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tv   Akhil Reed Amar The Words That Made Us  CSPAN  August 25, 2021 6:01pm-7:04pm EDT

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abraham lincoln bookshop. there's a link or you can get it. it's just $24 will ship it to you with a special date for publication sign a plate which is today, the 12th of april, 2021. >> good evening everyone. i am the historical societies president ceo and i'm thrilled to welcome you to tonight's virtual program america's
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constitutional conversation 1750-1840. i'm also delighted to welcome -- so thank you for your great partnership. before introduced our speakers i want to recognize and thank the new york historical society for joining us this evening. first and foremost the outstanding chair of our board of trustees or executive committee richard reese frank kaine suzanne pax and one of tonight's speakers akhil reed amar who will be joining us on our virtual stage. i'd also like to thank the chair council. we are so grateful to each and
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everyone of you for your encouragement and support especially in these challenging times. we are pleased to welcome akhil reed amar back to her virtual stage. he's a professor of political science at yale university. before joining he clerked for judge and now associate justice stephen breyer on the u.s. court of appeals for the third circuit. akhil reed amar is a visiting -- and the author of "the words that made us" america's constitutional conversation, 1760-1840. joining us is moderator this evening is richard brookhiser a fellow at the national review institute is senior editor of the national review and the author of numerous books including -- a history of
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america's professional idea and john marshall. he was historian and curator for new york historical society on christian alexander hamilton and i was delighted to have worked with him. and in 2008 president george w. bush awarded him the national humanities medal in a white house ceremony. tonight's program will last one hour and 50 minutes for questions and answers. the questions can be submitted via the q&a function on your zoom screen. in the interest of simplicity we disabled the chat function so please remember to use the q&a. our speakers will get to as many questions as time allows. and now i am happy to turn our
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virtual stage over to tonight's speakers. thank you. >> thank you louise. thank you akhil. he is a deer old friend and has been for years and he's written a terrific book, "the words that made us" america's constitutional conversation, 1760-1840. and akhil your book covers a lot of things that you would expect to be covered in such a book. you talk about the federalist papers and you talk about the constitutional convention but i think a lot of the real richness of this book and what impressed me so much about it is it's richness and thanks that are maybe less expected and maybe a
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little surprising. i want to start with two words from your title and your subtitle. i want to start with words and conversations which maybe isn't the first thing that people would think up when they think of the constitution and its history so what conversation are you talking about? who are the people in it and what kind of things are they saying? >> they began as a subject in the new world and by talking to each other in newspapers especially in letters and face-to-face conversations they talked themselves into becoming americans. they began to realize whether they are in massachusetts are in virginia and still other colonies. my story begins in the 1760s
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and beginning to understand what they have in common with each other and talking to britain initially and they see themselves at the beginning of my story as british subjects in the new world. they are trying to persuade their brothers and cousins in britain that britain isn't treating them while and yes i think some people don't need to focus on this idea of conversation but a constitution is a text of words of course but it comes to life in a deed of the constitution constituting an act and that act is putting in the document to a vote and epic vote up-and-down the continent. more people were allowed to say yea rene band had ever been allowed to vote on anything significant in new world history.
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it wasn't just a vote, it was a series of conversations. some people were for the document and some were against it and some were on the fence and listening to both sides in newspapers and the. media are indispensable to this democratic or j projects of a are talking about becoming americans and that would become the declaration of independence and eventually talked themselves into becoming indivisible in americans. one nation indivisible, that's the constitution and they do it ethically through words, through pictures and political cartoons and some very highfalutin stuff and some really simple stuff poetry in limerick dog role.
