Inligting

Founding Fathers en die Amerikaanse burgeroorlog


Ek het 'n artikel gelees en gewonder of daar iets is wat daarop dui dat die stigters die potensiaal vir konflik kan sien rakende hierdie spesifieke punte:

  1. Ekonomiese en sosiale verskille tussen die noorde en die suide.
  2. State teenoor federale regte.

Is daar bewyse wat aandui dat sommige van die stigters tydens en na die Revolusionêre Oorlog (die tydperk waarin die Verenigde State in sy eie land gevorm is) die potensiaal het vir toekomstige konflikte wat tot nasionale geskil kan lei?

Is daar bewyse wat daarop dui dat sekere stigters gewaarsku het dat sulke probleme tot 'n burgeroorlog kan lei?

Is daar bewyse dat iemand bewus was dat so 'n geskil 'n groot kans het om te gebeur, maar besluit het om voort te gaan met die vertroue dat die nuutgestigte regering sulke probleme mettertyd kan oplos?


Ek dink nie dat daar bewyse bestaan ​​dat die stigters verwag het dat 'n burgeroorlog sou ontstaan ​​oor die kwessie van slawerny nie. Die stigters was grootliks teen die instelling van slawerny, maar die suidelike afgevaardigdes (waar die ekonomie heeltemal van slawerny afhanklik was) was vir die instelling.

Daar is 'n paar stappe gedoen om die gevolge van slawerny te versag. Daar word geen melding gemaak van die woord 'slaaf' of 'slawerny' in die Grondwet nie. Die invoer van slawe sou teen 1808 onwettig word, dus het die stigters 'n stelsel ingestel om die toename via invoer te beperk. Die suidelike state wou hê dat slawe vir die toewysingsdoeleindes as volwaardige mense gereken word, maar dit is uiteindelik verminder tot 3/5de. Die realiteit was dat die stigters nie gedink het dat hulle die VSA kan laat werk sonder die steun van die suidelike state nie, en as sodanig het hulle die slawerny -kwessie aangepak, maar hulle kon daarin slaag om die slawerny met die invoerverbod te reguleer.

Die besprekings van die Konstitusionele Konvensie toon 'n begeerte om die instelling weg te doen, maar niks oor moontlike oorlog as gevolg van die toelaat dat die instelling voortduur nie.

Vir verdere lees:


Daar is lang besprekings oor die onderwerp van faksies en die vermindering van die risiko's van opstand in die federalistiese referate en in die antwoorde wat deur anti-federaliste geskryf is. Die mees opvallende artikel oor hierdie onderwerp was Federalist No.


Absoluut.

Pauline Maier "Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution" is 'n uitstekende bron vir albei hierdie vrae.

Met betrekking tot u eerste vraag oor ekonomiese verskille, raadpleeg enige bespreking van die Bank van die Verenigde State, die argumente tussen Hamilton (wat vir 'n kommersiële land aangevoer het) en Jefferson (wat argumenteer vir 'n pastorale anti-kommersiële land). Suidelike state was byna histeries in hul vrees vir 'Northern Stock Jobbers'. Of raadpleeg die kontroversie oor die Jay -verdrag wat die land amper gesink het voordat dit begin het (kortliks was Noord -state bereid om die Mississippi weg te ruil in ruil vir handel, terwyl die suidelike state verskrik was dat ons 'n kompromie met Groot -Brittanje sou aangaan.

Staat vs federale regte. Dit was een van die belangrikste belemmerings vir die verloop van die grondwet. Een van die opposisiesentrums in alle state was deur mense wat gevrees het wat sou gebeur as die grondwet aanvaar sou word sonder dat 'n handves van regte die mag van die federale regering beperk. Pauline Maier se boek en Jack Rackove se lesings oor iTunes is nog 'n uitstekende bron.

U vraag ignoreer verskeie voor die hand liggende bewysbronne. Kyk na die kompromieë wat nodig is om die land te stig - elkeen was kwessies waar die twee partye bereid was om te misluk eerder as om aan die ander toe te gee.

  • Tweekamerwetgewer - Die wetgewer kon nie gevorm word op grond van die bevolking of op state nie. Dit is 'n sleutelbron vir 'state regte', maar dit is gedeeltelik gebaseer op die aantal inwoners teenoor ontwikkeling en handel. Virginia het aangevoer vir 'n wetgewer gebaseer op bevolking, terwyl die Noorde die Connecticut -plan op grond van staatsverteenwoordiging nagestreef het. Randolph en Madison het die kompromie voorgestel, maar albei kante was gretig om van die tafel te stap eerder as om toe te laat dat die land op grond van die opposisiebeginsels gevorm word.
  • Die 3/5 -kompromie - nog 'n "stap van die tafel af" waar beide kante baie bewus was dat kompromie hul lewenswyse in gevaar kan stel. Daar is 'n rede vir artikel 9 van die grondwet wat dit verbied oorweging om die eksterne slawehandel tot 1808 te staak; hulle het geweet dat dit 'n kwessie is wat die Republiek sou breek as dit te vroeg oorweeg word.
  • Ligging van die hoofstad. Die eerste twee hoofstede was in die noorde (Philadelphia en New York) Die suide wou die hoofstad in die suide hê. Jefferson en Hamilton het 'n ooreenkoms bereik dat die Capitol in 'n federale distrik naby die grens tussen Noord en Suid gevestig sal word. (tegnies was die grens die Mason Dixon Line, maar Virginia het homself nog altyd nie net as die middelpunt van die land beskou nie, maar ook in die middel van die heelal).

Daar is genoegsame bewyse dat die grondvloede die potensiaal vir toekomstige konflikte gesien het. U het die vraag uitgebrei om te vra of hulle 'n burgeroorlog voorsien het. Dit is 'n bietjie meer subtiel, en ek weet nie wat u bedoel nie. Hulle het die rebellie van Shay gesien (oor die regte van landelike boere teen kommersiële belange), en die regering het soldate in Philadelphia gyselaar gehou. Hulle moes Rhode Island dwing om by die Unie aan te sluit (nie met geweld nie, maar ek dink dit is relevant). Binne 'n paar jaar het Burr 'n sameswering van 'n afskeidingsleier gelei, een van die ander noordelike state het probeer afskei, en Jefferson is West Point geskep omdat hy gevrees het vir die militêre mag van die noordelike state.

Ja, hulle het voorsien dat die land in state sou verdeel, en dit sal waarskynlik konflik veroorsaak (op kort of lang termyn, konflik met lae of hoë intensiteit).


Daar blyk geen betroubare empiriese bewyse te wees wat daarop dui dat die Amerikaanse stigters ooit die Amerikaanse burgeroorlog verwag het nie. James Madison, was waarskynlik die laaste van die Founding Fathers -generasie en is in 1836 oorlede, byna 25 jaar voor die begin van die Amerikaanse burgeroorlog. Madison was op 'n manier die laaste van die Founding Fathers -generasie, hoewel daar blykbaar geen beduidende bewyse is waarvan ek weet nie, wat daarop dui dat James Madison die burgeroorlog verwag het.

Die beste vooruitskouende voorbeeld wat ek kan dink met betrekking tot die bitter en omstrede verdeeldheid tussen die Founding Fathers, is die Jefferson-Hamilton-afdeling. Thomas Jefferson was 'n goewerneur, 'n tabakboer, sowel as 'n slawe-eienaar wat geglo het in die beginsels van klein regering- (dit wil sê 'n klein federale regering), terwyl Alexander Hamilton- (toekomstige sekretaris van die tesourie) 'n emigre was van New York was op 'n manier die vroegste stigter van die Amerikaanse liberalisme (dws 'n groot sentrale bevoegde federale regering). Jefferson en Hamilton het mekaar geminag; hul ideologiese en filosofiese twis, was miskien 'n vroeë aanduiding van die diep gewortelde kulturele verdeeldheid- (veral rakende slawerny) in die Noordelike en Suidelike Verenigde State. Dit is weliswaar 'n deel van die historiese verbeelding om te sê dat die Jefferson-Hamilton-vete die Amerikaanse burgeroorlog voorgehou/voorspel het, alhoewel so 'n verdeling nog geslagte voor Fort Sumter bestaan ​​het.


