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tv   Life After the Declaration of Independence  CSPAN  September 7, 2019 1:59pm-3:40pm EDT

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a princeton university professor. >> given well-meaning people, even people who are trying to be part of the movement against racism recognize that the history of this -- when a eugenicist was classified as racist, they said i am not racist. when jim crow segregationists were charged with being racist, they said i am not racist. even today, white nationalists say they are not racist. whether they are in the white house or planning the next mass shooting. >> jim mattis recounts his military career and his thoughts on leadership in his book learning to lead. [captions copyright national
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cable satellite corp 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> next on american tv, the 1776 ath of the july 4, declaration of independence. this discussion was part of a hosted by the society of the early republic. > i'm the president, and i'll be with you for the next couple of days. sorry that the weather was not so great yesterday and some of people who intended to be couldn't be here took e of the deluge that place on eastern seaboard. there are a lot of people i'll thank later on but just to a lot goes into this kind of an event and many people have worked very, very hard,
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harder than i've worked, to put together.s one of the people who could not frank cogliano, because he got stuck in newark. here later this evening. she's chair is here and few words.y a you.k you chlt [applause] >> welcome. 'm sorry that frank isn't here to join me for this further welcome. how wonderful it is to see everyone here and to work with such an amazing group of people. i especially want to thank co-chair, d frank, my robin, without whom we would to to function, and also the wonderful program committee, whose members is sitting
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many are in the audience tonight and they generously of an talent to put this program together to go through proposals that we had. looking forward to what is exciting, interesting, varied diverse sheer with a lot of and topics.nels it's a pleasure to see you, so i'll let this plenary start. >> the title is self-explanatory, living in the of the revolution. i thought we would start at the very, very beginning, and we of speakers here who are perfectly positioned to talk various groups who, after being part of an empire,
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a new hemselves part of country that styled itself as a republic. all introduce the panelists at once, and they will go in order of the program. rebekah brannan is an associate professor of history at james madison university. she'll talk to us about the loyalists, which is her specialty. book is "from revolution to reunion. reintegration of the south carolina loyalists," university 2016. carolina press kathleen duval is a professor of history at the university of carolina, chapel hill. she'll talk about her specialty, native americans. her latest book was on thendence lost, lives edge of the american revolution," published in 2015 next project is masters of the continent. how americans ruled north 19th century.he
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then we have robert parkinson, professor of history in the state of new york at binghampton. cause, ok, "common creating nation and race in the american revolution," and that 2016.ublished in he's currently working with the a shorter n sort of undergrad friendly version of book.particular although i thought it was undergraduate friendly anyway as it was. undergraduate.he his other book project is the heart of american darkness, a microhistory. david -- distinguished professor the graduate center at the city university of new york. he's written numerous books including slavery's constitution, from revolution to ratification, in the midst of perpetual -- the making of nationalism, 1776 to 1820. is current book project is the odyssey of -- sweetly.
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kay lewis is an assistant history at howard university. her first book, a curse upon the ation, race, freedom and extermination in america and the atlantic world, was published in 2017. she'll talk about violence and notions of race, race war, period.this particular i would remind you, when we get o the q&a period, this is why i'm sort of running a mile a minute here, trying to give us questions, you ask please come to the mic. this is being filmed. c-span will it out not be able to hear you and that would be unfortunate so remember to the microphone for the q&a session. start with rebekah. [applause] thank you. so i would like to take idea that onight the they are not only living in the
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wake of revolution, they are living in the wake of war. just war, a civil war, and living through war has consequences. revolutionary claimed the mantle of the people all the time. yet they were always very well many of the people were not actually with them. for independence, the continental congress and the atriots at large come up with all kind of ways to persuade be in ho don't seem to agreement to basically sit down quiet. trouble.sing their "if" words often don't ork with lyingists, they use the patriot-controlled militias, a particularly terrifying police force. might, whatever the latest patriot political at that es might be moment, the militia gets in people's faces. they burn down crops. plunder their way through household goods and enjoy
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storesng off the liquors in front of the people they are robbing and threatening family members to. british have the the upper hand, loyal i haves return the favor. sides confiscate property. including land and slaves. arrest people. neither property nor personhood was secure. ne thing i might suggest is that we, as a scholarly group, continue to think about what i just as me but other people thinking about, and legacy his issue of the of civil war. and the legacy of trauma from war. think of recent books like independence," not only have loyalists historians for athis issue of trauma long time but so have historians f slavery, and our co-panelists, he recently had a perspectives blog
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about interrational trauma and effects. we should think about how to integrate it into our tri.standing of police his we should think about how to integrate it into what's otivating the people who have lived through the revolution. i think we don't think enough what this means for people's psyche. how do survivors of the civil deal with the pain, uncertainty and the realization that society can seem very they have lived through the moment when you rip the top a tough pandora's box realize you depend on society's stability and maybe it can't be taken for granted. were marked by the experience of civil war and the losers are even more marked experiences. and they were indeed scarred. henry lawrence, one of the main of the treaty that actually ends the war observed "the minds of the people are sore." trauma and idea of mental displacement.
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himself goes wildly from grief of his son's death to speculation about just how much had lost during the war. the state of his property. people from nt south carolina that i've studied mental k about the despair. doom," med it "a general that sense of psychosis, but population wide. another says all was devastation. erhaps more colorfully one continental officer put it thusly. "wherever you turn, the weeping fatherless child pour out their melancholy tales." i'm quoting course, the contributors, patriots, the as lists are at least scarred. everywhere they go, when they as me refugees in the die forra, their trauma, their loss, becomes clear. had someone to blame for something, and they all
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wanted to find an outlet for pain and we're talking lots of people. realization ctual is that while there are lots of refugees and they suffered tremendously, white loyal. loyalists, and they become a thorn in the side of colonial governors absolutely else in the empire that they go, because apparently hey became too american, and they want to make things everywhere they go, best pack of do the of envelope numbers we're talking about half a million as le who are identified loyalists in some way, they did something besides hide under their bed. let's face it, there are a lot too, andpected people, they try that strategy.
