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tv   Akhil Reed Amar The Words That Made Us  CSPAN  August 25, 2021 11:46am-12:50pm EDT

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information on how to get started, visitor website, as student kim .org. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ ♪♪ ♪ ♪♪ ♪ ♪ ♪♪ >> good evening everyone read the program and ceo and i'm thrilled to welcome you to tonight's virtual program, "the words that made us" and the constitutional conversation of 1760 - 1840.
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a particular place this evening for the wonderful for sponsoring for sponsoring the program tonight pretty thank you and i'm also delighted to welcome back here and thank you for your great partnership. just beforer i introduce our speakers on the recognize and think new york historical society for joining us this evening. first and foremost, the authentic chair of ournd board f trustees, and executive committee and the trustees and frank and others. and tonight speakers once i speakers akhil reed amar who will be joining us on our virtual stage. i would also like to thank the chairman's counsel and we are so very grateful to each andwe evey one of you for your
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encouragement and your support especially this challenging time well then, we are pleased to well, akhil reed amar back to our virtual stage. is a professor of law and political science at yale university and before joining the faculty, is a judge now associated justice prior and when he was judge, on the u.s. and courtrt of appeals for the fifth circuit. and it akhil reed amar is a visiting adjunct visitor at columbia law school the author ofa the recently book, the words that made us. "the words that made us" america's constant and 1860 - 1840. and the moderator this evening is richard, senior fellow at the national museum institute and also editor of the national review and author of numerous books including give me liberty in a history of americans idea
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and marshall, the man who made us pretty is as historian curator for 2004 exhibition alexander hamilton the man who madede honor i'm delighted to be able to work. with him. in the 2008, presidential awarded him the national humanity metal at the white house ceremony. this program will last an hour and 60 minutes forti questions d answers the questions can be submitted in a q&a function on your resume spring in the interest of simplicity, use the chat function tonight. please remember to use the q&a and we will get to as many questions as time allows. and now i'm happy indeed to turn our virtual stage over to tonight's speaker. thank you. it. akhil: okay thank you louise, and thank you for joining us and
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it's always a pleasure and an honor to be the new york historical society and is always a pleasure to be with the professor akhil reed amar i'm b going to call m2 for the rest of the evening because he is a dear old friend. and he has been for years and is written this terrific book, "the words that made us", america's constitutionalal conversation, 1840 - 1760 - 1840. coand akhil reed amar your book covers a lot of things that you would expect to be covered in such a book. you talk about the federalist papers new top of the constitutional convention rated but i think a lot of the real richness of this book and what impressed me so muche about it s the richness is things that are maybe less expected, maybe a little bit surprising. if you want to start with two
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words in your subtitle. start with words and conversation which maybe isn't the first thing the people would think up when i think of the constitution and history in the development. so what conversation are talking about and who are the people in it at what kind of things are theyin saying. akhil: they begin as british subjects in the new world. and they talk w to each other in newspapers especially, and mother hundred letters and face-to-facece conversations. they talk themselves into becoming americans rated begin to realize whether they're from massachusetts or down in virginia, or in still other colonies.th they start to begin in 1760, they begins to understand what
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they have in common with each other. and they're talking to britain initially and they see themselves in the beginning of my story, as british subjects in a world. trying to persuade their brothers in the cousins and friends in britain, and britain is not treating them well. and he has, i think some people so maybe focus on this idea of conversation with the constitution is a test so it is words of course, but it becomes to life in an ordained - constituting and act in an act is not just putting the document to a vote. it is an epic vote up and down, the continent, vote which more people were allowed to say yay or no to vote on anything significant in world history no was not just about, it was a
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series of conversations and it was a dialogue and people were for the document other people or more against it and people in the middle were on the fence and they were listening to both sides and newspapers, your journalists and newspapers in the print media are indispensable to this democratic ordained project so there talk initially about becoming americans and that will become the declaration of independence and then eventually they talk themselves into becoming invisibly americans. in one nation indivisible, that is the constitution. and they do it epically through words, pictures political cartoons, some very highfalutin stuff and some really simple stuff poetry. it is an amazing inclusive
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robust and inhibited wide-open distinctly american experience. >> so were trying to was not just a big name, free-for-all. and you do cover that. you cover the people on the presidential placemats and people in our wallets and are but this is the most vigorous conversation. it's much bigger than that. akhil: it is and so for example, act i, scene one is about, he's a pretty big name, but is not a household name. james otis, is a firebrand into the american revolution. he's new england patrick henry and john adams gave it before there was it and i tell the story in a chapter, three people are going to be significant over the next 15 years in this first stars in 1761 and one of them is