Die stigters

Toe die stigters 'n groot eksperiment begin om 'n regering vir 'n jong land te stig, het hulle waarskynlik nooit verwag hoe suksesvol hul eksperiment sou wees nie.

Sosiale studies, burgerlikes, Amerikaanse geskiedenis

Washington tydens die konstitusionele konvensie

Voordat hy die eerste president van die Verenigde State geword het, was George Washington die voorsitter van die konstitusionele konvensie, wat die grondwet van die land bepaal het. "Washington as staatsman by die konstitusionele konvensie" is geskilder deur Junius Brutus Stearn.

Foto deur Ian Dagnall/Alamy Stock Photo

In die 1760's en 1770's het die toenemende ontevredenheid met die Britse bewind veroorsaak dat die Amerikaanse koloniste hul opsies begin bespreek het. In 1774 het leiers van die verskillende kolonies in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, byeengekom by wat sedertdien bekend gestaan ​​het as die Eerste Kontinentale Kongres. Kort nadat vyandighede tussen Britse troepe en Amerikaanse koloniste in Lexington en Concord in Massachusetts uitgebreek het, het hierdie mans mekaar weer ontmoet. Die Tweede Kontinentale Kongres verklaar onafhanklikheid van Brittanje en stel later die Konfederasie op, wat bepaal hoe die nuut onafhanklike state bestuur moet word. Baie van dieselfde manne is in 1787 na Philadelphia gestuur om die Statute van die Konfederasie te hersien. In die vroeë besprekings het die afgevaardigdes vasgestel dat die artikels meer as net hersienings nodig het en het hulle 'n nuwe grondwet begin skryf en die grondwet wat tot vandag toe nog in die Verenigde State heers, regeer. Hierdie manne was verantwoordelik vir die smee van 'n nuwe nasie. Gesamentlik word daar dikwels na hulle verwys as die stigters.

Wie was die stigters?

Geskiedkundiges het uiteenlopende menings oor presies wie op die lys van stigtervaders ingesluit moet word, of hoe groot hierdie lys moet wees. Sommige name George Washington, James Madison en John Adams en mdash is voor die hand liggend, maar ander kan meer bespreek word. Vyf en vyftig afgevaardigdes het die Konstitusionele Konvensie bygewoon, wat elkeen 'n belangrike rol gespeel het. Daar was ook mans en mdash Thomas Jefferson, veral die wat nie by die Grondwetlike Konvensie was nie, maar wat 'n kritiese rol gespeel het in die stigting van die land. Jefferson het nie net die oorspronklike konsep van die Onafhanklikheidsverklaring geskryf nie, maar ook advies gegee aan die Konstitusionele Konvensie van Parys, Frankryk, waar hy as minister van Frankryk gedien het.

Die stigters was relatief gesproke 'n diverse groep. Hulle was dokters en prokureurs, handelaars en boere. Elkeen het sy eie unieke kennis, ervarings en idees gebring. Die meeste afgevaardigdes van die Grondwetlike Konvensie het ondervinding in die politiek en/of die regering. Met die rewolusionêre oorlog agter die rug, kyk hulle na die toekoms. Hulle was dit eens dat hulle vryheid wil hê, maar hulle stem nie almal saam oor die beste manier van optrede vir die land, die gepaste rol van die regering of die optimale regeringstruktuur wat vryheid en orde in balans sal bring nie.

Rolle en verantwoordelikhede

Per definisie het die Founding Fathers 'n belangrike rol gespeel in die stigting van die land, maar sommige het veral 'n kritiese rol gespeel. Soos met enige groep, is hul krag dikwels verkry uit hul verskille. Sonder die vurige humeur van die Bostoniërs John Adams en Samuel Adams, het die kolonies moontlik besluit om die parlement te paai en terug te staan ​​van hul regte. In plaas daarvan het die oortuigende stemme van patriotte soos joernalis Thomas Paine en Patrick Henry hul saak geloofwaardig gemaak en bygedra tot 'n gevoel van patriotisme wat die kolonies oorval het. John Hancock, wat die beste onthou word vir sy groot lus -handtekening as die eerste ondertekenaar van die Onafhanklikheidsverklaring, was ook die president van die Kontinentale Kongres.

Die stigters het mekaar goed gedien tydens hierdie uitdagende en onstabiele tye. Tydens die Amerikaanse rewolusie het George Washington die kontinentale weermag tot 'n oorwinning oor 'n veel groter en beter toegeruste Britse leër gelei. As president van die Konstitusionele Konvensie was Washington 'n belangrike rol in die versekering dat alle menings gehoor word en om besprekings op koers te hou. Terwyl Washington voorsit, neem mede -Virginian James Madison groot aantekeninge oor die verrigtinge. Nie net enige stigterspater nie, maar Madison word dikwels die Vader van die Grondwet genoem.

Benjamin Franklin was op 81 -jarige ouderdom die oudste afgevaardigde van die Konstitusionele Konvensie. Hy is deur 'n swak gesondheid belemmer, maar mis net 'n paar sessies en mdasheven, toe hy so swak was, moes hy in die sessies gedra word. Teen daardie tyd het Franklin reeds 'n naam in die geskiedenisboeke verdien vir sy rol in die opstel van die Onafhanklikheidsverklaring en onderhandeling oor die Verdrag van Parys van 1783 om die Revolusionêre Oorlog te beëindig.

Die stigters het nie net die nuwe regering geskep nie, maar ook die sukses daarvan verseker. Na die Grondwetlike Konvensie het James Madison, Alexander Hamilton en John Jay 'n reeks van 85 artikels en opstelle onder die skuilnaam & ldquoPublius & rdquo geskryf om state aan te spoor om die historiese dokument te bekragtig. In wat later as die & ldquoFederalist Papers gepubliseer is, het hierdie drie stigtervaders noukeurig begin om die kenmerke van die regering te beskryf en die voordele daarvan te verduidelik. Om die kommer te hanteer dat 'n sterk nasionale regering die regte van die burgers kan aantas, het Madison ook 'n reeks wysigings geskryf waarin die regte van die mense uiteengesit is, wat in 1791 by die Grondwet gevoeg is as die Handves van Regte.

Die Groot Eksperiment

Die stigters het hul nuwe regering dikwels as 'n eksperiment beskou, maar dit was 'n eksperiment wat hulle graag wou slaag. Waar daar verskille ontstaan ​​het, het die Founding Fathers kompromieë ingehuur en meer as vier maande saamgewerk om 'n meer volmaakte unie te vorm, soos beskryf in die aanhef van die Grondwet.

Hulle eksperiment het gelei tot 'n konstitusionele republikeinse regeringsvorm wat interne en eksterne bedreigings, insluitend 'n bloedige burgeroorlog, weerstaan ​​het en die Verenigde State gelei het tot die magtigste land ter wêreld. Uiteindelik is die nalatenskap van die Founding Fathers die belofte van vryheid en geregtigheid, nie net vir Amerikaners nie, maar ook vir alle mense wat bereid is om te belê in demokratiese selfregering.

Voordat George Washington die eerste president van die Verenigde State geword het, was George die voorsitter van die konstitusionele konvensie, wat die land se grondwet bepaal het. "Washington as staatsman by die konstitusionele konvensie" is geskilder deur Junius Brutus Stearn.


