believe that they are going to win. i think most people thought the british would win quite handily because they were the biggest military in the world, one of the wealthiest, and they sent
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many troops over, many more than we had. but they had probably not as good an overall strategy. in the end, the americans have the french who were helping us. we had some of their things that came to our benefit. but i think when they voted for independence on july 4 or july 2, i think they all felt they had committed what would be considered treason. benjamin franklin famously said, we'll have to hang together or we will all hang separately. i would not disparage at all their courage at all because they were committing treason, but they did not release the names of those who actually declaration until january of 77 when it looked like they had a better chance of winning. the truth was if they had lost, they probably would have been executed. the people who signed it.
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host: one of the big differences between those times and now is the speed in which news is disseminated. it takes weeks for this newspaper to get to the colonies and well over a month for to get to london. today, news instantaneously transmitted. we see the many advantages obviously of speed, but that slow dissemination, didn't allow for more debate or thoughtfulness than the instant news we have today? mr. rubenstein: it obviously gave people more opportunity to talk about things. but it was so difficult to communicate. to go from boston to washington would take a week or so. communications were not very good. the communication system was actually not so bad in terms of mailing letters. not as good as today, the benjamin franklin was in fact the postmaster general. his wife set up a good system
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that works. benjamin franklin spent a lot of time out of the country. his wife actually made it work. you could get a letter in a couple days, generally. but sometimes as you point out, when the dunlop copy was sent to the king of england, he never actually responded. it took a month to get over there. the british reaction is interesting. they never formerly responded. they do not say, thank you for letting us know. this is outrageous. they do not do that. [laughter] they hired two people to be pamphleteers. they kind of made fun of the concerns that the americans had express. one of the main things they made fun of was the fact they are saying all men are created equal when it was slavery in the colonies. the king of france was sent a copy of dunlop's version.
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three months later it became clear he had never even got it. communication was relatively slow. in those days people communicated very often by writing letters. one of the lost arts today is letter writing. does anybody remember what a letter is? [laughter] are aou go back and you historian, it is the letters these people right. the letters are extremely personal, they are very thoughtful. john and abigail adams had about 1000 letters that they wrote between each other and they are extraordinary letters. relationship to politics, personal matters. thomas jefferson, we have about 14,000 letters of his. he had a very good system. he would write a letter and he had a hand that was copying it so get a copy of everything he said.
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the letters were long and it could take weeks to get across the united states, a month to get across the ocean. people still thought that was the best way to communicate. there was no better way. host: 1776 is momentous for another reason. the wealth of nations. on the one hand, the united states leaves, eventually, the british empire and becomes a smaller political unit. on the other hand, smith is arguing the bigger the market, the better. that tension has really persisted for over 200 years. we have almost 200 countries today with desire for bigger markets. the desire for self determination has, in the end, won out over economic rationality, which is stay with the bigger market?
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mr. rubenstein: self-determination is the creed which has more or less one out -- won out. i was reading a book about the relationship between franklin roosevelt and with the -- winston churchill. winston churchill is a man we all admire it is an extraordinary statesman. he was defending the british empire. whereas roosevelt was saying, no, we have to let these countries be self-determined. india should be independent. churchill, for all the strengths and virtues in intelligence could not get the concept that people should be allowed to determine their future. i think in the end, self determination has won out and capitalism has won out. when you think about it, when many of us were growing up, you have communism and capitalism and it was not clear to everybody that capitalism would prevail. it more or less has come and even countries that were communist as some form of capitalism. it probably was not evident to
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adam smith that this would be the case. host central to the exhibit is : the actual artifact, the newspaper. you have generously donated other artifacts to other cultural museums. what is the value to you of these artifacts in the digital age? mr. rubenstein: that may be the most important question. why should anybody care when you can see it online? why do we need museums? why do we need the national archives, presidential libraries? why do we need museums? in my view, the answer is this, when you see the historic document, it has an opportunity to make you think and thinking is a good thing. what i generally think is that if you get young people to think
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about these historic documents, they might learn more about the history. then they might be a better citizen. some of the young students are not even required any longer to take american history or civics courses in high school or college. so, you find amazing surveys like one that showed more high school sophomores can name the 3 stooges than the founding fathers, which is not encouraging. but it is not just students. barely 50% of americans can name the 3 branches of government, which is hard to believe. if you go to a museum and you see a historic document, it is likely to make them ask questions and to go back and think about things and maybe do some research and read. if you just look at it online, you can push a button and you go to the next thing. what you physically go to the museum, your parents might drag you in some cases, but if you go there you actually have a chance
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to think about what this document means. when you actually see the relic, the historic document, i think it has some meaning to people. we can have a facsimile, but i think when you connect to go to somebody and say you will see the same document that people sign 1776, it makes you think, this is interesting in how did this come about? if you learn more, you read more, you'll be better citizens. it are citizens, better democracy, better government. host of course, it was printed : in a newspaper. as you noted, that was the major form of dissemination for the declaration. today, of course, the newspaper industry is deeply challenged.
