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tv   Lead- Up to 1783 Treaty of Paris  CSPAN  November 23, 2019 10:35am-12:01pm EST

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american history tv. next, on american history tv, university of new hampshire professor eliga gould delivers an address called "making peace in britain, ireland, and america 1778 to 1783. the efforts of several these commissions to end the revolutionary war and the events leading up to the 1783 treaty of paris. this talk was part of a three day conference cohosted i the museum of the american and the richard savon has foundation. >> good evening, all, and the this is third and chestnut street in philadelphia, just two blocks from independence hall. you are in the headquarters of the american revolution, some of the oldest founding era
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documents, surviving objects and buildings within a couple blocks of where we are sitting, but the building you are in, we are one of the newest cultural institutions. the museum of the american revolution opened on april 19, 2017. i know this crowd knows the significance of april 19. the museum, in the last two years, we welcomed more than 800,000 visitors from around the world. we have 16,000 square-feet of immersive galleries, more than 500 works of arts, objects, manuscripts on display at any time. one of the treasures we refer to as the washington war tent, or the field headquarters of general george washington presented dramatically in the museum here. it has become a great favorite with our visitors. we serve about 70,000 schoolchildren per
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year who arrive here for our wonderful educational programs. that is just on-site. we have about 50,000 subscribers to our biweekly email newsletter called "read the revolution" which send you an excerpt of a fabulous book about the american revolution. any of them are written by speakers who will be here for our first conference on the american revolution. we have 5000 members, and the number is growing, from all 50 states. thank you to those of you here in the audience, and those watching on c-span. if you're interested in learning more about the museum of the american revolution, our website is the museum's mission is to uncover and share compelling stories about the diverse people, complex events that sparked america's ongoing experiments in liberty, equality, and self-government. we were able to accomplish that mission through our visitors, supporters, members, and most
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importantly, our partnerships with like-minded organizations that share this educational mission. foremost in our hearts and minds, particularly this weekend for the exhibition, is the pritzker military museum & library in chicago, illinois. i'm pleased to introduce, in a rob havers who has become the ceo and president. this is also a membership organization with supporters around the nation. i encourage you to explore all of the activities of the pritzker museum. before joining this -- joining as president and ceo rob havers was president of the george e marshall foundation. he
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was an executive director of the churchill museum and vice president for the church hill westminster college, and he is told and englishman. we don't hold that against anyone here. he's a visiting professor at westminster college. he taught at the london school of economics and political science and at the university of cambridge. i'm feeling like an underachiever, i have to say. in addition to leading the pritzker military museum & library, he is an accomplished scholar and teacher. his ba in history and politics was from queen mary college university of london and his ma -- and he has an ma and phd from cambridge. to
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say a few words for pritzker military museum and library, please join and welcoming him. [applause] >> good evening. thank you for the wonderful introduction. i'm here with the loyalist accent this evening. i hope you will forgive me. it's great to be here. i am from chicago, and when the colonel founded the museum back into thousand three, she envisioned an institution that would work with other organizations like those i see represented here today. work toward a better understanding of the military and its past present and future and its impact on the world we live in today. library andat the
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museum is really to further this understanding and to do so through programs and exhibitions partnershipsough and support of conferences such as this. hope that we can be a resource to all of you in this room through our museum and library on-site in chicago but also through our online portals. as a proud sponsor of the conference i would like to start off by introducing the concept of the citizen soldier. -- thetion to advancing library also works towards increasing the public awareness of the sacrifices made by men and women who serve. and the belief that a better understanding of that sacrifice is of course appropriate but also because only a citizen three so informed could exercise
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adequately the dictum of civilian oversight and control of the military. this theme of the citizen soldier is something we hold very dear. the citizen soldier has also the nilanchpin of terry since well before this nation was founded. we rely onthan ever citizen soldiers to serve in the armed forces on behalf of the nation. nation of theican post-revolution era seemed to rely on its citizen soldiers not only to defend the nation when called upon but as in the case of general washington and indeed general marshall, to serve the nation as leaders both in war and in peace. museumitary at miller -- looks to further educate researchers and visitors about
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the sacrifice that citizen soldiers have made throughout this great history. from the colonists who took up arms originally to the young men and women who serve today. keeping this theme in mind, i would like to highlight quickly some of the significant evolutions to arise from the american revolution. throughout the american revolution nearly every aspect of american life was in some way touched by that revolutionary spirit. at from slavery to women's rights the religious freedoms to voting to american attitudes would be forever changed. a nation andged the memory of that forging inspires this nation still. from immediate inequality would eventually come to draw their later inspiration
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from revolutionary sentiments. this feeling was perpetuated a americans that this was becoming a global issue. with all of the changing happening before the dawn of the 19th century the revolution is well remembered this weekend as a global event. museumlf of the military and library on behalf of colonel pritzker i would like to say take you for allowing us to be part of this wonderful commemoration and these discussions and as a sponsor of this international conference on the american revolution. [applause] >> i would like to acknowledge, as well as the pritzker military museum & library, as you will see on the slide, the richard c. von hess foundation and john w
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chicago,rowe in illinois who made it possible for this conference on the american revolution. now, it is time for the main events, and i'm excited to introduce someone who has figured largely in my interests of reading but never met until this evening, dr. eliga gould, professor of history at the university of new hampshire. he has had a distinguished career for a man so young. as a scholar of the american revolution, particularly focusing on what i sometimes called the outer edges of a story that is often centered right here in this philadelphia neighborhood that we are sitting in, or perhaps more broadly, the 13 colonies, united states of the 18th century. his work spans the world to take in all of the
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americas, africa, europe, and beyond, through a series of wonderful, award-winning books and articles that have been critically acclaimed and really advanced the field significantly under the last generation. eliga did his undergraduate work at just across the river and up a ways at princeton university, graduate studies at edinburgh, which suggests the cross atlantic connection, and landing at john hopkins university where he completed his phd. his current book project, and i think tonight is an outgrowth of this research, the title of the book will be "crucible of peace: the turbulent history of america's founding treaty." it looks at one of the least founding documents of the americas, the treaty, creating the united states, the treaty of paris in 1783. previous to that,
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his previous book, was also just a great example of his ability to both make us smarter about the 18th century, but bridge to the present day. that was an exploration of the ways in which the early american republic, during and after the revolutionary war, had a quest to be treated as treatyworthy in the eyes of the other colonial powers and how that effort shaped americans' thinking of topics of great interest today, not just federalism, native american treaty rights, but slavery as well. among the powers of the earth was named the library journal best book of the year. it received a prize for the
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early republic and it was a finalist for the george washington book prize, and that is just some of the latest accolades in a long list of wonderful accomplishments. i also know dr. gould is very teacher an incredible and very devoted to undergraduate teachers as well. he has a masters degree in teaching education, right? what is that? >> a master of science. a dedicated teacher. >> he always gets awards, so we appreciate that as an educational institution. and a long line of distinguished fellowships, but you are not here to listen to me talk tonight so i will invite eliga gould up. we are going to advance the slide. do i do it?