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skeptical of the people who have called themselves patriots and he actually is the most prominent loyalists, american born loyalist on the continent by 1775 and what is stunning is that most people, even really vibrant people don't know his name or genoa stories. is thomas hutchinson is going in the royal governor of virginia or of messages excuse me. that's where my story begins in his lieutenant governor is american-born. if you ask someone, as late as 1770 or so, deadly settings 85, which of these two famous boston newborn smart people going into supporting american independence, and is going to enough on the signing of the king. benjamin franklin s or thomas hudson, both boston born really smart predict people onema of wt
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it said oh franklin will. and his illegitimate son is the royal governor of new jersey and the fellow new englanders or something but lots of people that were more obscure i think that hutchinson in particular because i want my audience to see there was another side came into the american. and if you were alive today, he was on the t at all. my analogy would be, is mitt romney, he's harvard educated, be sober, traditionalist, he believes in hierarchy and •-ellipsis country but his country is bitten any of his hometown which a is boston if hs lucky enough to be in for 20 years earlier, he would not have had to pick between them but he does and he ends up taking his king. so i do trying to write beyond the first residents of washington avenue jefferson
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madison and of course franklin and hamilton. >> you just mentioned benjamin franklin and in a way for title almost sells your conversational because it's also images involved. so tell us about this great cartoon franklin generate rated very early on in this conversation. erakhil: so he is such a genius, he invents bifocals, and the franklin stove any advance the lightning rod. he invents social institutions in the first secular university amending library to philosophical station but is also invents the world's first real political cartoon. it's not from britain, comes from america early on americans and very democratic culture and it is simple it is 1754, the
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picture of a snake that is cut up into pieces and he has a slogan. it is the first viral means and we can they say, # join or die. it is 7054 he said after work together, with other countries and with britain to defeat french. and this the early stages of what we become the french and indian war and in that very same page in 1754, on the newspaper, he is the newspaper magnet. if he were alive today he might murdoch or something like that on the very same page, there's a picture of the snake and the spiral # join or die in a is also telling the audience about a young 22 -year-old military officer from virginia who bravely is confronting the
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french and his name is george washington and he's going to get them self name in the papers up and down the continent and 50 different references at 822 rated we will hear from him and again that join or die cartoon which is so simple, it's not high art. it is easy to replicate and cartoons up and down the continent start to copy it sort of like retreating today. then the journalist and printers don't really pay a lot for it the content yet, but not paying scribblers like you need to write stuff, there may be in a basically publishing proceedings of local assemblies printed during pronouncements, judicial opinions but also republishing things and appeared elsewhere and here in new york, and you found something from philadelphia boston or london, and this join or die image goes
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viral first in 1754, and then ten years later when the colonies are beginning to unite against continent, is a rebirth and lead to the stamp act congress where they do join together and then ten years after that, it is a really rebirth, any hibernates and then he reawakens and is like a phoenix. ... ... germany against britain and if you don't join, he will die eventually this is going to be the single best federal argument for the constitution. we have to hang together otherwise of britain across two pieces or france or spain, it's
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a geostrategic argument for an individual unit in the same person about, and mark british version early 1754 he puts it in a simple picture that ordinary people can understand and three words i make a powerful political argument, join or die. he's imagining twitter or how many characters? it's not even 140, it's instagram, snapshot. >> it could have been a lot more but stop while he's ahead. who wanted to go back to george washington obviously but you raised some important points, i think this was one of the most striking points you made which was that america's constitutional development conversation isn't just happening entirely within our
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own part, is also impacted over and over again by the world. talk to us more about that. what is our position in the world have to do with our thoughts about how we govern ourselves? where affected by oceans, right? >> we are if we join together. if we don't, we'll have land borders between south carolina and north carolina and georgia in maryland and pennsylvania and new york and so on so the genius is to understand eventually washington in hamilton atlantic ocean will be a boat to protect us against old powers of europe for only if we unite and don't fight each other into european lines up against each other and
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divide and conquer fashion, not policy for the rest make it an american national domain is not just virginia's backyard or pennsylvania's territory of connecticut even wants a piece of what becomes ohio so the western reserve so yes, americans early 1754 franklin and washington are beginning to see the possibility of the world at war. under the constitution comes out of ouran revolution is part of a larger global struggle so our audience. impressive, sophisticated historically, of course if you ask them when did the first world war start? they would stay 1914 in the european -- no.