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people get the information in other ways. mr. rubenstein: not because of me. i still buy six or 7 newspapers everyday. i like to read the old newspapers. i will be the last guy reading newspapers probably. host: do you think that the demise or the challenge to the newspapers as a physical object, does it have implications for our democracy? mr. rubenstein: it is always dangerous to say progress is not a good thing. on the other hand, everything that is new is also not good thing. i do think that, let's say when i talk to my own children, i have 3 children, two of them went to harvard and one went to duke so they are well-educated, they do not read newspapers like i do, they read everything online. get as muchyou can out of it and really read as much and focus on every page. i don't know, i'm sure there are a brilliant young people not
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reading newspapers and doing other great things. but i do think reading newspapers is a very useful thing. it was a very important part of my life. i am a newspaper addict. i just think you learn a lot by. but each generation is different. george washington's father reportedly used to say, your generation, george washington, is not going to get anywhere because you are not hard-working. every parent says to their generation, their children that they are not good enough. that has been going on for 10,000 years. when i say the next generation isn't really reading enough, who knows whether i'm right or not. i do think newspapers have played an important purpose and function in our society, certainly. i do applaud the museum for promoting the idea that newspapers are an important thing in getting the news out is an important thing. it having news be disseminated in a way that is fair and accurate is important for our society.
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while the great blessings this country has had is that we have had an abundance of good newspapers. an abundance of great journalists. some of whom have died in the service of their profession. reminding ourselves on a frequent basis that we are blessed to have this kind of newspaper society is viable. -- valuable. i think other countries have not always had open newspapers and some still do not. one of the benefits of our society is that people are allowed to think and they can think whatever they want and write whatever they want. the first amendment is one of the great things that our founding fathers gave us, though i should point out it was not in the original constitution and was originally not the first amendment. host: this discussion has been centered around this document and its reprinting. in our times, what do you think about the seminal document that 100, 200 years later, from our country or across the world.
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mr. rubenstein: the magna carta has probably been overstated in terms of its importance. but the magna carta is i think the most important document in western civilization because it contains certain rights we now regard as part of our society, part of our nature and our system, even though they were initially given to just the nobleman. now we have translated them to everybody. in our country, the declaration of independence, constitution and bill of rights are the most import documents. the declaration is a propaganda document in some ways. however, because it had these important words about all men created equal, it became the creed of our country. even though we struggle to live up to that creed, it has been a goal that people have adopted. the constitution is the oldest surviving constitution in the world. it is a brilliant document. i often say to myself if today we would put together a new
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constitution, who would be the 57 people we could pick from the united states to come together to be at the constitutional convention? i assume we would have more diversity than they had in those days -- it would be hard to have less diversity. [laughter] on the bill of rights, it is interesting as an aside, it was an afterthought. they wanted to get out of there when george mason said, we have no bill of rights. they said we do not need it because the states have their own constitutions and they have bills of rights and we're not taking it right away. so they dismissed it. sign members didn't because there wasn't a bill of rights and subsequently, james madison recognized he had made a mistake probably not supporting the bill of rights and ultimately in the first congress, he got because dental congress to read a bill of rights.
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but when it went to the states ratification, it was 12. he had actually taken -- there were 200 proposed amendments to the constitution in the ratification process. he distilled them down and ultimately they had about 17. then they met with the senate, the senate have 12. they compromise to 12. 12 when to the states and 10 ratified. interestingly, the first amendment was not a first amendment. the first amendment was an amendment that actually would expand to members of congress. we would have more members depending on the population. that got voted down because people do not want to have too many members of congress did the second one was eventually the 27th. it said if you vote for a salary year,se for a particular the theory being you should not be all to raise your own salaries and you should have the voters approve it and they
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approve it by voting for you again. that got voted out. why? the do not want members of congress to ever get a salary increase. ultimately that became part of the constitution. interestingly, when the ratification process was going forward, you only need, they were 14 states because vermont had come in, and you only need 11 to approve it. when 11 approve it, the other states do not send in their ratification. not until i think 1939 did some of the states, including massachusetts, prove the bill of rights. some of them waited longer. they didn't need to approve any technically never did. but 3 states finally got around to doing it. host: you have been fantastic
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today. thank you so much, not only for your support of the newseum, but for visiting us today. we have a gift for you, which is a book that contains the pictures of the artifact and the exhibit. on the inside cover is this inscription, and grateful appreciation of your generous support of 1776, breaking news, independence, as well as your efforts to educate americans about history. thank you very much. mr. rubenstein: thank you. thank you. [applause] host: it is a pleasure to see you all tonight. thank you for coming out for this important and illuminating discussion. we hope to see you quite often at the newseum. we ask now that you exit through the middle exit or the exits on top. thank you so much. thank you for your interest in the newseum and in american history and freedom.
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[applause] >> coming up this weekend on american history tv, the life and legacy of alexander hamilton. >> hamilton's argument was that the war have been a constant struggle. all the states were fighting together for the liberty of all for the whole country. the debt of the 13 states along with the federal debt would all be treated as one dead. evening, senior editor richard burr kaiser on the economic achievements of alexander hamilton and on railamerica, the 1945 war department film the last bond documents the final month of the air campaign against japan.
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sunday morning at 10:00, the third and final 2000 presidential debate and republican texas governor george w. bush. >> i'm for instant background checks at gun shows. >> i think common sense gun safety measures are needed with the flood of cheap handguns that have sometimes been working their way into the hands of the wrong people but all of my proposals are focused on that problem, gun safety. .> this weekend, the contenders key figures who ran for the presidency and lost who changed the political landscape. and sunday, 1940 presidential nominee wonder wilke.
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>> as i was driving up the streets of hoboken, every store window had pictures of my opponent and his associates on the new deal ticket. know of any more appropriate place to put those pictures. >> for a complete american history tv schedule, go to >> net's history bookshelf, david patricia discusses his book "1948." true mins describes early career, the political climate surrounding the 1948 presidential election, and the name players in the campaign. he also takes questions from the audience.


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