Stigende vaders en slawehouers

Amerikaners herontdek in groot getalle hul stigters in boeke wat die beste verkoop word, soos Joseph Ellis ’ Stigende broers, David McCullough ’s John Adams en my eie Onverskrokke moed, oor Lewis en Clark. Daar is ander wat meen dat sommige van hierdie mans ons aandag onwaardig is omdat hulle slawe, Washington, Jefferson, Clark onder hulle besit het, maar nie Adams nie. Hulle kon nie uitstyg bo hul tyd en plek nie, hoewel Washington (maar nie Jefferson nie) sy slawe bevry het. Maar die geskiedenis wemel van ironieë. Hierdie mans, die stigters en broers, het 'n regeringstelsel ingestel wat na baie stryd en die verskriklike geweld van die burgeroorlog en die burgerregtebeweging onder leiding van swart Amerikaners tot regsvryheid vir alle Amerikaners gelei het en beweging na gelykheid.

Verwante inhoud

Laat ons begin met Thomas Jefferson, want dit is hy wat die woorde geskryf het wat die volgende generasies geïnspireer het om die heroïese opofferings te maak wat die woorde "Alle mense is gelyk geskape" in werklikheid verander het.

In 1996 was ek 'n besoekende professor aan die Universiteit van Wisconsin. Die History Club het my daar gevra om deel te neem aan 'n paneelbespreking oor "Politieke korrektheid en die Universiteit." Die professor wat langs my sit, het Amerikaanse politieke denke geleer. Ek het haar opgemerk dat ek, toe ek begin leer het, vereis het dat studente elke semester vyf of ses boeke moes lees, maar ek het dit teruggesny tot drie of vier, anders sou die studente my kursus verlaag. Sy het gesê sy het dieselfde probleem. Sy het die geskrifte van Thomas Jefferson ’ uit die vereiste leeslys laat val.

'U is in Madison, word betaal deur die burgers van Wisconsin om hul kinders Amerikaanse politieke denke te leer, en laat u Tom Jefferson uit?'

"Ja," antwoord sy. "Hy was 'n slawehouer." Meer as die helfte van die groot gehoor het toegejuig.

Jefferson het slawe besit. Hy het nie geglo dat almal gelyk geskape is nie. Hy was 'n rassis, nie in staat om bo die gedagte van sy tyd en plek uit te styg nie, en was bereid om voordeel te trek uit slawe -arbeid.

Min van ons ontsnap heeltemal aan ons tye en plekke. Thomas Jefferson het nie grootheid in sy persoonlike lewe bereik nie. Hy het 'n slaaf as minnares gehad. Hy het daaroor gelieg. Hy het eenkeer probeer om 'n vyandige verslaggewer om te koop. Sy oorlogsrekord was nie goed nie. Hy het 'n groot deel van sy lewe deurgebring in intellektuele strewes waarin hy uitgeblink het en nie genoeg om sy mede -Amerikaners deur goeie voorbeeld te lei nie. Jefferson het sekerlik geweet dat slawerny verkeerd was, maar hy het nie die moed gehad om die weg na emansipasie te neem nie. As u slawerny haat en die verskriklike dinge wat dit aan mense gedoen het, is dit moeilik om Jefferson as groot te beskou. Hy was 'n spaarsaamheid, altyd diep in die skuld. Hy het nooit sy slawe bevry nie. Dus, die steek in die verstommende vraag van dr. Samuel Johnson: "Hoe kan ons hoor dat die hardste jubel van vryheid van die bestuurders van die negers?"

Jefferson het geweet dat slawerny verkeerd was en dat hy verkeerd was om voordeel te trek uit die instelling, maar blykbaar geen manier kon sien om dit in sy leeftyd op te gee nie. Hy het gedink dat die afskaffing van slawerny deur die jongmanne van die volgende generasie moontlik sou wees. Hulle was bevoeg om die Amerikaanse rewolusie tot die idealistiese gevolgtrekking te bring, want volgens hom het hierdie jong Virginiërs 'die vryheidsbeginsels ingesuig asof dit hul moeder se melk was'.

Van al die teenstrydighede in Jefferson se teenstrydige lewe, is niemand groter nie. Van al die teenstrydighede in die Amerikaanse geskiedenis, oortref niemand sy verdraagsaamheid nie, eers teen slawerny en daarna tot skeiding. Jefferson het gehoop en verwag dat Virginians van Meriwether Lewis ’ en William Clark se generasie slawerny sou afskaf. Sy skryfwerk toon dat hy 'n goeie verstand en 'n beperkte karakter het.

Jefferson het, soos alle slawehouers en baie ander wit lede van die Amerikaanse samelewing, die negers as minderwaardig, kinderlik, onbetroubaar en natuurlik as eiendom beskou. Jefferson, die genie van politiek, kon Afro-Amerikaners geen manier sien om as vry mense in die samelewing te leef nie. Hy het die ergste vorme van rassisme aangeneem om slawerny te regverdig.

In Aantekeninge oor die staat Virginia, Beskryf Jefferson die instelling van slawerny as tirannie en verdorwenheid op meester en slaaf. Om 'n slawehouer te wees, beteken dat 'n mens moet glo dat die ergste witman beter is as die beste swartman. As u hierdie dinge nie geglo het nie, kon u uself nie vir uself regverdig nie. Dus kon Jefferson slawerny in woorde veroordeel, maar nie in dade nie.

Op sy pragtige landgoed, Monticello, het Jefferson slawe gehad wat uitstekende ambagsmanne, skoenmakers, messelaars, timmermanne, kokke was. Maar soos elke grootprater, het hy nooit gesê nadat hy 'n bekwame Afrikaanse vakman aan die werk gesien het of die vrugte van sy arbeid geniet het nie: "Miskien is ek verkeerd." Hy het die woorde van sy mede -rewolusionêr John Adams geïgnoreer, wat gesê het dat die rewolusie nooit volledig sou wees voordat die slawe vry was nie.

Jefferson het 'n ander rasse- en morele probleem vir sy opvolgers gelaat, die behandeling van inheemse Amerikaners. Hy het geen positiewe idee gehad wat hy met die Indiane moet doen nie. Hy het die probleem aan sy kleinkinders en hulle s'n oorgegee.

Die skrywer van die Onafhanklikheidsverklaring het sy hande opgesteek oor die kwessie van vroueregte. Dit is nie asof die onderwerp nooit ter sprake gekom het nie. Abigail Adams, op 'n tyd Jefferson se beste vriend, het dit grootgemaak. Maar Jefferson se houding teenoor vroue was dieselfde as dié van die blanke mans van sy ouderdom. Hy het omtrent alles geskryf, maar byna nooit oor vroue nie, nie oor sy vrou of sy ma nie en beslis nie oor Sally Hemings nie.

Dit is dus veral ironies om toe te gee dat Jefferson 'n net so merkwaardige man was soos Amerika. "Het die aand saam met meneer Jefferson deurgebring," het John Quincy Adams in 1785 in sy dagboek geskryf, "by wie ek graag saam wil wees. U kan nooit 'n uur in die man se geselskap wees sonder iets van die wonderlike nie." En selfs Abigail Adams het oor hom geskryf: "Hy is een van die uitverkorenes op die aarde."

Jefferson is ryk gebore en het goed geleer. Hy was 'n beginselman (behalwe vir slawe, Indiërs en vroue). Sy burgerlike plig was vir hom uiters belangrik. Hy lees, diep en wyd, meer as enige ander president van die Verenigde State, behalwe moontlik Theodore Roosevelt. Hy het goed en met meer produktiwiteit en vaardigheid geskryf as enige ander president, behalwe miskien Theodore Roosevelt. Waar Jefferson ook al sit, was die tafelhoof. Die paar wat saam met hom om 'n tafeltjie gaan eet het, onthou altyd sy sjarme, verstand, insigte, navrae, verduidelikings, skinder, nuuskierigheid en bowenal sy gelag.