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the high numbers suggest about of them become refugees and have to leave. nd the low numbers suggest we're talking more between 20 and 30,000. you spin this we're talking about almost lost a who stay, having civil war. so here are all these people. here is an entire population suffering from trauma of war. of the refugees keep trickling back in long after the war is over. now, the victorious patriots have to create a functional with the union majority of people who had not wanted the new independent who did not on or want or trust them as leaders and had made it clear during the war. yet, the spoils of war go to the victors. context i find it especially remarkable that the to create es managed a lasting political union and
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decades.ogether for all with their former enemies in and all while still being angry about absolutely everything they had suffered independent.r for and yet, they already believed highest value isn't revenge and the most useful value isn't revenge. for them, and even more importantly for the general races that come have them. long islander put it especially well after the war hen a questioner asked him if he was a wig or a tory. response? "i was for peace." gentlemen, i've written about at length, christopher gazasen puts it "he who forgives the bestts the most is citizen." there is trauma and yet there is shared social understanding, the shared political imperative
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trauma in order to create a functional union. my mind, remarkably, americans chose to embrace reintegration instead of endless punishments of loyalists, or unending e, divisive, relitigation of exactly what he had done what or who had been unhelpful or absence at crucial moments. used this ericans power to move forward. at the processot f how loyalists convinced skeptical patriots to reintegrate them and i've looked a lot at some of the methods used, and i think they are kind of telling in this issue of how do you live and rebuild in context of trauma. genre of n entire literature coming out, it's
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rofoundly historical, the main proponents of transitional historical, that, like nuremberg trials, they have relevance, i disagree. or instance, when you look not just at south carolina that i've written about but state by side remarkable similarity in the kinds of ways that atriots and loyalists work together to punish loyalists them and tegrating moving forward so they practice incapacitations. limited citizenship. you must prove yourself over that even though you chose the losing side in the war, you dependable and useful citizen.
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obviously, it's easier for white achieve the status than anyone else. what they are doing is allowing people to rebuild eputations over time thereby convincing skeptical, angry, patriots, umatized that this is a doable project and these people are reclaimable. so they do these. when i say civil mean things ns, i like restrictions on voting rights and the adoption of the onstitution so the articles of confederation that finally sweeps away the last of the estrictions on voting for loyalists, and by 1790 loyalists again.le to vote there are things like, one state says you can't be a teacher because you might give people wrong ideas, i think. others have restrictions on property. there are occupational restrictions that are eased over the 1780s.
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there is also perhaps more interestingly and, essentially they are playing and in schemes around the world you find that reparations often play a role. one patriot legislator made it very clear in south carolina, said, why should these people complain about paying 25% of their estate to us complain? i think any patriot would feel grateful to have gotten off 25% of their st property. okay. so he might have been exaggerating. it's very much the logic of reparations. world come ake this into being, you can pay, too. sacrificing , by for this new nation by showing s that you, too, are joining a shared sacrifice albeit after he fact, we can begin to trust you. we can also begin to feel like you, too, have paid a little. and so this is one of the many kinds of reparations.
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might mean we think soundsonfiscation, which awful. all your scate property. and then give most of it back in ost states or it mysteriously will not be sold and your family will be living on it seven years census en the next comes, or i'll make you pay a tax, and in south carolina, it's to 25% depending on what the legislature thought of you, and states it ranges in essentially the same range from about 25% to 30% of the tax on the total value of the estate. of course, what that value is, is totally in the eyes of the it.manent determining whether they wish to be generous or harsh so it's a very flexible system, shall we say, and the payments, ates these and, in many places, then
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onveniently forgets to collect the last half. so i might term all of these as and ioning as reparations having the same logic as but they never spell that out. here, se, i might add, too, as in other facets of the revolutionary world, the color seems to be the hardest, fastest line in american life white i'm talking about loyalists. black loyalists have much less choices. they overwhelming leave because, of course, what the white white patriots want to do to reenslave them and bodies to either pay off revolutionary war soldiers, and they are literally capturing south carolina and using them as bounties for the reenslave them to produce for the nation. n no case does this look good for black loyalists. they are forced into refugee
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status. choice to have this stay. i would like to end here with one little speculation. something i can't prove yet. thathat is, the generation lived through the civil war of the war for independence carried memories the enduring of these horrors of the civil war. they remembered the unpredictability and the destruction. posed ose who had loyalists clemency in the 1780s including george washington, by concern for stability more than desire for revenge, what they wanted most keep saying they want is a stable, even keeled, successful society in which white people could thrive and they want that for that lves and they want for their children and they want that for their children's children. how to guments over ensure a stable democratic government that honored the wishes of the majority while protecting property and minority rights were still part
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this overall desire to have a stable society that was worth everything, all the trauma, they gone through to get there. yet consider that description again for a moment. and perhaps keeled even harmonious. oes that sound like the recent scholarship on the early republic? it doesn't to me. early we talk about the republic's political culture as one of anger, constant dispute, increasing levels of partisanship. ederalists and democratic republicans would savage each other in letters, then beat each congress, d out of thank you, jan freeman, and then shoot each other on the dueling field. even keeled isn't the word i would have picked he rhetoric from the 1780s seems incredibly personal and divisive there. seems to be nothing sacred that mericans wouldn't say to each other and there seemed to be bsolutely nobody that you couldn't end up not speaking to.
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and yet, when you read their public discourse, they don't celebrate. they justify many things with the constant invocation of fear of failure. they caution asked each other that we can't just keep because thech other european monarchs are just scoop us up. they saw revolution expanding around the world and discovered always like that idea, right? the french revolution terrifies them for their lives and and the haitian evolution terrifies them even more. you can almost read this trauma reemerged, i think, in the about what's happening in these french and haitian revolution. they say it could not happen here. it would not happen here. hand.ound smug on the one read more critically they are stretching for reassurance that them.n't happen to can't happen.
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won't happen. against disaster, yet despite this partisan rhetoric, lived through the revolution managed to keep a lid on the conflict and keep it from into arms and i think perhaps part of the puzzle to why they can sound so angry, incandescent at all times, and yet manage to avoid the more step of civil war for than a generation, is partly hey did have the lived memory of trauma. here is something chastenning them, stopping them from the final step. their trauma and lived memory of to live through a civil war helped them to hold a fragile memory together. [applause] >> i want to thank annette so uch for being part of this panel. eternally to robin and amy.