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it's an amazing inclusive robust uninhibited wide-open distinctly american experience. >> i'm of like a free-for-all. we are talking about not just the big name in the dew covered that. but cover people in our changed purses but this is a more bigger conversation. >> it isn't so for example act i, scene one is about how he's a pretty big name but not a household name. it's a firebrand of the american revolution. he is new england's patrick henry and he was patrick henry before there was patrick henry. i tell the story in that chap your of three people who are going to be significant over the next it teen years who starts in 1761 and one of them is typical
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of the people who call themselves patriots. he actually is the most prominent american-born loyalist by 1775 and most people even really well read people don't know his name and don't really know his story. his name is thomas hutchinson and he would become the royal governor of massachusetts. when my story begins he's the lieutenant governor and american-born and if you had asked someone as late as 1770 or so are actually 1765 which of these famous boston born smart people would end up supporting american independence and would end up siding with the king benjamin franklin both boston born in really smart people
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might say franklin would end up supporting. he's the royal governor of new jersey. lots of people but i pick hutchinson in particular because i want my audience to see if there was another side to the american revolution. my analogy would be he is mitt romney. he's harvard educated he's so bernie's a traditionalist. he believes in hierarchy and he loves his country but his country is britain and he loves his hometown which is boston. he wouldn't have to pick between them but he doesn't end up picking his king. i do try to widen the cast of characters.
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the first is washington adams jefferson madison and of course franklin and hamilton. >> in a way your title almost sells your conversation that it isn't just words but also images that are involved. tells about the great cartoon that franklin generates very early on in this conversation. >> he's such a genius, he events bicycles and invents the franklin stove and invents the lightning rod. he invents social institutions the first philosophical association and he also invents the world's first political cartoon. it's not -- it comes from america and a very democratic
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culture. it's 1754 the picture of the snake that is cut up into pieces and it has a slogan. it's the first viral meme and today you could say #join or die and in 1754 the colonies have to work together with the mother country of written to the date the french and this is in the early stages as what becomes the war and on the same page, he's a newspaper magnate and if he were alive today he might be rupert murdoch or someone like that. there's a picture of the snake and this viral meme #join or die and he's also telling his audience about a young 22-year-old military officer from virginia who was bravely
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confronting the french. >> george washington and he will get his name in papers at age 22 and we we'll hear from him again. that join or die cartoon which is so simple, it's easy to replicate and cartoonists up and down the continent copy it sort of like reid tweeting today. but printers don't really pay a lot for content yet. they are paying like you and me. there publishing proceedings of grand jury announcements judicial opinions but also republishing things that have appeared elsewhere like if you are new york reprinting something from philadelphia or boston or london and this join
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or die image goes viral first in 1754 but 10 years later when the colonies are beginning to unite against london it has a rebirth and the counties to join together and 10 years after that it has another rebirth. the snake hibernates and then he reawakens like the phoenix and in 1774 he really can for the first continental congress back in philadelphia which will involve joining against britain and if you'd don't join you will die and eventually this meme is going to be the single best federalist argument for the constitution. you have to hang together otherwise britain -- it's a
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geostrategic argument for an indivisible union and my god franklin is seeing a more british version of that in 1754 and he puts it in a simple picture that ordinary people can understand and three simple monosyllabic words that make an simple archivist, join or die. he's inventing, he's imagining twitter or how many characters? it's instagram. it's amazing. snapchat. >> he's could have done a lot more but he was smart enough to stop. now we get back to george washington but you've raised a very important point and this is one of the more striking points you make which is that america's constitutional development of the conversation isn't just
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happening entirely within our own -- it's also impacted over and over 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? we are protected by oceans, right? >> we are if we join together. we don't we are going to have land borders between south carolina and north carolina south carolina and the mason-dixon line in pennsylvania and new york and so on. the genius of franklin and eventually washington and hamilton is the atlantic ocean will be an amazing mode that will protect us against the powers of europe but only if we united we don't fight each other and where europe can opt against
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each other. if we have united policy for the west and make it an american and the national domain and not virginia's backyard or pennsylvania's territory or what becomes ohio so the western reserve. so yes americans as early as 1754 franklin and washington are beginning to see the possibility of a world at war and the constitution comes out of our revolution as part of the larger local struggle. our audience is very impressive and very sophisticated historically. of course if you ask them when did the first world war start they would say it started in
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1914 in europe. no comment started in 1754 in america's backcountry with the young officer named george washington gets involved in a confrontation between the two great superpowers of the world, france and england and the thing that happens in 1754 and that is join or die for some of them get together it would become the world's first global war. the two great powers and the two greatest powers and other european powers get involved in the action and we call it the french and indian war and the rest of the world calls it the seven-year war. it involves conflict on multiple oceans and multiple continents and the new world and the old world simultaneously that culminate in the masks redrawing
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of the global map and will move from the french column into the british column and no conflict in world history before involved multiple continents new and old and multiple oceanic struggle. the first world war and at the same time it's generating that world conversation because warships can move trips more quickly than ever and. ships can move newspapers back and forth more easily than ever in lending newspapers are being read in boston and boston newspapers are being read in london and both of them are being read in philadelphia and new york city and charleston so you're beginning to have a genuine world conversation and that the conversation about constitutional first principles like what should be the rules for the empire?