Jefferson se kennisreeks was verstommend. Wetenskap in die algemeen. Spesifiek flora en fauna. Aardrykskunde. Fossiele. Die klassieke en moderne literatuur. Tale. Politici van alle soorte. Politiek, staat vir staat, land vir land. Buitelandse sake. Hy was 'n intense partydige. Hy was mal oor musiek en om viool te speel. Hy het tallose briewe geskryf oor sy filosofie, waarnemings van mense en plekke. In sy amptelike korrespondensie handhaaf Jefferson 'n vlak van welsprekendheid wat sedertdien nie geëwenaar is nie. Ek het 'n groot deel van my professionele lewe deurgebring om presidente en generaals te bestudeer, hul briewe te lees, hul bevele aan ondergeskiktes te ondersoek en 'n poging te doen om hulle te oordeel. Niemand pas by Jefferson nie.

Ten spyte van hierdie skaars vermoëns, was Jefferson nie 'n held nie. Sy groot prestasies was woorde. Behalwe vir die Louisiana -aankoop, skiet sy optrede as president te kort. Maar daardie woorde! Hy was die outeur van die Onafhanklikheidsverklaring. Die tweede paragraaf begin met 'n volmaakte sin: "Ons glo dat hierdie waarhede vanselfsprekend is, dat alle mense gelyk geskape is." Die woorde, soos die historikus Samuel Eliot Morison gesê het, "is meer revolusionêr as alles wat Robespierre, Marx of Lenin geskryf het, 'n voortdurende uitdaging vir onsself, sowel as 'n inspirasie vir die onderdruktes van die hele wêreld." Uiteindelik, met Lincoln, wat hierdie waarhede verwoord en geleef het, en stadig daarna, het die idee vordering gemaak.

Jefferson was die skrywer van die Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom, 'n leerstelling wat oor die hele Verenigde State versprei het. Hy is die vader van ons godsdiensvryheid. Dit is, naas die woorde van ons onafhanklikheid, sy grootste gawe, behalwe miskien ons verbintenis tot universele opvoeding, wat ook via Jefferson na ons toe kom.

Die Noordwes -verordening van 1787 was gebaseer op Jefferson se "Verslag van 'n regeringsplan vir die Westelike gebied" wat drie jaar tevore geskryf is. Daarin het hy seker gemaak dat wanneer die bevolking van Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin en Michigan groot genoeg was, hierdie en ander gebiede as volledig gelyke state in die Unie sou kom. Hulle sou dieselfde aantal senatore en verteenwoordigers hê as die oorspronklike dertien. Hulle sou hul eie goewerneurs kies, ens. Hy was die eerste wat gedink het dat kolonies gelyk moet wees aan die dertien oorspronklike lede van die Unie. Niemand voor hom het so iets voorgestel nie. Ryke is bestuur deur die 'moederland', met die koning wat die goewerneurs aanstel. Dit was Jefferson wat besluit het dat ons dit nie in die Verenigde State sou doen nie. Die gebiede sou state wees. Hy het die beginsels van die Noordwes -verordening toegepas op die Louisiana -aankoopgebiede, en later ook na die Weskus. Dit was Jefferson wat 'n vryheidsryk voorgestel het wat strek van see tot glansende see.

Washington en Jefferson was albei ryk Virginia -planters, maar hulle was nooit vriende nie. Washington het nie Jefferson ’s IQ nie. Hy was nie naastenby so 'n goeie skrywer nie. Hy was nie so wêrelds nie. Hy het minder formele opleiding gehad as enige daaropvolgende president, behalwe Abraham Lincoln. Hy toring letterlik so oor sy tydgenote uit. Hy was 'n generaal van ses voet drie en sy soldate was gemiddeld agt voet. Hy was nie 'n goeie generaal nie, of so sê sy kritici. Sy leër het meer gevegte verloor as wat hy gewen het.

Maar Washington het die kontinentale leër bymekaar gehou, "in synde", soos die militêre uitdrukking dit stel, en hy het 'n meesterlike oordeel gehad oor wanneer en waar en hoe om die Britte te slaan om die moreel te verhoog onder sy soldate en in sy hele land. simbolies was die kruising van die Delaware -rivier tydens Kerstyd in 1776, toe hy in 'n weerligweek van veldtog die Britse garnisoene in Trenton en Princeton afgehaal het, met baie gevangenes en waardevolle voorrade. Die volgende winter was hy saam met sy soldate in 'n ysige Valley Forge. Van daar af het hy die strategie van die oorlog gelei, die Revolusionêre leër van 'n ragtag -versameling in 'n soliede gereelde leër verander, die politici in die kongres gedwing om hom te ondersteun en na vore gekom as die een wat die land deur die Revolusionêre Oorlog sou lei.

Die karakter van Washington was rotsvas. Hy het 24 jaar lank die middelpunt van die gebeure gelieg, bedrieg of bedrieg. Hy het sy leër se ontberings gedeel, hoewel hy nooit voorgegee het dat hy 'een van die mans' is nie. Washington kom staan ​​vir die nuwe nasie en sy republikeinse deugde, en daarom het hy ons eerste president geword deur eenparige keuse en, in die oë van baie, insluitend hierdie skrywer, ons grootste.

Washington verpersoonlik die woord 'groot'. In sy voorkoms, in sy gewone gewoontes, in sy kleredrag en drag, in sy generaalskap en in sy politieke leierskap, in sy vermoë om te oorreed, in sy vaste greep op wat die nuwe nasie nodig gehad het (veral nie 'n koning nie), en in sy optimisme, hoe erg die Amerikaanse saak ook al lyk, het hy bo alle ander uitgestyg. Hy het die gedagte 'We can do it' gevestig as 'n integrale deel van die Amerikaanse gees. Hy was onontbeerlik, "eers in oorlog, eers in vrede, eers in die harte van sy landgenote." Abigail Adams, weer, so insiggewend in haar beskrywings, het John Dryden aangehaal om Washington te beskryf: "Merk sy majestueuse weefsel. Hy is 'n tempel heilig vanaf sy geboorte en met goddelike hande gebou."

Van die nege presidente wat slawe besit het, het slegs Washington syne bevry. Hy weerstaan ​​pogings om hom 'n koning te maak en stel die presedent vas dat niemand meer as twee termyne as president mag dien nie. Hy het vrywillig krag opgelewer. Sy vyand, George III, het in 1796 opgemerk, toe die tweede termyn van Washington tot 'n einde kom, "as George Washington teruggaan na sy plaas, sal hy die grootste karakter van sy ouderdom wees." Soos George Will geskryf het, "was die laaste komponent van die onontbeerlikheid van Washington die onverganklike voorbeeld wat hy gegee het deur homself as onmisbaar te verklaar."

Washington was 'n slawehouer. In New Orleans, aan die einde van die negentigerjare, is die laerskool George Washington herdoop na die Laerskool Charles Richard Drew, na die ontwikkelaar van bloedbankdienste. Ek sien nie hoe ons die naam kan opneem van die man wie se leierskap hierdie nasie deur die Revolusionêre Oorlog gebring het nie en wat 'n werklike kans geweier het om die eerste koning van die land te wees.

'Maar hy was 'n slawehouer,' sê studente soms vir my.

"Luister, hy was ons leier in die Revolusie, waaraan hy sy lewe, sy fortuin en sy eer belowe het. Dit was nie ledige beloftes nie. Wat dink jy sou met hom gebeur het as hy deur die Britse leër gevange geneem is?

"Ek sal jou vertel. Hy sou na Londen gebring, verhoor, skuldig bevind aan verraad, gelas word tereggestel, en dan getrek en in kwarte gesny. Weet jy wat dit beteken? Hy sou een arm aan een perd vasgemaak het, die ander arm na 'n ander perd, een been na nog 'n ander, en die ander been na 'n vierde. Dan sou die vier perde gelyktydig geslaan en galop begin word, een na die noorde, 'n ander suid, 'n ander oos en die vierde na die wes.

