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tv   Eric Foner The Second Founding  CSPAN  July 11, 2020 1:36am-2:22am EDT

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out. and everybody have a great day. book tv on "c-span2" nonfiction books and authors every weekend and coming up this weekend. sunday 9:00 p.m. eastern, on afterwards. author form college president political commentators, examines what he calls the new face of socialism in the united states what is becoming part of our political culture in the united states of socialism. he's interviewed by in a minute benjamin powell. and then 10:00 p.m. eastern, doctor ezekiel emanuel former special's advice your to the director of the office of management and budget during the obama administration discusses his book which country has the world's best healthcare. much more to be in "c-span2". this weekend. now conversation the pulitzer
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prize-winning on the 14th and 15th amendments, this virtual event is sponsored. ♪ ♪ host: welcome to a new program. my name is jim and i am president at the institute. we'll be presenting important books and in american history. and behind me, our current important books by some of the major people in our country. [inaudible]. most recently in the education programs. will present each of these historians and then guide a question answer session tarzana.
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if you think you might be interested in this, go to our website. please enjoy. the afternoon. and welcome everyone to this inaugural addition to this no institute of american history program. it brings you some of americans latest historians were the their most recent books. and today were going to be joined by eri eric foner as he discusses his of "the second founding". but before i formally introduce him but i want to go over a couple of housekeeping rules. first and foremost today is mother's day rated so want to wish a very happy mother's day to the most important people in history past and present our moms. very happy father's day to all of "the moms" born out watching. and then what we are going to be doing his first fully untied we
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will be going through some of the tech issues and for you viewers out there. in the introduction of eric foner. and then we will be introducing himself. eric foner. this will be nonprofit organization specializing in k-12 history education and serving the general public right we help give you resources, educational resources and programs from the affiliate schools program to the hamilton education program. and we also provide direct access to a range of unique primary resources. many of which are from the 70000 collection of the institute. i am going to be your moderator today. my name is william freedom part of the hamilton education
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program and one of the coordinators. the muscle joined by allison and others who will be helping with the q&a and with any kind of tech issues that you might have read and just for you guys out there, so that you know for security reasons only microphones is muted in your camera is automatically off. the chat is disabled. you will have a lot of great questions but because that we will have over 1000 participants in this program, we can't unfortunately do a live q&a. so if you of your screen, is going to be a little q&a lesson there for you to submit your questions then will be able to pass them along to the professor at the end of the program. and i know all of you will have some fantastic questions for the
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professor. unfortunately were not going to be able to do a live q&a session during this program because are going to be over 1000 participants in the program. kali: have a question for the professor, please submit it to the q&a session pretty and find it right at the bottom of your screen. so today's speaker is professor eric foner previous a specialist in the civil war reconstruction era. and his book abraham lincoln american slavery one the pulitzer prize-winning. and is also at colombia university. in today's going to be discussing his book, "the second founding" and the civil war and reconstruction may remain the constitution. so without further ado, here is professor eric foner. in the introduction of the book,
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your mission is really interesting, split up the rights and 44 way spring to talk about natural rights, civil rights, clinical rights and social rights and how they were all kind of combined in different ways to give different meanings of citizenship. can you expand upon that a little bit. eric: one of the things to understand about reconstruction why is such a pivotal period in american history is that these concepts in the wake of the civil war, and in the wake of the abolition of slavery. what is being rethought, all down society. i'm a lawyer. and i'm not a legal scholar created in another way, that helps to shape the way this history. i look at what everybody was thinking. not just congressional debate. although those are very important. in a memoir published later, they said that it was. when the fundamental issues of
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democracy and equality and citizenship was debated up and down the society in the classrooms, in the courthouses. in the partners. in people's homes. they were debating these. before the war,
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- they come to be merged in the popular consciousness as the rights of citizens for the rights of americans . in a particular interest in african americans bring the former slaves were part of this debate . and what they would say. they said that all of these rights, we demand all of these rights the same as white people. and no longer should blacks be restricted from voting the way the work almost every state. that was before the civil war pretty some to name and give them the basic civil rights pretty illinois, lincoln's home state managing his locker blockers and even enter the
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state. free black people could not legally in the state of illinois. according to the law when so there civil rights were severely restricted. the known reconstruction, you get when they keep stories here is how this concept of different rights gets merged into a new idea of just the rights of americans. that all people are to enjoy rated as part of the impulse that leads to the rewriting of the constitution. william: if you knew mind, could you go through each of these three amendments. type a little bit about them. how they were intended to be the time that they were put into the constitution. also how they have been reinterpreted and used through the american up to the present day. eric: that's really what my book is about. the big question.