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and britain having one candidate will have to pay for this really expensive war and they think it's only fair that america was the big beneficiary that it just got rid of big british threat to the colonies so they will start imposing taxes. the seven years war conventionally begins in 1757 ends with the treaty of paris in 1763 but the aftermath of that to pay for that war britain will try to tax america and that will eventually lead to the american revolution and the revolution is going to be the continuation of the world war begins eventually france is going to jump back in and begin our audience might not know even though they are really sophisticated the american revolution is one part of a larger global struggle in written has to defend colonies in india and in africa and
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troops at home so the french won't invade but we may think we won the battle of york with two french fighters on land and sea for every american even in yorktown. we are part of the larger world struggle and at the time we are 3 million americans 3 million french. >> washington in a way starts with this frontier frankness but by your town he's there, ending the american army and in the next decade he will become the first president of this new country and you praise him as a constitutional thinker. that might strike people as a little odd.
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i mean you know we knew george washington was a great man and we think of him as a great general. obviously we think of him as a great executive but he didn't write any of the federalist papers and he didn't write the declaration of independence. he was at the constitutional convention and yet you identify him as an important constitutional figure so what is his contribution to this conversation and how does he make it? >> methodologically he is the indispensable man and without him there's no constitution that looks remotely like the one that we have. let's look at the method point. you have a the conversation but you need someone to listen. washington is not a big talker or a writer of a pamphlet but
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he's a very good listener and he drinks people who disagree and listens to both sides for this present he has hamilton on his right and jefferson on his left and he is war councils and he listens to his advisers and actually he is a good generator of words but doesn't write op-ed's order pamphlets. he writes letters to people. he's a wonderful correspondent and his correspondents in turn pun intended they are like network correspondents. they are giving him intelligence information from all parts of america and eventually from across the water is happening in latvia and happening in france and dechambeau. he writes and receives more letters than just about anyone other than thomas jefferson and we can confirm this by looking
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at the national archive database which is free to everyone. you can see how many letters go back and forth to washington. he's a wonderful listener and he's unanimously elected president. even if people vote against the constitution they vote for washington. he's unanimously reelected and he's trying to unify the country. it's a symbol of union. substantively moving from that he listens to everyone and be sober and john adams wrote the great book on the adams family but adams was not always the best listener. thomas jefferson is so ideological he can't hear what he doesn't want to hear. sound familiar? we have that problem today and i'm so impressed that washington who doesn't have strong
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ideological commitment gets to the facts. i want to hear those sites carefully and then i will make up my mind so jefferson is not the world's best listener and john adams is not the world's best listener and so many people are better projecting but now washington's substandard of idea unity. he, just like franklin understands join or die and on that very page it appears in may of 70 that of 70 bit before on the same page. there's a reference to the young officer george washington. this is benjamin franklin talking about george washington at age 22. he understands from a military point of view that the rest of the colonies hang together not as an independent state in 1776. he's a continental list and who is at his right hand throughout the american revolution?
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early on alexander hamilton. alexander hamilton to borrow a phrase alexander hamilton's america. it isn't just about massachusetts the way thomas jefferson wrote james madison. alexander hamilton doesn't have a single loyalty to any one state. he comes from abroad in the loves america as a whole. and so the key idea is union, joyner died national security and if we don't. an indivisible -- which is what washington is advocating in the early 1780s called the continental. they will become the first federal state which are far more influential than anything and
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that geostrategic argument for union is we can have a huge moat called it by the goshen and we won't need a big army. as long as we don't kill each other we have to get rid of lindborg like the union of scotland and england. britain beat france with 30 million people. how did they do that? washington understands banks and set as hamilton jefferson and washington not so much. also the strong indivisible union between england and scotland is going to be the model for the more perfect union of america. england colonies are different kingdoms. they are fighting each other and mary queen of scots is getting involved and that's not what conduces liberty. union will lead to liberty.