'Dit is wat Washington in gevaar gestel het om u en my vryheid te vestig.'

Ons land se hoofstad is vol met herdenkings van ons presidenthelde, waaronder die gedenktekens van Lincoln, Jefferson en FDR. Die een wat opval, is die WashingtonMonument, die hoogste, mees aangewese en mees onmiddellike herkenbare. Dit is ons huldeblyk aan die man wat die Revolusionêre Oorlog gewen het en wat as ons eerste president meer as enigiemand anders gedoen het om die republiek te stig. Jefferson het dit van die Mississippirivier tot by die Rocky Mountains uitgebrei. Lincoln het dit bewaar. Franklin Roosevelt het dit laat seëvier in die grootste oorlog wat ooit geveg is. Maar dit was George Washington wat die republikeinse standaard gestel het. Solank hierdie republiek bly, sal hy eerste staan.

Die winkelsentrum wat uit die monument van Washington strek, was die plek van omstredenheid, protes en oorreding, soos dit in 'n demokrasie behoort te wees. Daar is ons nasionale onenigheid vertoon, en ons nasionale stap-vir-stap-vordering is bewys. Daar het Martin Luther King Jr. Daar het burgers, waaronder ek en my vrou, in groot getalle vergader om die Viëtnam -oorlog te protesteer.

Die WashingtonMonument en die gedenktekens van Jefferson en Lincoln herinner ons daaraan dat grootheid in verskillende vorme en teen 'n prys kan kom. Jefferson, deur sy woorde, het ons aspirasies gegee. Washington het deur sy optrede ons gewys wat moontlik is. Die moed van Lincoln het beide in werklikheid verander.

Slawerny en diskriminasie vertroebel ons gedagtes op die buitengewoonste maniere, insluitend 'n algemene oordeel vandag teen Amerikaanse slawe -eienaars in die 18de en 19de eeu. Dat die meesters as 'n gebrek aan verstand en hart beskou moet word, is regverdig, moet inderdaad daarop aangedring word, maar dit beteken nie dat ons hulle almal slegs volgens hierdie deel moet beoordeel nie.

In sy laaste boodskap aan Amerika, op 24 Junie 1826, tien dae voor sy dood op 4 Julie (dieselfde dag as wat John Adams sterf), weier Jefferson 'n uitnodiging om in Washington te wees vir die 50ste herdenking van die Onafhanklikheidsverklaring. Hy skryf: "Alle oë word geopen, of maak oop vir die regte van die mens. Die algemene verspreiding van die lig van die wetenskap het alreeds vir elke siening die tasbare waarheid oopgemaak dat die massa van die mensdom nie met saal op hul rug gebore is nie, ook nie 'n paar begunstigdes wat gestamp en aangespoor is nie, gereed om hulle te ry. "

Hy sterf met die hoop dat die toekoms die belofte van gelykheid sal verwesenlik. Vir Jefferson was dit die logika van sy woorde, die essensie van die Amerikaanse gees. Hy was moontlik nie 'n groot man in sy optrede of in sy leierskap nie. Maar in sy politieke denke het hy die hoop geregverdig.


Willie Roger Holder en Cathy Kerkow het bekendes geword in Frankryk, waar hulle bevriend was met mense soos Jean-Paul Sartre, en die aktrise Maria Schneider, wat saam met Marlon Brando gespeel het Die Laaste Tango in Parys. Uiteindelik het Cathy egter vir Willie in 1977 gestort en vir hom gesê dat sy na Switserland gaan om nuwe vals dokumente te kry, en nooit weer teruggekom nie.

FBI -agente begelei Willie Roger Holder van 'n Air France -vliegtuig in die New Yorkse rsquos JFK -lughawe na sy vrywillige terugkeer na Amerika. Associated Press

Willie het uiteindelik ingestem om geregtigheid in Amerika te trotseer, het in 1986 teruggekeer en twee jaar in 'n federale gevangenis. Upon his release, he struggled to find his place in society, and made a living mostly as a day laborer, before dying in 2012 at age 62. As for Cathy, she never resurfaced after vanishing into Switzerland in the 1970s.


The Welsh in America – American Presidents of Welsh Descent

For such a small country, Wales has certainly punched above its weight in terms of its contribution to one of the most powerful nations of the modern era – you could even call it our most successful colony! In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries large numbers of Welsh settlers made their way to ‘the New World’ in search of a better life, mostly for religious and economic reasons. Given the number of Welsh settlers in America, it is perhaps then no surprise that there is a significant number of American Presidents of Welsh descent – who knows, perhaps you are distantly related to one of them?

Founding Father and Early Presidents

Did you know the Welshman William Penn actually wanted to call Pennsylvania New Wales? Unfortunately he wasn’t allowed to , but I can tell you that an amazing five out of six of the first presidents of America were of Welsh descent – this is an amazing statistic, and shows just how much influence little old Wales had on the founding of America.

John Adams – 2nd President (1735 – 1826)

One of the official Founding Fathers of the United States of America, John Adams became the 2nd President in 1797 (after serving as the first Vice-President) and the first one to live in what is now called the White House. He was a vocal advocate for American independence from Great Britain, and served on the committee which drafted the Declaration of Independence.

John Adams’ ancestors originated from Carmarthenshire – from Drefach, Felindre and Penbanc Farm near Llanboidy to be exact.

Adams died on the 4th of July 1826 – the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, and the same day as Thomas Jefferson.

Thomas Jefferson – 3rd President (1743 – 1826)

Another founding father, Thomas Jefferson was the first Secretary of State for America. However, he is probably most well-known for being the author of the Declaration of Independence, the statement that declared the then 13 American states as sovereign states in their own right and not subject to British rule.

We have Jefferson’s own written word to confirm his Welsh ancestry. When he was 77 years old he wrote in one of his diaries ‘The tradition in my father’s family is that their ancestors came to this country from Wales, from the region of Snowdon, highest mountain in Great Britain’. Jefferson’s father also named the family plantation in Virginia Snowdon after their homeland.

Thomas Jefferson also read, spoke, and wrote Welsh – this is evidenced by his correspondence with his principal aid and fellow Welshie icon Merriwether Lewis, who corresponded with Jefferson in Welsh in all his dispatches.

James Madison – 4th President (1751 – 1836)

Also known as ‘the father of the constitution’, founding father Madison was pivotal in drafting and promoting (surprise, surprise) the US Constitution. He also sponsored the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the constitution) and co-authored the Federalist Papers.

One of his maternal great-great grandfathers, Daniel Gaines, was born to Welsh parents.

James Monroe – 5th President (1758-1831)

Another ‘official’ founding father, Monroe served two terms as President, from 1817 to 1825. He is also the only person in American history to hold two cabinet posts at once – he held the positions of both Secretary of State and Secretary of War in Madison’s cabinet.

Monroe’s mother, Elizabeth Jones, was born in Virginia after her father, James Jones, emigrated there from Wales. Unfortunately, we don’t know where in Wales Jones came from, but we do know he was an architect.

Eerily, Monroe also passed away on the 4th of July 1831 – five years after Adams and Jefferson had died on the same day

John Quincy Adams – 6th President (1767 – 1848)

Quincy Adams was son of the second President and founding father John Adams, and – until George W Bush – the only son of a former President to take on the role as well. However, it is generally agreed by historians that his real achievements took place in his pre-presidential years when he was a diplomat and Secretary of State. He is widely recognised as one of American’s greatest ever diplomats.

19de eeu

William Henry Harrison – 9th President (1773 – 1841)

You may not have heard of William Harrison as, unfortunately, he holds the title for the shortest presidency at 31 days. He died on April the 4th 1841 from pneumonia after delivering his inaugural address in a heavy rainstorm exactly one month earlier. He also holds the record for the longest inaugural address – which he delivered with no hat or coat, hence the pneumonia! Harrison was also the last American President to be born a British subject.