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i started in 1754 and america's backcountry when a young officer named george washington gets involved in competition between the two great superpowers of the world. france and england. that's eventually -- 1754 connected to join or die in the albany congress, some of the colonies get together, it's going to become the world's first global war sucking in the two great powers, the two greatest powers and t other european powers get involved in the action this war the french and indian war, the rest of the world called seven years war, conflict on multiple oceans and multiple confidence in the new world and old world m simultaneously, it's common culminate in a redrawing of the global map, canada will move from french into the british
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problem and no conflict in world history before involved multiple confidence, new and old, multiple oceanic struggles, is the first world war and at the same time, it's generating a world conversation because warships can move troops more quickly than ever, trade ships can move newspapers back and forth more easily than ever london newspapers are being read in boston and boston newspapers are being read in london and both are red in philadelphia new york city and charleston so you are beginning to'r have a genuie world conversation it's a conversation about constitutional first principles like what should be the roles for the empire and britain
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having one going to have to pay for this expensive war and they think it's only fair it ended with the big beneficiary getting rid of the huge threat to the british colonies so they are going to oppose taxes immediately after wars and, for seven years war eventually begins in 1757, a treaty of paris in 1763 but the aftermath of that to pay for that were britain it is going to try to tax america and eventually lead american revolution and the american revolution will be the continuation of world work because france is going to jump back in again our audience might not know even though fair sophisticated from the american revolutionary war was one part of larger mobile struggle, britain has to defend colonies in india, africa, to keep troops
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at home so french won't invade we might think week one the battle, there were two french fighters on land and sea for every american event at yorktown we were part of a larger world struggle and at the time 3 million americans, ten-point britz, 39 french. >> and washington in a way started this for his frontier but by yorktown is there commanding the american army and then in then next decade he will become the first president of this country. have him in price him as a constitutional -- this might strike people as a little odd, we note george washington was a
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great man, a great general, obviously we think of him as a great executive but he didn't write federalists papers, he didn't write the declaration of independence so he was asked the convention but he hardly said anything and get identified the very important constitutional thinker so what is his contribution to this conversation and how did he make it? >> substantively and methodology, he is the indispensable man. without him, because no constitutional remotely like the one we have so take the idea, the method, you need someone to listen. washington is our greatest warbler, he's not a big talker or a writer or pamphlet but he's
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a very good listener if he brings people who disagree and vincent to both side, his winter have hamilton on his right and jefferson on his left and the work he has work councils and he listens to his advisors and he does, he is a good generator of words but he doesn't write operands or pamphlet, he writes letters to people. he's a wonderful correspondent in his correspondence in turn, pun intended, they are like network correspondence. they give him intelligence information from all parts of america and eventually across the water, he's asking what's happening in france so he writes more and received more letters than just about anyone other than thomas jefferson in our audience can confirm this by looking at the national archives founders online t database, read
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it word search, you will see how many letters back and forth so he's a wonderful listener, he's unanimously elected, everyone votes for him even the people voting against the constitution votes for washington from he is reelected in part because he's trying to listen to everyone unify the country and pull us together, a symbol of union. substantively, moving from that he listens to everyone and he's sober, john adams, we left john adams, he wrote a great book on the adams family but he's not the world's best western. you might think jefferson's great, thomas jefferson is so ideological he can't hear what he doesn't want to hear. sound familiar? we have a problem today and i am tso impressed that washington doesn't have strong ideological commitment let's get to the
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facts. i want to hear both sides carefully and then i will make up my mind jefferson is not the world's best listener and john adams is not the world's best listener and some of these people are better at projecting but washington substitute idea is union. just like franklin, he understands joint or die and on the very page, right or die appears on that same page. there's a reference to the young officer george washington, benjamin franklin talking about george washington at age 22, he understands from a military view that unless the colonies hang together, independent states in 1776, they are done for so is a continental list and whose at his right hand? without the american revolution?