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first, last and always. he has an army of york town and he gives it up and he doesn't make himself king. he could have but he understands that liberty and union are inseparable and he says that during the revolutionary war. he says that actually in a letter that accompanies the constitution itself moving beyond state sovereignty. he says that in his farewell address written by largely hamilton so he listens to everyone and the big idea is that we are all aware. he's a southerner who understands the north and the west. he is the embodiment of american union and the continental army is only big general continental army vet exists. the congress is very local basically so washington is the
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embodiment of american he has franklins -- say that there's another virginian who you also link to washington into hamilton who not only outlives both of them but takes office many years after they are gone and that's john marshall. what is his role in the conversation? .. .
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>> i encourage you to write a book about i said it we need another one in the relationship to the founding and i love that book. i even helped her with the title, founder's son for. >> your dead. >> i gave you a title i then told you right about john marshall. you did and it is a brilliant biography. you did not use my title though. might title it was the last founder. and yes madison outlives marshall by a few years. but madison has been out of office since 1817. he dies in 1836 and marshall predeceases him. marshall is in office as the chief justice for 34 years or so. he is the last founder and he is continuing to have an
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impact into the 1830s were madison -- franklin dies in 1790. and washington dies in 1799 does not see the new century hamilton is killed in a duel in 18 oh four. famously adams and jefferson are going to die on the 50th anniversary of the declaration of independence. throughout all of this marshall is in power and what is he doing? he is vindicating marshall's .ision he is the great nationalist caring for the continental flag of george washington under whom he fought when he served at valley forge. if you work at valley forge with washington, hamilton as
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marshall was you understand we need money, we need to support the troops. adams wasn't there, jefferson wasn't there, madison wasn't there they don't feel it in their the way it marshall does. he has eight nationalist and cares for the vision has immense respect for washington and washington's first biographer. and has immense respect for hamilton with this brilliant lawyer and marshall uses hamilton's legal ideas about the bank and many other things to one other thing he does, he is a naturalist a figure at a good listener. talk about the relationships between some of the founders. jefferson and madison team up. adams makes enemies. he teams up only with abigail. he first hates thomas hutchinson. then he's t going to feud with hamilton h even though hamilton was trying to help them in
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various ways. he starts off friendly with jefferson then they become rivals. teams are important. jefferson and madisonn team. hamilton and washington team up. marshall finds eight teammate of the greats, the teams in america at work particularly well when they combine in north and south. in particular massachusetts and virginia story is nimassachusetts. think about all of the other virginia, massachusetts team, rhetorically james otis from magic massachusetts john henry from virginia. your first president and vice president are george washington and john adams they work together in 1776 by the way so did jefferson and adams. again a virginia and massachusetts person. adams is a vice president as a
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virginian one of jefferson's vice president as a massachusetts guy he is also going to be one of madison's vice president's. the north/south theme of massachusetts and virginia is important. the answer to your question about john marshall he is the last founder he strengthens the judiciary he is a washington man a hamilton man a continental list and he finds a partner from another region they make a really impressive team just as washington and hamilton do and just as madison and jefferson do. >> i think it's fair to say both of us if we are not exactly members of the federalist party were very sympathetic to it. this was an animating talk for the last few minutes. none of odd.