Harrison was a descendent of Sir Thomas Harrison, a general in Oliver Cromwell’s army. His great-grandfather was born Henry Harris, a smallholder from Llanfyllin, Montgomeryshire. Henry’s son (another Henry) moved first to Wrexham, than to Nantwich, Cheshire, before changing the family surname from Harris to Harrison. It was Henry Jr.’s son Benjamin who ended up emigrating to America, signing the Declaration of Independence and siring little William Henry along the way.

Abraham Lincoln – 16th President (1809 – 1865)

Probably one of the most famous American Presidents, Abe Lincoln led the United States successfully through the American Civil War, preserving the Union and abolishing slavery along the way.

This great man had Welsh ancestry by the bucket load. Lincoln’s great-great-grandfather, John Morris, was a farmer in Ysbyty Ifan in North Wales. His daughter, Ellen, emigrated to the United States with a group of Quakers. There, she married Cadwalader Evans.

Cadwalader was born in Ucheldre, a small hamlet near Bala in 1664. His father, Evan Lloyd Evans, was buried in nearby Llanfor and it appears as if Cadwalader’s grandfather, Evan ap Robert ap Lewis, moved to the area from Ysbyty Ifan, Denbighshire.

Ellen and Cadwalader had a daughter Sarah who, in 1711, married a John Hanks. Their granddaughter Nancy was Abraham’s mother.

It seems Lincoln was fully aware of the number and prominence of the Welsh in America – in 1860, he had 100,000 Welsh language election pamphlets printed for an election campaign.

Lincoln was famously assassinated on a trip to the theatre in Washington D.C. on the 14th of April 1865 by Confederate supporter John Wilkes Booth.

James Abraham Garfield – 20th President (1831 – 1881)

Garfield is the only sitting member of the Senate in American history to be elected as president. Some people who knew him recorded that Garfield had stated in conversation his father had emigrated from Caerphilly.

He was subject to an assassination attempt on the 2nd of July 1881, after only a few months in office, by a disgruntled lawyer and writer. He was shot with a gun, but not fatally – he eventually died on the 19th of September due to an infection bought about by his doctors not properly cleaning their hands.

Presidents of the 20th and 21st Century

Richard Nixon – 37th President (1913 – 1994)

Nixon is one of those infamous presidents who everyone is aware of, even if you are interested in politics or not. He is most well-known for being the first (and so far only) American President to resign from office. This was because he was almost certainly going to be impeached for his involvement in the Watergate scandal.

Nixon has Welsh ancestry several times over, including some early settlers – ancestors include Howell Griffiths from Carmarthenshire, who emigrated to Philidelphia in 1690, and Huw Harris from Montgomershire, who emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1689. His great-grandmother was descended from a Thomas Price who emigrated to America from Wales in 1634, just 14 years after the Mayflower landed. Other ancestors came from Merionethshire and Narbeth in Pembrokeshire.

Barack Obama – 44th President (1961 – present)

Yes, even Barack Obama has Welsh ancestry! His six times great-grandparents Henry and Margaret Perry emigrated to Ohio from Anglesey at the beginning of the 19th century.

First Ladies

While the first president of the United States, George Washington, may not have been of Welsh extraction, his wife Martha Washington (1731 – 1802) was. Born Martha Dandridge, her mother Frances was the daughter of a Welsh clergyman, the Reverend Orlando Jones.

Former First Lady and recent Presidential candidate Hilary Clinton (1947 to present) also has Welsh ancestry. Her great-grandfather was John Jones, a miner from Llangynidr, and her great-grandmother was Mary Griffiths, from Abergavenny. They moved to Pennsylvania in 1879.


Founding Fathers and the American Civil War - History

As ek die Unie kon red sonder om enige slaaf te bevry, sou ek dit doen, en as ek dit kon red deur al die slawe te bevry, sou ek dit doen en as ek dit kon red deur sommige te bevry en ander alleen te laat, sou ek dit ook doen.

- Letter from President Abraham Lincoln to the
Editor of the New York Times, Horace Greeley

The reason being, American Cotton supplied 75% of the World's Cotton.

Nevertheless, the Civil was not about "Evils of Slavery" as the Slaves did really well and all of their basic needs were met as Cotton was King. That is, in 300 years of Slavery, the starting 388,000 slaves grew to become 4,000,000 slaves working side by side and raising healthy families generation after generation. Moreover, if the Slaves actually wanted to run away, it should be asked that if absentee plantation landowners existed before the Civil War, then the "masters" were never at the plantation. Hence, the slaves had ample time to run away.

But isn't the Civil War about *not* creating another Africa or Europe where there are constant wars between the countries, or this case the States? In the Bigger Picture of History, a million dead from the American Civil War is nothing compared to many wars that had been going on in Europe and Africa for the past thousand years and also the foreseeable future.

While the North had Manufacturing, the South had a far greater control of the North American Eastern coastline and also the bottom portion of the Mississippi River. The South also had warmer climates and hence the ability to grow crops almost year round. This is an extremely important point, as back then, they lived from Harvest to Harvest. [2]


A VERY LONG WINTER COULD MEAN FAMINE
If the South were allowed to secede and if there was a long Winter, there could easily be famine in the North where the North would pay massive prices for goods to be shipped up North. You could see chaos, rioting and mass migration like you see in Venezuela, Cuba, and Syria if food were in short supply.

Armys could not move and roads were impassible and so on. Armies basically encamped during the winter.



[WARNING: A VERY LONG SENTENCE]
Or put another way, the same death tolls of

(a) 25% of the White military males of the Confederacy who died during the Civil War

(b) 25% of the Slaves who died of Starvation immediately afterwards from a completely decimated agricultural industry and transportation system

What needs to be said, or better, what needs to be asked is,

The North had to do everything it could to economically destroy The South's agricultural power and that meant blockade of all the Southern ports and taking over all the plantations. And if that didn't work, it also meant ending Slavery to cause possible social unrest and dissension between Slaves and their Masters.

The North abolished Slavery not "before" the Civil War started, but "during" the Civil War when battles were won or lost hence the common wisdom that the Civil War was fought on moral grounds is false.

#1 - To The Children of The South:
When the South rises again, do not let your greed overwhelm you (both Free and Slave, both White and Black, and both Rich and Poor) as it did with your forefather, King Cotton, or your Brothers from The North again will come down again and make war with you over food, water, coastlines, rivers and New Orleans as it did before.


#2 - To The Children of The North:
Honor the War Dead of the South as you would in any game of sport where you are the victor. Do not dance on their graves (schadenfreude) for they are your brothers and sisters of the South. You do not have to honor their succession from the union, but you should honor how bravely they fought and the sacrifices they made.


#3 - To Children of The South and Children of The North:
Do make annual inroads, in both business and pleasure, with your brothers and sisters and work together using water, land and the rivers that connect you to create peace and prosperity for all of America. If need be, make laws to finance and promote a North and South business partnership and personal friendship that achieves peace and prosperity for a United States of America.

Please contact us if you would be interested in purchasing a Founding Fathers.ORG
T-shirt (or Polo shirt) in the future.

Once enough interest is generated, an e-mail will be sent indicating a run
of T-shirts (or Polo shirts) has been made available for purchase.


Why is America haunted by its past?