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when you say, with they were intended to do right it that is legitimate historical question. i'm trying to figure out what the people who wrote them and ratified them, have in mind. what were they trying to accomplish. how did they think this would change things. but we get into the legal theories from the word intent is often used, original intent. let's go back to the original intent that the founders used braided they take it seriously. there's no important document that has only one original content. these amendments were compromises. they were all sorts of inputs it to them. and there were changes in wording all of the way through. there is a lively hunt. a lot of different intent. in a lot of different possibilities in understanding the meaning of these amendments. what are they. the 13th amendment ratified, well enacted in congress, and
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early 1855, and ratified the end of 1865, abolished slavery throughout the entire country. in the process of doing that, the word slavery into the constitution for the first time. in the original constitution is these think of a person's health, labor and other persons. slavery was in there pretty was protected but not the word. for now the act of abolishing it, slavery is named in the constitution. had lincoln freed all of the slaves well now actually. january 1st, 1863, did free almost a little over $3m slaves but there still another three quarters of a million to home and did not apply. slaves of the four border states, missouri, kentucky, delaware and maryland. they were in the union. they had not succeeded.
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they had well over half-million slaves. but there were the union and therefore the it was just a military thing pretty lincoln actually accepted other forces of the confederacy as well rated moreover, what you really need to get with slavery is to abolish all of the state laws. slavery was created by state laws. in most were still on the books when the was impacted. free peoples on the same as abolishing slavery. the 13th amendment eradicated slavery throughout the entire country. the has a second section was is extremely part which basically says that congress will have the power to enforce this amendment with appropriate legislation. what is it mean to enforce the 13th amendment. enforce the abolition of
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slavery. obviously nobody can be bought and sold anymore. but slavery includes all sorts of things . denial of education. denial of the right of marriage. all sorts of rights are taken away when you were a slave. sound does abolishing slavery restore those rights of everybody. what about the racism that is essential to slavery in this country. does abolishing slavery also abolish racism and give the federal government the power to protect racism as it really or residue of slavery. nobody quite new. but that simple act of abolishing slavery becomes much more complicated. the money think about it and very soon after ratification, congress passed the civil rights act of 1866. one of the most important laws in her history. based on the 13th amendment to guarantee to the african americans the basic civil rights. short ability all of the other
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rights, to have property, and the law applied equally to use to others. that's part of the abolition of slavery defining what it is to be a free person in america. and 4,000,003 people who are slaves just a few years ago. and then soon 66, congress has further to approve the 14th amendment. after the bill of rights certainly, longest amendment through also some things together in terms of disabling the issues of the civil war. there's things about the confederate debt. the southern nurse will never get compensation monetarily for the slaves that have been, free. but the court is the key part braided the first section. it begins by declaring anybody
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more in the united states a citizen. and you might say, what is the big deal. before the civil war, that was not the case pretty could be more in the united states is a free person not be a citizen. that's what the supreme court said, only white people can be citizens. no black person could be a citizen of the united states or anywhere else pretty good citizenship and race closely tied before the civil war because of slavery. and how it influenced the whole structure of our society and politics. and that is abolish print everybody born. so we called birthright citizenship. there is still controversial because for example, does it apply to the children of undocumented immigrants. in another state today. a woman who is here illegally, undocumented gives birth to a child in the united states. what is the status of the child.
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obviously a citizen. anybody born in the united states pretty doesn't matter who your parents are. they can be bank robbers. it does not affect the status of the child is a citizen. the only exception is native americans. they were considered citizens of their tribal sovereignty's not of the united states produced not until 1924 in all native americans become citizens of the united states braided now for the first time, uniform definition of citizenship. and then the amendment goes on to say first of all, no state can deny anyone of the citizens the privileges or immunities pretty here we go back to the question of intent rated what is the original intent of saying or referring to the privileges.