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and africans first came to the americas there were already hundreds here that that era's european definition of nation. a people and their land. word nation comes from the latin word to be born. people and their place of birth. in the era of the early american republic a few centuries later north americans were developing new forms of governance based on their own conversationlso in with global trends. indians were not the static united on many in the states wanted to believe. today i'm going to talk about a of examples of native nations moving into the 19th totury and also some efforts bring together some of those native nations into larger to balance out the united states. those larger con fed rating fforts tended to fail where as nations lasted, and most of those native nations that 1780s are still here today despite the odds, and
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of some of the centralizing trends that went on people era, that native did in this era. i'll start in an obvious place nation cherokee country. until the late 18th century, the autonomous ostly each with its council of elders reactionleaders but in to outside mounting pressures, cherokees had gradually formed a national government with electoral districts that sent representatives to an annual national the new council. between legislative sessions and the ive committee, it ran cherokee government and the supreme courts ruled on dispute. the creation of a national away from led power towns and chance. now only male cherokees could where as women had had great deal of say in the old town councils and chance. some of the ime,
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cherokee elite established plan enslaved men and women to grow cotton for export. native s, like many americans, had a longer history of holding human beings in as many others have shown but cherokees now developed a new kind of slavery 19th century r native peers. and its ram fixes are still here. station slavery, governmental institution that is represented men and women all, cherokee nation was right in line with 19th century trends. historians used to call these kinds of changes assimilation the they lear thatcher for their own reasons. they were a recognizable nation. okees adopted a preamble was hose designed to sound familiar. we, the representatives of the
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nation, the cherokee in convention assemble in order to establish justice, ensure our common promote welfare and secure to ourselves nd our pros territory the blessings of liberty, acknowledging with humility and sovereign ruler of the universe, do ortain and establish this constitution for of the chef key nation. yet the first article of the herokee constitution quickly reminds us of the main reasons why they were codifying cherokee nation wood in words that che key americans could understand. their fear of losing land and sovereignty. of ceasing to be the cherokee nation. the very first article clearly out the boundaries of their nation and declares in no the sovereignty of jurisdiction of this government shall extend over the country within the boundaries just described and the lands here in are and shall remain the common property of the
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nation. individual cherokee citizens and could own milies ouses, stores, farms, plantations, life stocks and uman beings but the land underneath was the cherokee nation and they could no morsel t than american citizens could sel virginia or vermont. the governor of georgia demanded that john quincey adams denounce unu.s. law but adams responded that the cherokee nation had every right a written constitution. european empires and the u.s. federal government regarded as sovereign nations. now, you know the cherokee story. knows at least a little bit of it but the herokee constitution and court system are often presented as an anomaly and cherokee leaders push that interpretation of themselves ahead of every other native
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nation. other native many nations were developing self-consciously modern versions era of the s in the early republic. a creek leader who in to late 18th century sought send trialized them into a nation. as, rationalizing impulses game both from internal creek from external pressures. when word arrived at the 1783 of paris having carved up north america without having any table of the negotiations, they convened a of indians and they wrote a joint letter explaining not he treaty could possibly be valid because they wrote, britain had ceded land possessioned, cessation or right of
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conquest. hey did not do any acts to forfeit our independence and atural rights to the king of great britain. they were independent nation, and to them britain's surrender idn't change anything about their territory or sovereignty. strengthened the creek national council which mostly had been an occasional meeting creeks. he made it into a regularly meeting body representing all and seminole towns. e kept having to explain creek nation hood to late 18th century europeans and americans. e wrote to officials in the spanish colonies of louisiana and west florida. andcreeks are a free nation consider ourselves brothers and only, not spain spain's subjects. was fairly g
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successful and probably inspired later cherokee efforts but when bigger, when he tried o build a southern confederacy of multiple nations he failed. at he post treaty of paris, the meeting i mentioned earlier, chickasaws and cherokees, they agreed to a their tatement defending national sovereigntis. the hey did not agree to greater ambitions. its letter to one of spanish contacts he described it as a reality. e referred to nation and confederacy against the americans with northern and southern branches. branch was the ohio valley indians fighting against the united states. allied hern confederacy with it including creeks, cherokee, and others. the creeks, he claimed, were the confederacy's head or principle.
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in other words, creeks are in harge of this confederacy and by 1788 he was describing himself as head of a numerous nation, and of a other nations. now, they had been leaders in bringing peace to the south starting in the 1750s. they had devoted tremendous diplomatic effort to ending first between rs themselves, between the hickasaws and others, throughout the region with creeks and others. nd they had made overtours to shawnees and others in the ohio valley. so multitribal peace movements controversial, and neither were alliances to war and trade and security. but miguel raised southern aiming to make them one people under sort of one ruler. threatened national sovereignty and threaten the peace they had worked hard to build. to a head in 1787
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when the chickasaw leader made a of decisions. they agreed to u.s. trading post on chickasaw land. fact, they solicited a u.s. trading post on chickasaw land have more access to trade and they granted to the united states some land on their to get basically to try rid of a squatter settlement that had been set up quite sickasaw to a chuck off. them in response to these decisions, a war party of creeks rode into country. they didn't bother to speak to any chickasaws. of the led seven americans and sent the rest flying, and on their way home chickasaw hrough towns displaying the scouts of americans that they had killed. chickasaws were shocked at the violation of their sovereignty. heir justification was the chickasaw had ceded land which
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belonged to my nation. audacious claim, that they had somehow joined a confederacy that now had jurisdiction over their land and that could punish the chickasaw making decisions about it. chickasaw land was not least racy land, at americans.the they rejected what they saw as an aggressive creek move and paths uld make their own holding on to their own national identities. imilarly, while some indians joined the early 19th century prophet, for indians to come together as one people and fight the united states, many more rejected what they saw as an assault on their national sovereignty. declared, indians were once different people. they are now but one. but it wasn't true. and because indians rejected it, be true.never indians did not become one
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people. shawnee leader black hoof favor ofhis message in -- [inaudible] and his own leadership of it. other leaders of the ime black hoof worked to centralize political leadership, he believed would help the shawnees to keep peace. started selling cattle, they built mills. they leased out tribal land get the sort of land title that would be recognizable of u.s.of the paperwork courts. and they invited a missionary to help them break into new markets. sometimes these kind of efforts like those of the cherokees and portrayed as knuckling under to the u.s. civilization program, right? black ct leaders like hoof were trying to lead their nations into a new future. future, and in no way were they simply doing what