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i agree with what you said. but after all he is who he is. so what you see an ad that is precious? >> let me begin by saying as a young person i adored jefferson and was very skeptical of hamilton. you and otherth people changed ideas about hamilton and the book, but rick brooks-as much as anyone changed my idea about hamilton skip my idea about hamilton arises and jefferson's going fall correspondence. if you asked me at age 20 we were at yale college together i would've said rick if i'm lucky enough to ever have a son of going him jefferson. my views on jefferson have changed what he asked me too see a good word, especially the young jefferson, he is such an idealist. he dreams of the world that
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could be better. he is the architect of what would be a northwest ordinance to end slavery not just in the northwest but all western territory. agree on smart kids were not born privilege to rise because of their native ability aptitude. in ordinary people. they were all his impressive attributes does not get the common man. he is too stiff from a geo- strategic perspective, that nancy says lots of silly
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things truthfully. running his present he tends to do smart things. one of the smartest things he ever does is double the landmass of the united states it's an epic achievement. >> is completely consistentst with it geostrategic idea. i am not sure the federals could have done that because theer french like jefferson jeff likes the front she's wonderful buttering peoplee out. and so i am not sure napoleon would have ever done that deal with john adams. john adam's mind and found a white -- he did find a way to annoy because he blunt -- a blunt spoken yankee. we have to respect people who are good at what they do. i pretends he is not a appalled bird madison is more
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open linkth political. making an amazing political partnership they create a dominant political machine and he can't get free speech really important john adams does not get free speech. thomas and jefferson gets it a lot. his partner madison gets it even more. they championed freedom of speech against john adams. they will form a political party that will be the dominant t political party you and i have to respect that. he creates a newspaper empire affiliated newspaper that support his way of thinking about the world he secretly funds folks in various ways. he creates fox news network. he understands the democratic newspaper culture of america. it's always telling madison right off as against hamilton.
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rip them to shreds. he is too good a newspaper scribbler, he got to go after him. there g is a reason the guys on mount rushmore. i criticize him something that is really important to me, a slavery issue -- mckee gets worse over time he found a political party that basically has a southern base. here's the relevance of this today, both parties have this but i'm going to talk about the republican party. liz cheney, in the end you have to protect the soul of your party, not given to big lie. i respect her for that. i see the poll on the other side we'rere going to lose votes were going to lose our base of your lindsey graham or kevin mccarthy. that is a similar thing that concerned madison and jefferson but they know in their heart they know in their
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bones. in order to defeat john adams whose main criticism of john adams a crime they have to create a party. that party has a southern base. they are politicians they say that is the political bed we made. we are going to lie in it, if it requires some compromises okay. so they get worse on slavery even of deep in their bones they know it is wrong. i respect their idealism but in order toro keep their political machine operative they become increasingly proslavery. this is a story i tell that is not told by fair biographers in general. you tell it better than anyone else in your book on james mattis. you say on slavery madison disappoints but i did that he is getting worse over time.
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at the end of his life he says let's send a slaves added to the westford which is just the opposite of what jefferson and madison said early on that prevent slavery's spread in the west. that's's what's going to trigger the civil war eventually slavery, and the westford washington gets a better onet slavery as time goes on. he realizes it is wrong as his last will and testament he freezes slaves, jefferson doesn't, madison does it, franklin gets a better on slavery as time goes on. in the last chapter of the last scene for all of them. >> tell that last story of frankel before we get to questions, it is so funny it's just a great story. i talk about these great men and then the last scene i i killed them all off. i love them but they did die.
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each one in-depth there is a deep idea there. for both washington and franklin their dying breath is basically emancipation abolition we should get rid of slavery. washington does it he is a quiet guy. he does it as a business person a plantation owner. it was franklin? he is actually newspaper guy. i proposes to congress he writes the petition to the maximum extent possible congress should try to diminish slavery. the people from georgia and south carolina do not like that.
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they appeal to a democratic culture. some of the arguments i just heard why we should preserve slavery from plant is 100 yearss ago who was defending the enslavement of the infidel christians. everyct single argument the georgians made about enslaving black people, was made by african arabs for enslaving white european christians. someone has to do the work, they don't believe in god, they're better off here at than theirla home and who is to
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intermarry with lesser blood. in holy scripture authorizes this. there's this good for them it is a positive step. six every one of the georgian arguments rips it around and it is a brilliant spoof. it's the same guy 16 years old pretended he was a middle aged matron. at 15id years old franklin spoofs his own brother and doesn't realize the creative fictional character. and so he knows america will eventually recognize this is his dying message to america. do you want to be defending slavery the way it soever it was defendable enslaved with european christians?