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pretty early on alexander hamilton, alexander hamilton america. hamilton isn't just about massachusetts the way thomas turned jefferson or james madison. alexander hamilton doesn't have a singular loyalty to any one state although he comes to new york, he comes from abroad, he loves america as a whole, so the key idea is union from a joint or die, national security and if we don't create indivisible union which is what washington is advocating in the early 1780s hamilton calls the continental list, they will become the first federal state, far more influential but anything like the federalists and they make a geostrategic
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argument, faith holds together and yes, we can have a huge boat called the atlantic ocean, they won't need a big army, dull powers of europe to kill each other, as long as we don't kill each other, like the union of scotland and england so britain had 10 million people in france with 30 healing, how do they do that works in part because they have good capitol structure, banks and things, washington understands banks, jefferson and madison not so much but also strong indivisible union between england and scotland, that's the model for the more perfect union of america because when england and scotland are different kingdoms, fighting each other now gibson is coming down on the english mary queen of scots getting involved, that's not what produces liberty. union will be to liberty as
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washington's first, he has an army on the continent, he's only one is, he doesn't make himself emperor, he could have but he understands liberty and union are one and inseparable and he says that during the revolutionary war, he says that in a letter that accompanied the constitution think we got to move beyond state sovereignty, he sat back in his farewell, written largely by hamilton so he listens to everyone in his big idea is we are all americans, a southerner who understands the north spends time in the west. he is the embodiment of american union the continental army is the only genuinely continental institutions that exists, confederate progress is very localized basically so washington is embodiment of
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america, he is franklin's stake. >> there's another virginian who you also link to washington and hamilton many years after they are gone, john marshall, what is his role? >> you mentioned we are friends, one of the things i am most proud of, i'm proud of my work ' also amused. i try to inspire my favorite authors and learn so both you and i respect jerry, images. i do that with cartoons but i encouraged you early on to write
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a book about lincoln, there are only 18000 books written but if you have one, if we have another one thank you, his relationship alive a felon. i think i helped you with the title. >> you did. >> i give your title and i said right about john marshall and you did, you didn't use my title. my title for that one was the last founder. yes, madison outlives marshall by a few years, madison out of office 1817 and he dies in 1836 and marshall predeceased him marshall is in office as justice for 34 years or so, he's the last founder and is to newly to have an impact into the 1830s
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were madison -- hamilton -- so frankly dies in 1790 washington dies in 1799, doesn't seek the new century and hamilton killed in 1804 famously adams and jack july 4,ointed 1826, 50 anniversary of the declaration of independence so with all this, marshall is in power and what is he doing vindicating muscles vision is a great nationalist carryforward continental swag george washington under whom he fought valley forge if you are at valley forge with washington and hamilton, you understand we need
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money to support the troops, if we don't, we are dead. adams wasn't there, jefferson wasn't correct. they don't feel it in their bones the way marshall does. immense respect for washington, washington's first biography is immense respect for hamilton, it really where marshall uses hamilton's legal ideas of banks and many other things one other thing he does, is a nationalist figure the suspect, i talked about the relationshipsne betwen some of the founders. jefferson and madison came up adams makes enemies. he's a a loner but the first, second he's going to puke with hamilton hamilton was trying to help in various ways, he starts
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off jeff but then they become rivals teams are important. jefferson and madison team up. hamilton washington team up marshall finds a teammate, a great story but teams in america worked particularly well when they combined north and t south end massachusetts and virginia in particular so marshall is virginia, story is massachusetts. about all the other virginia, massachusetts teams. james from massachusetts and patrick henri virginia. first president and vice president george washington and john adams and they work together in 1776 and so did jefferson and adams. adams is vice president and the thomas jefferson, one of
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jefferson's vice president and he's also one of madison's vice president so the north and south team of massachusetts and virginia is important in the answer to question, he's the last founder, he strengthens the judiciary, he's a washington man, a hamilton man continental list he finds a partner from another region, they together an impressive team just as washington and hamilton and madison and jefferson. >> i think it's fair to say both of us if we are not exactly federalist party, we are very sympathetic, very good work with thomas jefferson i agree with
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what you said but after all, he is who he is so busy at? let me begin by saying as a young person from i adored jefferson and was skeptical of. you and other people changed my ideas about hamilton, lynn aranda but rick as much as anyone change my idea about hamilton if my idea about hamilton rises jefferson is going to fall, if you asked me at age 20, i would have rick, if i'm lucky enough effort to have a son, i'm going to need him jefferson soaked my views about jefferson have changed but you asked me to sit in a good word, especially the young jefferson, he's such an idealist, he dreams of world that could be better, he's the architect of what will