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u.s. politicians and agents told them to do. i should note -- would with what i sagree just said. they accused black hoof of being out and maybe a witch. they went west to recruit already moved west the answer there tended to be positive. that sounds great. join your ve to movement but then almost the next sentence would be, as soon nativeinish fighting our neighbor that we're in the middle of a war with. in places where u.s. settlers not yet reached national and local concerns dominated even more than in the east. these wars obviously completely undercut the message of being one people. things were even a little muddy own base. some in 1810 told a frenchman they knew the prophet was lead them to war but they weren't quite sure if it
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united against the states or against -- it was the states. different nations had their own wars and history and languages ways of living in the world. white up, 19th century americans convinced themselves that indians were primitive people. the europeans had never come to america, white americans thought perhaps these people could have continued wild and wasting land. ut instead, god and european ingenuity had brought them more developed people and primitive doomed. people were but, in fact, during the early american republic native nations alive and well. i focus mostly on eastern nations here but that was even perhaps in the west. to take just one quick example. in what's now arizona, were at the very same fromfiguring out how to go neighboring allies, with
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different cultures, different families, to living together in the same space while retaining their separate anguages, their separate economic and artistic specializations and their separate identities. how to ring out articulate what that kind of sovereignty meant, to articulate it to native and european outsiders, and today, the indian is one federally recognized tribe but its members know whether they are peepash, and signs are language. both native nations were developing of century versions themselves, debating and sometimes fighting over who had the right to governor ever and would ape government take. much of their european and european american peers were doing. across europe and the americas. and despite the horrors of the 20th century, when the united states devoted itself to destroy them as nations, indians have retained
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their separate nations and some of sovereignty through at this time all. s the standing rock tribal chair put it during the protests 2016, we're ane in nation and we expect to be treated like a nation. [applause] hi, everybody. thank you, sarah, frank, wherever you are, for inviting to be on this panel. it's an honor to speak in front you.l of all right. 1783, 19th of april, thomas payne brought out what would be the final issue of his crisis." he said the times that try men's souls are over. greatest and completest
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revolution the world ever knew happily us and accomplished. rebekah. payne -- what he thought the about and was all what it was these new americans had before them. it in our to see power to make a world happy, to mankind the art of being so. for payne, the revolution had anything and everything possible including the redemption of all mankind. nine years back before payne's last american other political leaders also waxed about what aboutvolution might bring when it was before them. they sored with expectation and too.ise, in 1774, thomas jefferson said, jefferson, right, the abolition of domestic slavery is the great object of desire in the american
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colonies. object of desire. benjamin rush said, when the first continental congress people and laving the association boycott he said i feel a new attachment to my country. boasted, i venture to predict there will not be a negro shave in north america in years. well, we know, of course, that all three of these men would be abolition and therefore about happiness. more volution was far omplicated than pa-- payne or rush said it would be. they have helped to us understand the complications of the revolution. especially when it came to how native and enslaved people experienced it and try to find own place in the new american republic. historical our battles over the past few generations i would put forward the roman god of two
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faces, of beginnings and of as the best patron for the american revolution and its legacy. complicated. but why did that have to be the case? so complicated? so double facing? and made jefferson, rush payne just so wrong? everyone in this room knows what declarationnted the of independence to say about slavery, calling it pirate cal assemblage of horrors. in the 't it appear declaration, the union. duh? underminesy of union the great object of desire. the south would never agree to astack on slavery so those words had to got. payne thought about the union rather differently. last american crisis he the way the revolution had been won. the union of states which he
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on in all capital letters, which our great national character depend and this had delivered the revolution from times and made redemption mminent possible. payne assumed that the revolution secured american really but we know it's the source of those dashed hopes. in fact, american union was odds with american freedom. union -- the trade, great revolutionary set about for themselves in 1775, for many people, especially for peoples and the enslaved. but how exactly? now, we can say again, almost duh?ctively, racism, right? there is a color line. well, i think it's worth how that actually comes to be. to iot leaders are taught -- it was an
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unthinking decision because they were racists. they were. butty think how they did that attention. it might have been an unthinking decision but even if it was it lots and lots of labor. in my work i've emphasized the of how patriot leader like jefferson, rush and payne, mobilized the american public to fight the long revolutionary war. that, people in america found cause common, was not an organic process that weld up aturally among the so-called embattled farmers, what as emerson referred to them, were armed only with a spirit that heroes dare to die or leave their children free. rather, it was a managed and affair.ated patriot leaders made choices. they picked certain stories and images to broadcast. picked certain stories and images not to broadcast. time, ent great deal of money, and attention on telling
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the colonial public why they had to support -- they had to support the rather desperate war effort against the british. the stories they told and refused to tell would play a role in shaping the notion of was and was not an american in the years after thomas payne times over. trying let's take one example for each. stories told and stories not told. to see how they mattered in compromising and undermining the revolution's universalist promises. stories told. pennsylvania's emancipation bill 1780, it's one of the highlights of the revolutionaries extending their pledges to everyone. you can see it in one way as a culmination of the great object jefferson talked about. yet, opponents of the bill even hough they were defeated, invoked that common cause argument that patriot leader had featured for the past five years is that the ment king and his men, especially
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an le like lord dummore general henry clin had tried slaves st to emancipate and fight against the american revolution that. there was a connection between and both d blacks worked together to subvert the revolution. riticism of the pennsylvania abolition bill, made these arguments, and they resonated, did so because men like adams and washington and payne and jefferson had broadcast as widely as they ould about how the enslaved were working with the king against them. congress had featured that argument in all of their fficial proclamations as the war began and luckily for pennsylvanians in the coming decade those stories did not the law. but the enslaved in new jersey lucky.ot as in the spring of 1780 quakers pressured the new jersey to take up their own i am manspation bill and when they
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new a campaign emerged in jersey newspapers for and against the abolition bill. writers tried to remind the people of new jersey to stay of to the universal claims the declaration or else our words might rise up in judgment us, but other writers invoked another part of the eclaration, that of insurrectionists. they had a different form of rising up in mind. i really can't say that without of -- one inspired by the tyrant king. i am forces and d join will leep the land, then they murder children, force conviction upon us, of evils we've brought upon ourselves, friends and our country. trauma. the i am manspation bill failed,
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and they could invoke the that patriot leaders had been amplifying for the past five years. started, theotings common cause appeal featured stories about enslaved and helping the king. patriot leaders kept talking about this as the ultimate deal breaker. this was union talk. broadcasting stories that everyone in every part of could agree with and sympathize with. the original formulation of the union, very purposefully and not lots of lly, excluded people in america. when the talk of abolition came writers now had these nationalist stories to build counter uments on, to anti-slavery. they blocked abolition because mans pated slaves become the republic's enemies. that's what the continental congress had said.