US history tends to neglect the fact that the American Revolution was also a civil war – and that the American Civil War also encompassed a revolution. Adam IP Smith explains why ignoring difficult truths about the causes and legacies of those wars helps to fuel enduring tensions

Hierdie kompetisie is nou gesluit

Published: June 15, 2020 at 4:02 pm

It is insufficiently appreciated that there has been not one American Revolution (1) but two. The first was the one about which we all know: the successful rebellion against the British empire in the 1770s and 80s that resulted in the creation of a new republic. The second was the revolutionary refounding of the republic in the 1860s in the wake of a failed rebellion led by Southern slaveholders. That rebellion caused the deaths of up to three quarters of a million people and destroyed slavery, hitherto an institution sewn into the cultural and political fabric of the republic. It also led to a new constitutional settlement in which everyone born in the United States (except Native Americans, but including former slaves) was, for the first time, guaranteed citizenship and, in theory, equal rights.

Unlike the first revolution, however, the second was incomplete, its meaning ambiguous – so much so that most Americans don’t recognise it as a truly revolutionary moment at all. The first revolution remains America’s defining moment, the Founding Fathers (2) still near-sanctified figures in US public culture – bewigged Enlightenment gentlemen who bequeathed to future generations a nation conceived in liberty. To most Americans today, as in the past, the Civil War is remembered not so much as ushering in a new beginning for the country as reaffirming the meaning of the first revolution.

1: American Revolution

Tensions over the relationship between the leaders of British North America’s colonial society and the imperial government in London led to armed confrontations, which escalated into full-scale rebellion in 1775. In 1781, with French military support, rebel colonists forced the British to accept defeat. The independence of the United States of America was declared on 4 July 1776, and self-rule achieved after British troops left in 1783.

2: Founding Fathers

The men who wrote the US Constitution in 1787, plus a few others – such as Thomas Jefferson – who played a key role in the nation’s creation. They aimed to create a confederation strong enough to withstand external pressure but which acknowledged the rights of individual states. Leading figures included George Washington, elected the republic’s first president two years later.

Since Donald Trump became president, we have been forcibly reminded of the ways in which an unresolved past can haunt the present. Tensions that have long lain below the surface have been exposed by the emotionally wrenching transition from an African-American president to one endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan. We see them in the battle between those who would remove statues to the leaders of the slaveholders’ rebellion and those who would celebrate them in the incomprehension of so many white people in the face of African-American protests about police brutality and in the judicial struggles over voting rights. At stake is the total failure of American society as a whole to reach consensus over the meaning of the Civil War. This failure stands in stark contrast to the privileged status of the ‘first’ revolution in public culture.

Listen: Everything you ever wanted to know about the civil rights movement, but were afraid to ask

Both American revolutions were civil wars, but the first American revolution doesn’t feel that way. Nineteenth-century historians told the story of a patriotic people rising as one against a foreign oppressor. “The people of the continent obeyed one general impulse, as the earth in spring listens to the command of nature and without the appearance of effort bursts into life,” George Bancroft wrote in his bestselling multi-volume history of the US, published in the mid-19th century.

In some ways, popular histories of the American Revolution are not so different today. The complex tug of loyalties and the internal divisions within colonial American society described by academic historians have no part in this story. For this was a revolution that was, and is, imagined to be a natural, divinely ordained flowering of a long-seeded passion for freedom. “The Americans,” wrote Bancroft, “seized as their peculiar inheritance the traditions of liberty.” And unlike in France, where liberty had led to anarchy and autocracy, in America liberty was accompanied by order and stability. No Reign of Terror came to America, because the Americans did not rush headlong, surging with emotion, into their revolution but embraced it in a spirit of maturity and moderation.

There was little resistance to this telling of the national origin story because the losers were not around to contest it. Tens of thousands of loyalists had fled to other parts of the British empire, especially to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The many more who stayed put pragmatically accepted the new dispensation, as did the even greater number of colonists who had weathered the storm of revolution with ambivalent feelings about which side was right.

In the second American revolution, the apparent losers were white Southerners. In 1861, 11 slave states launched a military rebellion against the United States in a self-conscious effort to re-enact the first American revolution. As with their forebears 80 years earlier, Southerners said that they were fighting for liberty against tyranny. As with George Washington, whose image adorned the symbols of the new Confederate States of America (3), Southerners’ definition of liberty was consistent with slavery for black people. However, to an even greater extent than was true for the Founding Fathers of the 1770s – who disagreed among themselves about the wisdom and ethics of enslaving black people –the protection of slavery was the singular aim of the rebels of 1861. As Confederate vice-president Alexander Stephens notoriously put it, the new Confederacy was designed with slavery as its “cornerstone”. In the declaration of the causes of secession published by South Carolina’s legislature, the central argument was the “increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the Institution of Slavery”.

The forgotten revolution

To the leaders of this revolt, it seemed a reasonable bet that they would be able to establish their independence, through force of arms if necessary. But it was a gamble that, after four years of war and the loss of more than one in five white Southern men of military age, spectacularly backfired. Had it not been for secession in 1861, there is plenty of reason to believe that some sort of system of legally sanctioned unfree labour would have continued for decades. As it was, slaveholders provoked a backlash that destroyed their world.

Or did it? To be sure, those Southern slaveholders lost millions of dollars of ‘property’. They no longer had such easy access – through buying and selling human beings – to the cheap and flexible labour force that had, by the eve of the Civil War, enabled the American South to become the world’s near-monopoly supplier of cotton. The slave system had given white people near-total immunity from any legal or social constraints when it came to deciding what forms of brutality would best maintain the subjugation of black people. In the wake of emancipation, however, black people were given citizenship, which was (in theory, at least) protected by the federal government. Yet, for all that, Southern white people did not behave like a defeated population – nor did Northerners treat them that way. Unlike the loyalists of the 1780s, white Southerners were still very much around to tell their side of the story.

And this is where we come to the core problem with the place of history in American culture and memory. For though the first revolution has a more-or-less-agreed narrative in public life, the second – the Civil War and its aftermath – does not. Not only did the defeated rebels of the 1860s, unlike the loyalists of the 1770s, remain present in American life, but they were able to shape the way in which the war was remembered. They did this with the willing collusion of white Northerners but at the expense of African-Americans. A war that had come about because of slavery, and which resulted in its abolition, was reframed as a noble struggle among white Americans over the perpetuity of the Union – a far less unsettling story. And the ultimate evidence of how effectively the losers have shaped the memory of the second American revolution is that it is not remembered as a revolution at all.

But it should be. Not because the attempt to break up the Union succeeded – obviously it did not – but because the slaveholders’ revolt of 1861 triggered waves of revolutionary change that fundamentally, if incompletely, reshaped the American constitutional order. Each political convulsion in France since 1789 has resulted in a formal re-naming the current French state is the Fifth Republic (4). In contrast, America appears to have been blessed, if that is the right word, by constitutional continuity.

3: Confederacy

The Confederate States of America was the name adopted by 11 slave states that signed an alternative constitution ratified in 1861. It represented an attempt by Southerners to secede from the Union and ‘refound’ the republic on explicitly pro-slavery grounds. The North’s actions to thwart the bid, and the South’s military responses, escalated into a four-year civil war that claimed the lives of more than 600,000.

4: France’s Fifth Republic

The current system of French government, established by Charles de Gaulle (above) in 1958. The First Republic, founded in 1792 during the French Revolution, lasted just 12 years and was marred by the Reign of Terror – systematic government violence against perceived counter-revolutionaries.

The first revolution is the touchstone, and the supposed views of the Founding Fathers are reverently sought on every constitutional question. But three amendments to the United States Constitution passed as a result of the Civil War – the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments – amount to such a profound reconfiguration of the political order that they deserve to be thought of as the practical equivalent of a new, second founding.