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become a northwest ordinance proposes initially to end slavery not just in the northwest but all western territory and he dreams of an americari open, he's going to hp smart kids who aren't born privileged to rise because of k their nativebl ability and academic aptitude. he inspires ordinary people with his belief in ordinary people and thomas, for all his impressive attribute doesn't get the common man, is a little too stiff. from a geostrategic perspective, thank goodness he says lots of silly things truthfully but when he's president, he tends to do
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smart things and one of the smartest things he ever does is double the landmass of thehe united states and purchases epic achievement, is completely consistent with his geostrategic idea and i'm not sure federalist could have done that because the french liked jefferson, he liked the french, he's wonderful bartering people up. so i'm not sure napoleon would have ever done that because john adams might have found a way -- he did find a way to anoint him, he still lunch, a blunt spoken yankee so he found a political party, you and i have to respect people who are good at what they do and he pretends not appalled. madison is more openly political, make an amazing little partnership and they
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create dominant political machines that willpa basically - he champions free speech, really important. john adams doesn't get free speech. thomas jefferson gets a lot, his partner it's an even more and they champion freedom of speech against john adams and form a political party that week the dominant political party all the way to abe lincoln, he went back who are little have to respect that. he creates a new secret empire affiliated newspapers to support his way of thinking about the world and secretly funds folks, he quits fox news network so he understands democratic newspaper culture, he tells madison, axum operates a sense hamilton from which it to to shreds.
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good newspaper work, he's got to go after him as a reason the guy is on mount rushmore, i criticize him because something that's really important to me, the slaveryy issue, he gets wore over time, he found a political party that basically has a southern race, here's the relevance of this today. today there is a party, both parties have fist, not just the republican party. i think in the end, you have to protect the soul of your particle you can't give in to big five so i struck her for that and i see the pole on the other side we are going to lose our base if you're lindsey graham or kevin mccarthy. that's a similar thing confront patterson jefferson, they know it in their hearts and bones. in order to defeat john adams
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made criticism of john adams a crime, they have to create a partner, the party has a solvent -based, they are politicians, that's the political but we made and we are going to lie in it and that's our part. if it requires compromises okay, so they get worse on slavery looked deep in their bones they know it's wrong i respect their idealism but to keep their political machine operative, they become increasingly proslavery and this is a story that isn't told by their biographers, our friend jack, you tell it better than anyone else in your book on james madison, you say on slavery, reticent disappoints, i asked that he gets worse over time, at the end of his life he says let
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sent slaves to the west spreading the virus which is the opposite of what jefferson and madison said early on, prevents and that's what's going to trigger the civil war so washington gets better on slavery as time goes on and realizes it's wrong and provides bring the slaves, jefferson and madison don't. franklin gets better timecards on it in the last chapter, there's a scene for all of them. >> how that last story before we get to franklin because it's so funny integrate story spooner talk about these great men and then i kill them all off. i give you the best things ydramatically. i love them but they did die. i tell you how each one in death, there's some deep idea
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there. for both washington and franklin, their dying breath is basically emancipation abolition, we should get rid of slavery. washington doesn't, it's a quiet guy doesn't make a big stink about it, he does as a plantation owner by providing the freeing of his own slaves great was franklin? is newspaper guy. he first proposes to congress, he writes a position as head of anti- slave abolition society, congress do maximum extent possible congress should try diminish slavery in people from georgia and the south don't like that midco against franklin and one try, what does ben franklin know about the constitution? so franklin writes us booth and
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he's brilliant at satires, he's great cartoons satires appeal to a democratic culture, tongue and says well, if some of the arguments i just heard about why we should present slavery made by the georgians put me, something that happened 100 years ago, there was this slaveholder defending the enslavement of the christian and every single argument the georgians made aboutut enslaved people are he stopped, african arabs enslaving white european christians, someone has to do the work they don't believe in god and they are better off here than in their homeland and they want to intermarry with lesser blood holy scripture authorizes
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this and this is good for them so he takes every one of the georgians arguments, flips around racially brilliant spoof from the same guy 16 years old pretended he was a middle aged matron for my 15 years old, franklin spoofs his own brother doesn't realize franklin create5 this fictional character and he does it at the c end and he knos that america will eventually recognize this is his dying message to america. in 100 years, do we still want to be defending slavery fairway hundred years ago slavery was defendant would people were enslaved to work european christians? >> one of the funniest things,