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stories not told. when the declaration said that -- known ples were rule of warfare was the all ages -- there wasn't an asterisk that said us.ept the ones helping the notion that all native peoples helped the british is not a myth. at the moment. those two were stories the and ots told over and over over again. but they didn't talk very much about delaware leaders like captain -- or john aboutk or captain pike or shawnee leader like corn stalk, who were the american's best friends in the ohio country. they didn't talk very much or loudly about the sacrifices to or others made while serving in the continental army. unless you were in the army or ou watched it march by your house would you have precious little idea how many native eoples actually fought for the united states. of course, they were there.
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very erican news media them. mentioned helping the army scour -- they newspapers, when a party of 50 in stockbridge attached to the continental army into a british ambush in kingsburg new york and 37 of the 50 were killed, notice that the ragedy appeared only in a few loyalists newspapers. none of the others. compared to the oceans of ink did feature indians helping the british, these were tiny drips. didn't want to publish details about pro-american native leaders kept e those leaders getting murdered. both corn stalk and white eyes suspicious in circumstances in 1778, and this, legacies of of the not telling those stories. because they didn't talk much at all about natives allies in the
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united states, natives in the backcountry felt not only but encouraged to kill them. that construction armed with a lethal new weapon. patriotism. killing indians equalled hurting he king and therefore helping the common cause. daniel 776, men like boone were illegal squatters, not someone you wanted to have of to your house dinner but now they were pioneers, of the myth of american destiny. the british continued to maintain a military presence in the backcountry into the 1790s that all natives were britain's allies and enemies of the united states was a staple policy through the war of 1812. andrew jackson and william others still believed they were fighting the 1776.attle that began in to conclude, when the so-called
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founders broadcast the stories about d, crying foul british attempts to free the enslaved or armed natives, i on't think they expected those narratives to have the legs that did. those stories didn't match up with any of their professed convictions. mentioned jefferson, rush and payne. consider se men themselves anti-slavery. many of their fellow patriot considered themselves opponents to slavery. o why didn't they do a better job? why is the revolution so disappointing, so juan dis-faced. could teach n airs mankind about how to be happy but it certainly wasn't a lorious or completist revolution for all. we know that the union is partly to blame here that. got in the way of freedom talk. congress's completion of jefferson's stirring words about the slave trade in the
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declaration is a prime example this. we share jefferson's pain as those words are struck out on july.ird of it boggles the mind to think hat douglas could have done with those words but going deeper into how that happened is an important exercise for historians. doing so reveals political leaders on a day-to-day basis, and trying to set priorities. to see the roots of why the revolution didn't actually live promises for ing many people, we have to focus on process. means getting into the details. did leaders choose to spend their time and money on? what were the bounds of iscourse for everyday people and how were they created? those boundaries weren't or natural, i think. why it was totally okay for a loyalists to be reintegrated but not for anyone guy?asn't a white i think because those lines were
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managed. they took work and we should do to see how that process worked. how ideas, whether about race or were fastened to the ground. and how narrative scripts that ade up those tethers created unintended consequences because they helped to make the post era glorious an happy for some and tragic and vicious for many others. [applause] are not ose of who you greg i have to as i am, remark where it's -- a majority
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of the people on the panel about are merican revolution talking about african-americans. so much so that i almost feel i should do something else. but i'm not. that, ng to talk about and what that means in as broad periods i can in a short of time, for how we think and are talking about the revolution. in recent years, fate of slavery nd the status of americans has become the proving ground for question of how revolutionary and how admirable was.merican revolution and this is as true in high chool classrooms and in the popular media as it is for professional historians. some historians have played efense, insisting that it's
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one,ronistic, two reasons, the real revolutionaries, increasingly short-handed as the talk i would say, didn't or think about it. this claim has been demolished 20 years by exceptional scholarship from oody houlton and robert orwell to robert park son on just how revolutionaries were with slaves as an internal soldiers on their side. the second pushback has been that after all, the revolution to a contagion of lib that's -- maybe even imagine racial equality. has been d argument
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nuanced, it's pushed it back in time. the radicalism of the revolution is no longer the main rise of on for the anti-slavery, the controversial and the controversy over slavery were bound up over both sides of the atlantic from the beginning as others have argued realization is part of creative ding to re-periodize, what we mean, two examples, gary american his unknown revolution, ends the story in 7le 4 and 1785, the real radicalism was of by then, i don't have to deal with the which is fine with me, leaving me with time, and we okay, we'll saying, take a broader view of who is included and a continental view. story goes all the way to 1804, and maybe it's the
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purchase or the haitian-based revolution and haitian independence. think it's quite important that beth of these arguments are not -- both of these arguments not only compatible but even dependent on or the realization that in can-americans are actors the period. not just that they had their own revolution, but that what they doing and how they were doing it forced the issue of on to the agenda of the revolutionaries -- african politics too. changing fundamental and that will change all of our scholarship. but annette's charge to us isely required that we ask about the results.
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and for whom. be lts that can't always or intentions as to grapple to try and meditate on how we eed to think about the revolution and african-american its centrality. i am manspation in the north was only conceivable with transfer sovereignty to the states and legally ases it did permit voluntary e mancipation. that along with the 130 to you 00, depending on how count it, created free black communities that ultimately of an the mainstay
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abolitionist movement. proverbiale than the butterfly's wings. a lot more. that the persuade it arc of history bends toward like most civil wars, and especially those in the americas, they precipitated the liberation of slaves in a complicated dance of self emancipation and contingent policy, or some would insist and selft policy emancipation. i won't get into a chicken and egg debate. oh through their end in relation to each other. and in fact, both these civil wars and emancipation's lead to reconstructions that reshaped constitutions. muchof the problem of how or how to center slavery in the
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revolution with the founding or national history can be resolved by re-conceptually the entire era from late colonial to late 19th century, a not only as a first and second american revolution, but as to civil wars, to emancipation's, to reconstructions and a lot of not so great compromises. but if results matter, numbers matter. the unavoidable fact is that despite the impressive amount of self liberation during the revolutionary war and the beginnings of emancipation in the north which created a nation half slave and half free and thus made fugitive slaves controversial as never before, slaveholders nevertheless one freedom to determine the future of slavery and most of the country for most of the slaves, under a constitution that protected their interests in multiple, complicated and especially political ways.