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there's a tremendous array of opinions about that pretty some people including the supreme court up they didn't really amount to very much. the most of your rights came to the streets, not the federal government. so being a citizen, actually didn't amount to anything. another said, privileges and immunities go income are also some things. but right to education for example. also's rights in the course. just recently, there was a federal district court case coming out of michigan when they ruled that literacy is a fundamental part of being a free american. so 14th amendment decision for nursing the schools in detroit, there's a terrible the people are being denied basic right of american citizenship. the right to be educated. the state has to do something about that. that is a 14th amendment decision. it's overseeing with the state to try to make sure that the
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guaranty a full range of rights and privileges for all americans. so it's being debated right now as we sit here at many levels of our judicial system. in the amendment goes on. i could go on for a long time. he does not say then, the notes state can deprive any person, not just substance. anybody of the equal protection of the law. put the word equal into the constitution for the first time. in any meaningful way. the original constitution mentioned what happens if two candidates get the equal number of can and trent electoral laws. now the all persons it can enjoy legal equality. and again you might say what is the big deal but immediately if they were black laws or black, laws that apply to only two
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african americans. to punish them that white people are not punished. to deprive them of which white people tend to do. in the 14th amendment said you could no longer do that at the state level. equal protection of the low. finally just to jump into the 15th amendment. thing is even further and cease to guarantee the right to vote. to all black men in the country. this is the no state can deny in a citizen of the right to vote because of race. that's a limited amendment that says because it needs lofgren around that denied people vote. six for example. the woman recently angry about this because it's left open to deprive women the right to devote. it is not on the discrimination on the basis of race. you have property as long as they were not rationally
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configured. you have all of that. in fact they run in the 19th century, the right to vote was taken away from african-american men of the south. the decision was nullified basically down there in the south of the late 19th century. but saying that black people can't vote anymore. but by fostering the salary requirements which were supposedly nonracial but the way that they were implemented to physically eliminate the black vote. so these amendments make african-americans equal citizens at least in terms of the law and the constitution. ten years after slavery was the most important economic instant tension in the united states. now the former slaves are elevated to this condition of equality that's one of the reasons i say such a fundamental change in the constitution. i will stop right there. the long answer.
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william: that was absolutely fantastic. and before we ready to start transitioning to the q&a part of the program . the final question that i wanted to ask is the reconstruction. , the second founding. dimensions really is going on anywhere, so critical in the history of our country. it's in some ways, but is well-known. we kind of go from the civil war and then we skip over two already the start of the 20th century in some ways. first if you could talk a little bit about why you think that is pretty and then also have this reconstruction. and how as a historical interpretation of it changed over the decades as well. eric: i have devoted a lot of might study that the construction but i have to agree with you that it's often not very well known or understood braided plan there is a lot more
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recognition of the support nowadays there was a safe when i was in school and in college. reconstruction my mind is critical to understanding americans today. the issues of reconstruction art right under threat pages. eighty stuff at the moment because of the terrible public health situation we face. but who is a citizen. that is being debated every day. who want to have the right to vote. it is being suppressed in many states. people are thrown off of the voting rules for trivial reasons. very much like today. terrorism. this homegrown american terrorism. i'm talking about the ku klux klan and groups like that which actually killed more americans than others managed to do how you deal with terrorism how to
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combat it. this reconstruction question. the relationship between economic democracy and political democracy. reconstruction is a period where seles for men, not women, there's a level playing field of political rights. and it economically, the former slaves were at tremendous disadvantage predicament of slavery please note economic wherewithal. they were not given 40 acres of the meal that many of them felt was their pride coming out of avery. sue have a vast inequality economically coupled with the tremendous stride towards political democracy and equality politically. unlike our situation today in this country where we have such an increase in inequality in the last generation or so. another thing is that for many years, i want to go into what we call mr. arkin free. a greatly years, reconstruction
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was seen as the lowest point in the american political drama. as a period of corruption, this was according to the scholars of the earliest 20th century pretty and many of them came out of my university. and they were part of the intellectual of the old solid south read the jim crow south. ... ...
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