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he claims some book written 100 years ago, english diplomat, people in philadelphia went to booksellers and set you have a copy it was so well done. now we have some questions coming. here is one. how to consider is the of the american people evolve in 1716, and 1840? how literate were we, we already literate? i was think there's got a base, newspaper and letter writing. >> technically widespread among whites. female as well as male partly because america is a protestant
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culture. especially americans, especially since new england clearly puritan but even virginia which is more cavalier and anglican, english centers but if you were protestant, you believe you have to write the bible. read the bible. americans do read the bible and even someone as late as jackson, i have good words to say about jackson on some things, he believes in an indivisible unit lincoln stand on jackson shoulders resisting the anti- jackson is self-taught, how? he goes to church every sunday listens to people preach in the pulpit from the gospel, from the
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bible so up bible reading, bible discussing culture, very famously some of my jonathan edwards whose grandson will be named aaron, publishers who summons and puts them in the hands of an angry god so even in the 60s, remarkable literacy rates among whites. by 1790, america has more newspapers newspaper readers than any country in the world including britain. certain technological departments are going to facilitate that so when you get the erie canal, you can now quote all the way around america just like you can go all the way around britain, you can go chicago across the great lakes to buffalo and across the erie canal and all around florida coast all the way norman's in
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mississippi chicago, letters can travel faster, ships can travel faster and eventually you get railroads by the end of my time. from 1840, remarkable letter writing whose franklin? is a postmaster. all of these guys are newspaper guys so five of them are newspaper scripture and the six george washington reads more newspapers than anyone around but they are also letter writers and our audience can read these letters re- on the national archives founders online, every letter word searchable too and from every major founder soap a remarkably literate culture in that includes women, too. we haven't talked about women and i feel bad about that.
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adams does have a partner, her name is abigail she's amazing and because items is a public servant he sacrifices himself for his country, he is away from abigail for a long time because he is away, off in france, there's lots of letters back and forth. if he had been in the same place happily, they would have loved to be in the same place, they loved and respected each other, she's really smart but because they are separated, they have amazing letters back and forth between abigail and don, be 20 everyone because it's a highly culture. >> one question about linguistic diversity in the u.s., a lot of german speakers, to what extent were they translated into these
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newspapers? >> because i don't german, i didn't look at that but one part of the pennsylvania at the time enour native german speakers. german newspapers are important as late as i think the first congress, first discussion about translating rational proceedings at least in pennsylvania german, is speaker of the house, a couple of them and you may know because of our mutual friend, a great friend of the new york historical society that air man lincoln is the secret owner of a german language newspaper in springfield, illinois german language speakers are about 10% of the population of springfield if they are all pro lincoln because secretly he's the owner of the newspaper saying nice things about lincoln.
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recklessly early age, he has books in his home, he reads every newspapers wherever he can find them in early on he's writing at after op-ed anonymously, many newspapers back then had a partisan affiliation, many of them are like the national review today or new republic with the nation, i think the new york times is on one side -- they didn't -- >> lincoln reeves newspapers and rights op-ed but also owns the paper, there were german language newspapers, i have hundreds of citations to newspapers, one of the big things in the book and not because i'm better than the folks became before but it's because until ten is ago or five
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years ago they went online and word searchable and now they are to database every academic house, america's historical newspapers so i don't produce 40 different cities and find positive newspapers, i can just find them online but the truth is i didn't look at too many of the german language newspapers which are around because i don't speak german. >> one questioner is asking about religious diversity in america, is that a problem or is somehow a benefit? >> is a challenge madison will take that powerfully putting on experience even in virginia between baptist if anglicans but today we say christian. i promise you, it only takes two
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to : each other over centuries and any two things will do. protestants and catholics will do. one hundred years, religious warfare in central europe any two what do. jews and follows, muslims and hindus, sunni soupy, any two what do. america is way more than two. they've got congregationalists and inn good, freethinkers in rhodehe island, a great-great-grandmother of thomas edison and roger williams so freethinkers of rhode island and some practice congregationalists and england, new york is many different cash quakers and delaware, especially