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was only the tip of an iceberg. the nation came to be governed through slavery. the best metaphor i have come up is that this process the constitution hardwired slavery into the political order, without even needing to not unlike perhaps the wiring that is so important in the walls of every building we live the end, enabling the liberals of 1787 to walk away not having admitted property in worse.t having done much quickly, systematically, the number of free people of african descent rose, but the number of enslaved increased far more. trade,estic slave encouraged and facilitated by
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the new national market, moved one million people and undomesticated slavery, making it worse than it already was. it is debatable whether any of that would have happened in the same way that it happened andout the sovereignty power the revolution accorded the master class, the way it freed them from the imperial oversights of britain or national oversight of the federal government. the case of african-americans confirms both the radical and the conservative, even reactionary nature and results of the american revolution, and arguably more the latter. this is true, both because any revolution ought to be measured bytes effect on working people, and because the freedom-loving revolution was supposed to be about liberty and humanity, not as nationalgnty
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independence or state formation or local control. even if one insists the paradox is nothing of the sort because, after all, liberty and the end the mixedproperty, results were inherent, even predictable, not accidental or fortuitous. we should be talking about both radical and reactionary results, and how the case of african-americans is not so much the exception in the revolution, but the revealing rule. at this point in scholarship we should view with a wary eye any accounts that insist that only the inspiration for emancipation, or only the hypocrisy or only the backlash matters. say, well, have to it is half and half or it is one or the other, in order to insist that it is both.
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follow to the organic intellectuals of the united states revolutions, phyllis wheatley and frederick douglass. in the case of wheatley, it has taken a long time for scholars to fully appreciate how engaged she was in the revolutionary controversies, in the linked politics of empire and slavery. but one of her first circulated poems celebrated the repeal of the stamp act. poem she directly linked the critique of slavery to colonial protest and a poem she wrote to be hand delivered to dartmouth. this gesture helped set in motion her trip to london at the publication of her book, which boston patriots had been afraid to touch because they worried it would affect already common critiques of patriot hypocrisy.
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while in london, it was suggested that wheatley ought to be freed. in her 1773 poems, she downplayed her linkage of herself, of criticisms of slavery and race thinking, to the colonial protest movement. in 1773 and four years afterwards, both patriots and tories who read her book could ally the anti-slavery e thousand she conveyed to their political outlook. that was intentional and effective. phyllis wheatley hedged her bets and was all the more effective for doing so. mark peterson, and his new book on boston, and in a paper i and probably others of you had read earlier, has argued the revolution cut off wheatley's atlantic ties.
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and indeed she did lose patrons in wartime, despite publishing poems celebrating the war effort, general washington and the prospects of the new nation. she was unable to get her proposed second volume into print and she died penniless in 1784. a victim ofwheatley the american revolution? well, yes and no. if one shrinks the revolution to the war, she knew her fame and freedom or in part made by the controversies we summarized, and the american revolution. she was hardly the only person to starve our work to death in boston's war-ravaged economy or the only poet to die young for lack of worker patronage in the late 18th century. to depict her as a victim of a lost, egalitarian atlantic world is to misstate what she accomplished. she helped force the issue of the relationship between the american revolution and the politics of slavery into public consciousness. she could hardly have done more.
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no one did. her contingent but consequential choice of the patriot movement without presuming she was uncritical of processlts or even the while she was doing it. similarly, frederick douglass has been cited as a severe critic of the republic, of the founders' hypocrisy. this year his fifth of july address in 1850 do -- 1852 received more attention than ever, with its poetic distancing , the fourth of july is yours, not mine. you may rejoice, i must mourn. but this is the same frederick douglass who recently decided to cast his lot -- with the antislavery interpretation of the constitution. some have criticized his seeming inconsistency, but there was a deep logic as well as political
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savvy here. it is the same understanding wheatley had, that to celebrate what was good and criticize what was lacking in the american revolution were two sides of the same civic coin. both were necessary for political reasons, but largely because both were true. is all the more important that historians put back -- pushback critically against voices who insist the constitution was not proslavery, but also against those who say it had no antislavery implications or uses whatsoever. it remains more important to address the myths that the founding fathers never thought about slavery politically, that black people weren't central iod, and thee per problematic notion that no white person with power government all men are created equal. faithp, dare i say, our with wheatley and douglass as
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founders of the republican which i hope we will live as some of the real heroes of the early republic means exploring and teaching how the revolution was a triumph and tragedy, precisely because it was an emancipation and a betrayal of its most revolutionary, egalitarian potential. embrace the african-american experience in the revolution and early republic as paradigmatic, explicable more than paradoxical, and of course tragic as well as ironic. there is much work to be done here. as annette implied in her charge to us, revolutions must be measured for what they do for everyone, and that is precisely because revolutions do implicate those at the bottom, they inspire backlashes or thermal thermodors. the fact that revolutionaries
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still have a reasonable claim on the american revolution explain the what we are going through politically right now. what can we expect in a republic built on slavery, yet also on the denial of slavery's nature? the denialbuilt on of slavery's significance as politics, and on the antislavery denial of that denial. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] number five. i know your pain. so my charges to wake you up, or to inspire you. reedt to thank dr. gordon
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for inviting me to participate in this very esteemed panel of scholars. i and my book, "a curse upon the nature and -- a curse upon the still contendw we with salai -- with racial violence today, i and my book with a call for some kind of truth and reconciliation commission, a commission for dealing with our history of racial violence with white supremacy as a reconciliation of that history. i know that it is a big idea, with very little wind behind it. would like to start here today by confessing that when i had trouble girl, i
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when i heard or read the phrase our founding fathers, of whom i learned about in my elementary years. i also knew that some of the founding fathers had been slaveholders, and i knew some of my ancestors had been enslaved. so in my young mind, something was wrong. as best as i can explain, i was uncomfortable and i did not know what -- did not know why. decades.ard a few as a historian i have come to appreciate the power of intuition. many of those enslaved did not view the men we call founding fathers as founding fathers. indeed, they saw them as enemies. example, black loyalist
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boston king from south carolina disclosed, "in my former life, i have suffered greatly from the cruelty and injustice of the has me look upon than image -- them in general as our enemies." and even after king escaped to timesm, he still felt at and easy distrust -- an uneasy distrust toward them. thomas jefferson, george washington and james madison did on slaves, but they also clearly inherited the anxiety that came with engaging in an institution that went against what they understood was natural law. indeed, the english philosopher john locke wrote in his two treatises of government that it was quote reasonable and just that i should have a right to destroy that which threatens me with destruction.