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>> one of the funniest things about that the claims in some book that was written 100 years ago. the tongue was firmly in t chee. now we have some questions coming, here is one. very pertinent to what we have been saying. how did literacy of the american people of all between 1760 and 1840. in other words how literate were we? there has to be a base year all of the news paper writing, letter writing is going to fall. >> it is a spectacularly wide spread among whites. female as well as mail.
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partly because america is a protestant culture. especially the americans, especially in new england. it is particularly puritan, even places like virginia is more cavalier new england is more a puritan mounted. if you are a protestant, you believe you have to readd the bible. and americans to read their bible some as late as andy jackson and i have good words to say about andrew jackson indivisible union and lincoln was going to stand on jackson's shoulders and resisting the session. andy jackson self taught. how is he self-taught? he goes to church every sunday and listens to people preach
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from the gospel, from the bible. it is a bible reading, bible discussing culture. very famously someone like jonathan edwards publishes at the hands of an angry god. even 1760 remarkable literacy rates. by 1790, america has more newspapers and newspaper readers per capita than any country in the world including britain. and certain technological development's are going to facilitate that. when you get for example the erie canal you can actually now go all the way around america. just like you can go all the way around britain. you can go from chicago, across the great lakes to buffalo, cross the erie canal to albany to hudson, new york, all around the florida coast
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all the way over too new orleans, up the mississippi to chicago. letters can travel faster. ships can travel faster. eventually it will get railroads by the end of the time. 1840 for it is remarkable letter writing who is franklin? he is a postmaster. they are newspaper guys. five of them are newspaper scribblers. george washington reads more newspapers and anyone around. there also letter writers. the national archives founders online any major founder. i'm still a remarkably culture that includes women too. we have not talked about women and i feel bad about that.
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i said adams does have a partnerbi or her name is abigail, she is amazing. because he is a public servant and he sacrifices himself virtuously for his country. he is away from abigail for a long time. there are lots of letters back and forth. hypo they would've loved to be in the same place. theype really love each other and respect each other and fun to read. abigail and john. i do newspaper culture per. >> one question about linguistic diversity in the united states did these
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documents, to what extent were they translated into german language newspapers? >> because i don't speak german i did not look at that. one third of pennsylvanians at the time of the independents were german speakers were german newspapers are important as late as the first congress' discussion about translating congressional proceedings at least in pennsylvania into german. muhlenberg is a speaker of the house i don't write frederick or augustus, you may know because of her mutual friend was a great friend of the new york historical society our man lincoln is the secret owner of a german language newspaper in springfield illinois. german language speakers are 10% of the population of springfield. they're all probed lincoln because secretly he is the owner of this newspaper i say
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nice things about lincoln. lincoln at a freakishly early age he doesn't have books in his home but he reads every scrap of paper everypa newspaper wherever he can find them. early on he is writing op ed after op ed anonymously. many of them are partisan because the newspapers back then had a partisan affiliation many of them. more like the national review today or the new republic i think the "new york times" is on one side the "washington post". >> have hundreds of citations to newspapers they were not
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word searchable and now they are good every academic could get for free. i do not have to go to 40 different cities and find smoldering files of newspaper. i can find them online. the truth is i did not look at too many of the german language newspapers which are around because i don't speak german. >> one question q religious diversity in america during this period and is d that a problem? that somehow benefit? >> they theorize that very powerfully building on experience in the anglicans, the episcopalians. today they're basically all questions. i promise you it only takes
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two to kill each over an innate two things will do. protestants and catholics will do. for 100 years is religious warfare in central europe over angels, skinheads, protestants and catholics pretty need to will do, christians and jews, jews and muslims, muslims and hindus, and the two will do. and it's way more than two-point they have congregationalists up in new england, free thinkers in rhode island who is the great-great-grandmother of thomas jefferson by the way. and roger williams rates of free thinkers in rhode island and some baptists. congregationalists in newco england. many different, quakers in