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in virginia and the carolinas and then by 1840, the shakers and methodists and more baptists coming on for board. madison befriends the baptists in particular so that's a lot of religious diversity in that's initially going to be a stumbling block. i haven't mentioned catholicism. america things we have to think together. reports -- joint or die. so much so the first confederation congress writes a letter saying why don't you join us? even though we thought were against you, french and indian war even though your catholic protestant and french-speaking and we are english speaking,
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geostrategic week it's going to be useful for us to have you on board so you don't establish in the back fighting the brits on the coast so they sent a nice letter saying eq membership. you've been preapproved lockhart, american express or mastercard or whatever, they say thanks but no thanks so americans try to conquer them benedict arnold comes close but fails so religious diversity is one of the things that's going to make it hard for americans join or die. thirteen different colonies found at different times for different reasons, virginia is basically about making money in
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massachusetts is about religious freedom so when my story begins in 1760, they are not american, they are preaching and healthcare learning in massachusetts men but because of newspapers, because british treats them pretty badly, they talk themselves into being american and basically say to themselves okay, there's a lot of religious diversity but that can be a strength rather than weakness and that's where madison comes at, religiousus diversity, at the time, not very many people paid attention, the main argument was geostrategic of washington and hamilton and franklin, the joint or die idea but religion will be a stumbling block because -- here's one final thing, i think -- i don't know if i t told you, the two places in the world that are
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pretty self-governing and free are the brits after the active union and the swiss. the swiss don't have a single language, they got german, italian, french, they don't have the same religion, protestants and catholics so how do they hang together? what makes switzerland work? who got catholics and protestants even, high and low church in britain. his with the federalists say, defensible orders is what works. swiss even though they have protestants and catholics, 50 have a defensible border of the alps, if we can create a continental union and hang together, we will have a defensible border called atlantic ocean and want me to epic army threatening liberty, we just need maybe like english maybe has to keep the spanish,
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maybe less threatening to people on the coast so that is the idea, geostrategic week we are one people even though religiously we are not right one but it's working so we can make it work for america. the federalists talk i about the swiss british entanglement. >> a brief time for a last question but it's an interesting one. constitution never mentions to get lowl parties and and behold, there were two political parties soon. >> that's the story i tell when these former friends and allies, jefferson and adams who worked together in 1776 begin to diverge adams makes it a crime to criticize by the way,
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marshall doesn't join adams in that, he's never all in on this act. in response to that, jefferson takes a loose coalition and turns it into a much more organized political party will become a permanent political party a two-party system emerges after washington passes from the scene, he's unanimously selected if you could proceed to fat in the contest between jefferson and adams and it's going to be constitutional last in a 12th amendment designed to make electoral college say for a two-party system, or into the details now but i promise in the book i do. >> we still have jefferson and madison party among us. we call republicans and then became democrats but the oldest
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party in the world, isn't it? >> it is and one of the things i said about your book on madison is i thought it was a spectacular biography because it captures madison, he had no other job basically except public service, hamilton was a r,lawyer, washington was a genel answer favor and a business person jefferson dabbled in law and this is the only thing madison does, and he's a party guy. he's not that different than martin van buren or mitch mcconnell or lyndon johnson or franklin roosevelt across the spectrum from abraham lincoln is a party guy, he loves politics
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and understands he craves a party that's what you get distinctly about madison, he's not like pure political thinker, he's appalled, not to judge him and sometimes he disappoints us, this is what we are seeing today, kevin mccarthy versus cheney or lindsey graham, you got with short-term interest of the parties and keep the base or do you say even if it goes against the party, there are certain core principles we have to abide by as a matter of conscience? has the kind of thing will not understand if you think these guysys are -- especially madiso, here pierce as opposed to a political actor. >> on that note, maybe a hopeful note because of the h one hand they're saying madison was a politician for the other hand resting politicians can be like
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james madison it's a terrific book, thank you. thank you new york historical society. ♪♪ >> minute and high school students, your opinion matters let your voices be heard with student the competition. the part of the national competition by creating a documentary that answers the ashton, how does the federal government impact your life? your fatal on programs that affect you or your community. she spent competition has $100,000 in total cash prizes and you have a shot at a grand prize of $5000. entries for the competition will begin to be received wednesday september 8. for additional rules, tips and more information on how to get started, visit our website at student camped out or.
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