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argued, because of the natural desire for freedom, was nothing else but the state of war continued between concord and captive. in notes from virginia, thomas jefferson in 1789 canonized the idea that a state of war always existed between master and slave. in theon's belief possible extermination of the one race or the other reflected the views that large numbers of enslaved people were a dangerous threat to those who were their masters, and whites generally. echoing these fears, william byrd the third, one of the largest slaveowners in virginia, wrote about the public danger so many slaves represented, and future president james madison agreed that blacks who were free would soon be at war with whites, if too near.
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slaveholders other believed there was always a possibility of war between the races because they understood slaves, just like white men, would always try to free themselves. but these ideas of being at war with one another were not new, but were rather the same ideas that were generated by the very first settlers throughout the bursar's colonies -- throughout the british colonies, about their enslaved populations. these tensions were only verified during and after the haitian revolution. the colonists were afraid, according to lieutenant governor william boll of south carolina, that need grows may become their enemies, if not their masters. and this is the real issue, they would be unable to withstand or prevent slaves from taking over the region after successful insurrection. sir alexander coming connell gold blacks in south carolina
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were constantly in danger of blacks rising up against them. ironically, merchants in bristol, england, who were deeply invested in buyers and sellers in the slave trade, acknowledged south carolinian views that those enslaved needed redress, because south carolina is overstocked with blacks in proportion to the number of whites, and it must be allowed that three independent companies terrify the slaves come -- terrify the slaves. for africand demand labor amplified conditions that heightened white fears, and unlike with native americans, the colonists believed they could not completely rid themselves of their african slaves because they needed them. in a debate over the importation of africans in 1785, charles pinckney, a generally in the american revolution and a member of the continental congress, asked, was it not well understood that no planter could cultivate his land without
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slaves? moreover, pinckney argued this country was not capable of being astivated by white men, appeared on the attempt made by georgia. ralph izzard, however, a planter and senator from south carolina, was not convinced slaves would always remain invaluable. izzard imagined in a 1784 letter that what would happen if, the same horrid tragedies among our need grows, which have been so fatally exhibited in the french islands in the haitian revolution, work to a court in america? he predicted proprietors of need grows themselves be the instruments of destroying that species of property. rather than see their property population freed in south carolina, or any other american colony.
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slaveowners, including founding fathers like washington, jefferson and madison, made a calculated choice to perpetuate the institution of african bondage, and they used violence and the threat of death to sustain it. to be clear, africans in the diaspora only attempted to kill whites in order to free themselves and their families from enslavement. and if slaves from africa were successful in killing white oppressors, they were viewed as criminals who were sentenced to death for their crimes. liberal republican ideas of freedom, therefore, never applied to people of african descent. gabriel, aple, when 24-year-old blacksmith living in richmond on a plantation,
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organized a strategy that was so detailed and multidimensional that whites could scarcely believe they caught it in time, the virginia house of delegates met in secret to discuss the attempted insurrection on december 12, 1800. a virginia newspaper assumed that to solve the revolution in the french colony was the model of leadership used by slaves like gabriel. draftedinia legislature a proposal that the governor of virginia, james munro, submitted to the president of the u.s. and in this proposal they requested that president thomas jefferson begin negotiations with other european powers who had established african colonies, to allow americans to send free or emancipated blacks to reside there. blacklution was to remove people from america, or at least virginia, so he began talks with thesierra leone company,
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british company in charge of black settlement in sierra leone, but nothing ever came of it, and there was no result with the government of particle and he subsequently gave up. -- government of portugal, and he subsequently gave up. but the slaves did not. the net turner insurrection had been for gabriel and earlier across the west indies, was motivated by what he believed was the solution to ending an ungodly institution, and against those who believed in the rightness of his oppression, as turner, a baptist heacher reportedly confessed knew by the signs in the heavens i should arise and prepare myself and slay my enemies with their own weapons. in response to turner's revolution, militia member robert ness parker
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observed that the knee grows are andng -- are taken in executed every day. on september 24, senator sd evans met a man on a stage -- wrote that he met a man on a stagecoach who witnessed blacks being taken prisoner, tortured and treated in a barbarous manner, nose and ears cut off, cheeks cut out, jaws broken and set up as a mark to shoot at. if a black was found outdoors after dark without a pass, he would be shut down -- he would be shot down. the constitutional wig reported they had evidence of a slaughter of many blacks without misconduct, and under circumstances of great barbarity. offered the whigs apology to the people of southhampton, mildly deplored that human nature urged them to but thosemities,
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concerned said another such insurrection would be a signal for the extermination of the whole black population in the quarter of the state where it occurred. threat,rds were no idle as white former resident mr. robinson confirmed that there was not a virginian whose mind would revolt at any accrual to -- at any cruelty, however atrocious, of which blacks might be the object. robinson, he assumed blacks were not men and ought all to be exterminated. they had declared war first, let them be hunted like wild beast. moreover, the idea that all slaveowners valued the lives of their slaves is perhaps troubled by one woman, a pious methodist who said she would willingly cast her own slaves into the there to be shot,
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provided others who had slaves would agree to do the same. northerners in their newspapers also expressed concerns over the plight of black people after theer's efforts to destroy institution. "the liberator" printed countless articles that affirmed the experience of blacks in the aftermath of the turner rebellion was have a savage and more bloodthirsty character than any that occurred in the country since its early conflicts with the savages, with the single exception of general jackson's barbarous massacre of indians after he had gotten them into his power at horseshoe bend. ideas about black people being at serious risk fostered the belief that giveerners were poised to over a whole race of 2 million human beings to butchery and
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destruction. in themericans revolutionary era and beyond from experience that arming and organizing large numbers of slaves would be perceived by the ofth and north as an act insurrection requiring state and federal military action, but yet they did it anyway, not as fanatics nor as extremists, but as human beings who were forced to fight for their rights, much the same way as the founding fathers of this nation. so why didn't these founding fathers err on the right side of history? they take the opportunity to eliminate the fear? the constant state of war continued that john locke predicted between master and
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slave in america. banneker, aamin farmer from baltimore maryland, had it right to his letter to thomas jefferson in 1791, where he recommends to jefferson and all others, to wean yourselves from those narrow prejudices which you have imbibed as an introduction to ill-gotten power he argued itcause is the independence -- indispensable duty of those who maintain within themselves the right of human nature and profess the obligations of christianity, to extend their power and influence to the release of every part of the human race from whatever burden or oppression they may unjustly labor under. jones, founder of the
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african episcopal church of st. thomas, the first black church in philadelphia, put it, in the constitution and fugitive bill, no mention is made of black people or slaves. rightsre, if the bill of or declaration of congress are of any validity, we beseech that, as we are men, we may be admitted to partake of the liberties and inalienable rights therein held for us, firmly believing that the extending of justice and equality to all a means ofld be drawing down the blessings of heaven upon this land, and thus the real happiness of ever ofember -- of every member
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the community. but this was not done, so the curse of slavery continued to plague the political, social and economic policies of america, only to be terminated by a terrible civil war. but the residual effects of the institution may have become embodied in our continuous struggle with racism at the racial violence that supported ideas of white supremacy, and in the way we tell the story of how america began. beyond the intellectual brilliance of our founding documents. so i will end with this. when we speak about our founding all thatin light of has been discussed here, we must
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ask ourselves, much like i as a young girl must have done, who is the our that we are speaking about? thank you. [applause] >> we have time for some questions. anybody? no one? [laughter] [shouting] you don't want to be on c-span? [laughter] who doesn't want to be on c-span? [laughter] here is a question. we are running late. i started late because of the escalator.