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pennsylvania and delaware. a lot of anglo in virginia and the carolinas. then you're going to beat new sets by that time of 1840 that shakers, the methodist and more baptist coming on board. baptists are important to virginia. madison befriends the baptist in particular. that is a lot of religious diversity. that is initially going to be a stumbling block we have not mentioned in the catholics in maryland. america for geostrategic reasons you have to stand together in three words join or die. so much so the first confederation congress actually writes a letter saying hey, why don't you join us? we recently fought a war against you the french and indian war, even though you are catholic and we are protestant we are french are
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speaking english speaking, geostrategic is going to be used for us to have you on board you do not stab us in the back where we are fighting the brits on the coast. they sent him a nice letter to psyching eu membership. you have been preapproved for a gold card with american express or mastercard or whatever. you can say thanks but no thanks, we don't really want. americans try to conquer and benedict arnold comes close but fails. so religious diversity is one of the things that's going to make it hard for americans to join the party 13 different colonies founded at different
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times, for different reasons. virginia is basically about making money massachusetts is about religious freedom. so when my story begins in 1760 they are not americans. they are virginians and south carolinians and massachusetts and men. but because of newspapers, because the british treat them all pretty badly with the stamp act and later the coercive act through these papers they talk themselves into being americans and basically say to themselves okay there's a lot of religious diversity. but that can be a strength rather than a weakness. that can be a strength. in fact at the time not many people paid attention for the main argument was a geostrategic one of washington, hamilton, their idea. religion is going to be a stumbling block because people are going to want. here's one final thing. i don't know if i told you the
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two places in the world did a pretty self-governing and free the brits after the active union and the swiss. the swissss do not have a single language they have german, thai, french, they did not have the same religion as protestants and catholics but how do they hang together? what makes switzerland worked customer you got catholics in protestants and britain defensible borders, england is an island union navy that is defensible. this was even though the got protestants and catholics of god defensible border called the alps. if we can create the continental union, we will have a defensible border called the atlantic h ocean. will not beat need a big army threatening liberty for just like the english navy has to
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meet the spanish armada. the navy is a less threatening. that is the idea. geostrategic lead we are one people even though religiously we are not quite. it worked fors the swiss so we can make it work for america. the federalist talks about the swish and the british example. >> just a brief time for last question. but it is an interesting one. the constitution never mentions two politicalne partie. yet various too low and behold are two politicalbe parties. >> that is the story i tell about when these former friends and allies, jefferson and adams work together in 1776 begin to diverge adams makes it a crime to criticize
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adams by the way marshall does not join adams in that, to marshall's credit. he is never all in on the act. in response said that jefferson takes a loose coalition and turns it into a much more organized political party i will become a permanent political party the seeds of a two-party system a strong two-party system emerge after washington passes from the scene. he is unanimously elected you are going to get the seeds of that in the contest between jefferson and adams is going to be constitutionalize and a 1h amendment that's designed to make safer two-party system. i promise in the book idea. >> was still have jefferson and madison party still walks among us.
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it's the again the democrats were the oldest party in the world. >> that is a spectacular by all biography had no other job basically public service. hamilton was a lawyer, washington was a general and a surveyor and a business person. jefferson actually dabbled in law and franklin was a printer. this is the only thing madison does. he is a party guy, he is creating a party. he is not that different from mark van buren, or at mitch mcconnell, or lyndon johnson, or franklin roosevelt. i'm trying to pick people
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across the spectrum. abraham lincoln is a party guy. he loves politics and he creates the party. thatly is what you get distinctly about madison present a pure political thinker. he sometimes disappoints us because, this is what we're seeing right now today, kevin mccarthy versus lynne cheney or lindsey graham, do you go with what is in the short term interest of the party toer keep the base? or do you say if it goes against thehe party there certain core principles that we have to abide by n it as matter of conscience. as he the kind of thing you will not understand if you think they are pure theorist as opposed to a political actor. >> hopefully a hopeful note. on the one hand we are saying madison was a politician.
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on the other hand were going to say politicians want to be like james mattis. it's a terrific book,k, thank you, thank you louise near thank you new york historical society. >> we can on cspan2 are intellectual fees every saturday you will find events and people export our nation's pass on american history tv on sunday but tv learn, discover, explore on cspan2. >> good afternoon everyone i am donna martinez. welcoming into the shaftesbury society coming alive from midtown raleigh, north carolina. we have got a really fascinating discussion scheduled for you today. so glad many of you are along for


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