The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery. The Fifteenth tried to ensure that race could not be used to deny any man the vote. The Fourteenth Amendment, sitting between the two and ratified in 1868, was the keystone of the edifice. It defined a national community for the first time, and did so in a deliberately inclusive way by saying that if you’re born in America, you’re an American:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

The ambition of those who framed this amendment was astonishing, given the prevailing racist views of the time. Black people – most of whom had, just three years earlier, been legally recognised as ‘property’ – were given equal political status with the white people who claimed to own them. And the amendment then did something equally dramatic in the context of US history up to that point: it gave Congress in Washington the responsibility for ensuring that state governments did not undermine citizens’ rights (or, in the language of the amendment, “abridge the privileges and immunities”). For the first time, citizenship was not just defined in an inclusive way – it was nationalised.

White southerners denounced the Fourteenth Amendment as a power grab by the federal government, and on this point they were right. The first American Revolution had created a constitutional order in which the states had effective sovereignty, even to the point where national politicians in Washington, however much some of them despised slavery, had no power to prevent state law from recognising it. With the second American revolution, that changed.

The Civil War era was revolutionary because of the previously unimaginable scale of destruction in a war that had no parallel in the western world until 1914, and also as a war that finally brought to an end, as Abraham Lincoln put it, “250 years of unrequited toil” by enslaved black people. But it was revolutionary, too, because of the attempt to build a new kind of nation in its wake.

In the end, the revolutionary intent behind the Civil War amendments was thwarted. Black people in the South did exercise the vote for a few years after 1868, and hundreds served in elective office, including in the House and Senate of the United States. But the mass of white Southerners who had been defeated on the battlefield fought tenaciously to deny freed slaves the political rights they had so recently gained. Between 1868 and the late 1870s, former Confederate army officers formed paramilitary white supremacist groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan (5), that used violence and terrorism to regain political control. At the time – and, astonishing as it may seem, in history books published today – this counter-revolution was referred to as the ‘redemption’ of the South.

The Civil War myth

Within a decade of the defeat of their attempt to create a separate nation, white Southerners were back in positions of national power in Washington. The Supreme Court effectively nullified the Fourteenth Amendment, allowing southern states to disenfranchise black people and build the Jim Crow system (6) of racial segregation. At the same time, the myth of the ‘lost cause’ took hold. Nurtured especially by women’s organisations such as the Daughters of the Confederacy, this was a comforting narrative in which slavery had been an essentially benevolent institution, a burden for white men that at least ‘civilised’ and Christianised Africans.

5: Ku Klux Klan

The most prominent white supremacist organisation in the US, originally founded in 1865 or 1866. Local branches across the Southern states used violence to intimidate Republican leaders and damage black schools and churches. Revived in 1915, membership peaked in the 1920s at around four million people, and enjoyed a resurgence in the 1950s in opposition to the civil rights movement.

6: Jim Crow laws

Legislation enacted in the late 19th century in Southern former slave states to enforce a purportedly ‘separate but equal’ system in schools, transport and other public facilities, in concert with suppression of black voting rights. This racial discrimination and disenfranchisement was challenged by the civil rights movement from the 1950s but not reversed until 1965.

The war, then, was a noble struggle to preserve the self-rule of a traditional Christian society, and brave Southerners lost only because they were confronted by overwhelming numbers. This compelling but entirely dishonest story was sufficiently attractive to white Northerners that by the 1930s it formed the predominant public memory of the war on a national level. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson and, especially, Robert E Lee were bizarrely elevated to the pantheon of national heroes alongside Washington. Such was the romantic appeal of this myth that statues to these rebel leaders were commissioned in public spaces even in states where there had never been slavery.

The Southern ‘lost cause’ is far from the only instance in history of a failed rebellion being retrospectively glamorised. A strikingly similar example is the Jacobite rebellion of 1745 (7), which posed for a while a serious military threat to the Hanoverian British state, but which within decades was the subject of countless romantic songs and stories. Queen Victoria – whose ancestor would have been deposed had Bonnie Prince Charlie succeeded – performed Jacobite tableaux with Prince Albert in the drawing room at Balmoral Castle. Rebellions that failed have, it seems, an unfailingly romantic allure.

However, similar as it was in impetus and aesthetics, the romanticisation of the slaveholders’ rebellion had more pernicious consequences than latter-day Jacobitism. It validated the counter-revolution, obliterating in public memory the postwar effort to incorporate black people into the American polity as equals. As a result, American memory of the Civil War remained stunted. The heroism of the soldiers was lauded, but the political meaning of the overthrow of slavery was downplayed. When President Woodrow Wilson spoke at the Gettysburg battlefield in 1913, on the 50th anniversary of that clash, he said it would be “an impertinence” in front of veterans of both sides to speak about what the battle “signified”. Better instead simply to honour their struggle.

The foundational moment

Beginning in the 1950s, as the civil rights movement gathered force, the complacent white consensus about the Civil War was challenged. For decades now, school textbooks, films and TV documentaries have tried to convince Americans that slavery was at the root of the war. But so long as there is racial inequality in America, the memory of the Civil War will matter. A majority of white Americans tell pollsters that they do not think the war was about slavery. And the romanticisation of rebel leaders has, until very recently, scarcely been challenged.

The first American revolution, meanwhile, has retained its status as the foundational moment. The hit Broadway musical Hamilton (8), for example, tells a tale of a united people rising up for freedom – one to which George Bancroft would have nodded along.

So long as everything about American politics can be traced back to the 18th century, the rupture of the 1860s can be glossed over. Conservative lawyers who insist that the Constitution should always be interpreted with reference to the (imagined) “original intent” of its framers seldom pay as much attention to the intentions of the radical Republicans who framed the post-Civil-War amendments as they do the gentlemen at Philadelphia in 1787. This is in spite of the fact that the Fourteenth Amendment, in particular, is at stake in multiple battles in American political life today, from immigration and gay rights to violations of the right to vote.

7: Jacobite rebellion of 1745

Attempt by Charles Edward Stuart (‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’) to claim the thrones of Scotland and England lost by his grandfather, James II and VII, during the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688. After initial successes – taking Edinburgh and advancing far into England – his forces were finally defeated at Culloden in 1746.

8: Hamilton: An American Musical

Hit show recounting the life and career of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, first performed in 2015. Its casting of black and Hispanic actors in lead roles, and use of song and rap to explain key issues, contributed to critical and commercial success. However, its multiculturalism belies what is otherwise a traditional telling of the Revolution as a national uprising by an oppressed people.

If America has had just one revolution, it follows that the past 250 years have been marked largely by a comforting and virtuous continuity. Such a narrative is only possible because the upheaval of the 1860s was domesticated and drained of its disruptive meaning.

The African-American abolitionist Frederick Douglass saw this happening as early as 1871. “We are sometimes asked,” he said, “in the name of patriotism to forget the merits of this fearful conflict and to remember with equal admiration those who struck at the nation’s life and those who struck to save it – those who fought for slavery and those who fought for liberty and justice.” But Douglass was having none of it: “May my right hand forget its cunning, and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I forget the difference between the parties to that terrible, protracted, and bloody conflict.”

Despite decades of work by historians, many Americans remain determined to see the Civil War as a struggle among noble white folk with little or no implications for the state of race relations today. Like Queen Victoria dressing up in tartan, they have clothed themselves in rebel garb. As long as they continue to do so, American history will be inseparable from the politics of the present.

Adam IP Smith is senior lecturer at University College London, specialising in American history. He also writes and presents programmes for BBC Radio.


March 28 th , 1979, began as any other humdrum day. It ended as one of the country&rsquos more momentous days, when reactor number 2 of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, experienced an accident. First, the plant&rsquos non-nuclear secondary systems experienced some problems, then a relief valve in the primary system got stuck open.

Between mechanical failures, poor personnel training, and human errors, there was a partial meltdown, leading to a radiation leak. However, it took two days before government officials informed nearby residents to stay indoors and keep their doors and windows tightly shut to avoid inhaling potentially contaminated air. As seen below, the accident effectively doomed the future of nuclear energy in the US.


Kyk die video: De Amerikaanse Burgeroorlog (Januarie 2022).