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didn't you raise your hand? [laughter] [indiscernible] something tove say. say who you are and where you are from. i just finished my masters degree at chapman university in orange, california. my question is collective. we have these founding beliefs, but it seems like the founding leafs may be really aren't the but are theyefs, inherently white beliefs? beliefs mightment be basically for white privilege? i would love to
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>> no questions and no answers. not all the white people are on board either. in many ways, the american revolution is a minority project, pushed by a minority of people. if what you mean is the enlightenment, there are many nonwhite people who are part of enlightenment thinking. the native leaders i was talking about, they read european newspapers, a lot of the same things the founders have done. of that have a problem. that is what historians do, right?
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>> my name is clifton berry and i'm from st. louis, missouri. i am part of the labor project is, whatestion for you are the implications for today of what you are saying, and do you see the typical way that historians speak about slavery, i.e., agency and victimhood as being sufficient to answer today's question. our project is about contributions -- i just want to what we deemou see
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the contribution perspective of slavery and its implications for today. we don't hear about the peopleive 12.5 million working for 250 years and the applications of the for today. questionsthe kinds of that maybe you can speak to. >> it always bothered me that this weird cloudy idea that some people belong in this country and some don't, and no two people can agree on what exactly that is more where that came from, but i think we see that ins week, and people gatherings of this size and
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larger, and sometimes at rallies, they have this collective idea that some people belong and some don't, and i am interested in how that came to be and how deep those roots go. for me, that is at the core of why i keep coming back to a lot of these same questions. understoodnk they how that was created. i think their arguments are put forward in the founding era that then get challenged, or people anchor into some things. mia, and they try to fight against those boundaries, but counter arguments -- most put forward by white people -- is, we have the state behind us and that does change things. that is why the revolutionary era is different from some of these conflicts that come up.
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anyone else? >> i was going to weigh in. in terms of what it means to the grand narrative, i think is what you are asking. we just don't have an inclusive history. about't talk not only african-american contributions and native american contributions, but any other ethnic group that is outside of the purview of what is considered white in that particular time, whether it is of asian origin or irish people, who were not considered white. or other, let's put it that way. so, i think it is not a matter of agency. it is just a matter of understanding how this all began. it is complicated and slavery is
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a messy story. jefferson is a complicated person. aboutd push back a little jefferson being anti-slavery, only in the sense that he does not free his slaves. talk, but ifthe you don't walk the walk, if you don't free me, that idea has very little meaning to me, very little power, and it should not have a great deal of power, in my mind to us as historians. we have to look at the actions of these people, not just what they say, and that is true of any person who leaves any kind of record. my research was going to be in the 19th century, that i got pushed back to the 16th century. tracing this intellectual idea ,f race war and extermination which is a tactic of war, which
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means i'm going to kill your mother, all of your significant other noncombatants to make you surrender, to make you give up, to make you give in. even though native american and african-american people know that that is what is at risk, amazingly, they still continue to contribute, they still continue to sign up to be part of the military, they still continue to free themselves, to have families and to love their children. this is part of the american story and part of the american revolutionary story. admit that my to view of the founding fathers is very different until i asked my husband and he was like, i thought the same thing. i thought, maybe i am not unique in this story, but i did have a memory of questioning myself about why i wasn't comfortable with this phrase of founding
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fathers. the good news for us as historians is there is a ton more work and research to be done that is new and has not really been touched. that is the good news. the not so good news in my view is that we have not worked hard enough, we have not moved as far along as i would have hoped in this day and time so that our children's children have a whole body of literature that tells a aboutomprehensive story what the american revolution meant, and where the pitfalls were, why they were there, and what the corrective might be in terms of our own times, in terms of understanding how we got to where we are in the first place. else?one >> my question is sort of a follow-up on the term founding
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fathers, which strikes me as a very problematic term, a way to deify certain men that excludes certain people. is there a way we can get rid of this term or have an alternative that does not have all these loaded meetings with that, if we want to talk about a particular set of political actors. are there better terms we should use or should we ditch it entirely? >> let's have a vote. ditch. [laughter] ditch, butasy to look at the confederate monument. it has been movement on that. it honestly needs consensus. just having conversations with people helps a great deal. just be able to say that this is how i feel about it and here is andis really important, maybe our work can reflect that more nuanced perspective about some of those terms. >> i have a lot of this to say
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on saturdays plenary. >> i think i should let you all go to the reception. [applause] >> thank you very much. thank you all. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] announcer 1: this weekend on american history tv, tonight at 8:00 eastern on lectures in history, the california gold rush and the environment. at 10:00 on railamerica, the 1977 film on italian newspaper journalist and sunday at 4:30 p.m. eastern, scholars on the
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