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i thought you had the clicker. there it is. [laughter] [applause] >> scott, thank you so much. i've been told -- i like to move around when i talk, and i will have to stay in the pocket. good new englander, tom brady. thank you for the generous introduction. also, i'm sorry. i'm a baltimore orioles fan, so i do root for losers, too. [laughter] many thanks to scott for inviting me, rob havers for the pritzker library's role, hannah , who has been amazing in arranging the logistics, and phil mead who was the one who first contacted me. it's a pleasure to be here. it has been open for two years, but since
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before it opened, actually coming here has been on my bucket list so this got me here finally. thank you very much. uh -oh. there we go. i want to start with a town -- it is actually on the opposite side of new hampshire. i live in the seacoast of new hampshire, durham, new hampshire. but, if you go to the far opposite southwest corner of the state, you come to walpole, new hampshire, and you will discover a picture-perfect new england town. before i go further, i want to take off my watch to keep an eye on my time here. bounded on the west by vermont and the connecticut river, it boasts a weekly public market, girl and boy scout troops, several churches, a historical society that meets in a handsome greek revival
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building that once housed the local academy and much more. the greek revival building is so handsome. i included two pictures because i was really taken by the walpole historical society. walpole is a wonderful town, and to judge from one of its well-known residents, people love it there. can everyone see? not just country music. he liked living in walpole. in 1782, however, during the closing months of the revolutionary war, walpole was a much less happy place. like americans everywhere, the people of western new hampshire had grown weary of the war with britain, of the war's economic cost, the alternating cycles of inflation and deflation, of congress's worthless paper money and, worst of all, taxes that, in some connecticut river towns were 13 times what they had been before the war. although britain and the united states signed a
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provisional peace treaty in paris on the last day of november, the news would not reach new hampshire or any other part of america for another four months. what walpole's inhabitants did no was that sir frederick haldeman, had offered to allow the breakaway republic of vermont, who the people could -- they could see vermont out their front yard. it offered vermont a different kind of peace. if they would rejoin the british empire. vermont accepted -- if vermont accepted george the second as their king, he promised that the people who already had the lowest taxes in new england, a big theme here, and sir frederick promised if
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vermont rejoined the british empire, its people would have the same legislative independence as ireland. more to say about that in a minute, which meant neither parliament nor any other legislature, except vermont's own assembly, would ever text the colony again. for the people of western new hampshire that were cash-strapped, that sounded like a pretty good deal. 34 towns, including walpole, decided they wanted to be in vermont. not everybody in walpole felt that way. one of the more influential outliers was general benjamin bellows, whose father had founded walpole during the 1750's, and it was the town's largest land owner as well as a veteran -- he was the town's largest land owner as well as a veteran. in early december, with the general's encouragement, new hampshire officials seized 150
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head of cattle from the town's vermonters, vermont supporters, for nonpayment of taxes, and put them up for sale. on the day of the auction, a crowd of 500 angry townspeople packed the yard and refused to let animals sell for more than a shilling and sixpence a pair. when general bellows tried to raise it to a dollar, he was warned not to bid again. after returning the livestock to its owners, the vermonters marched to the town common. when protesters in revolutionary america wanted to send a message, they generally erected a liberty pull. walpole's liberty pole symbolized new hampshire. when word of the riot reached new boston, 40 miles to the east, a like-minded crowd there was assembled and drank its own loyal toast before burning an
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effigy of the commander of the french fleet in yorktown. had the question been put to a vote, walpole would be in vermont today. like most civil disturbances, the unrest of walpole had local roots. in the early 1780's, western new hampshire was a frontier place spelled frunteer. with a strong sense of grievance against the wealthy towns on the seacoast and their better educated, more prosperous inhabitants. here, we see general john sullivan from my hometown of durham as a future governor of the state of new hampshire, he is exactly the kind of people the people of walpole didn't like. here is an on theng of fort smith
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new hampshire seacoast from 1780. a lot of this is about local state politics, and that really matters. it mattered to the people of walpole, but the walpole tax riot was also the product of what, by late 1782, was nearly five years of constant institution in the british empire with far-reaching consequences for britain, ireland, and america. the trigger for the transformation was parliament's stunning offer to congress in 1778, to give up the fiscal supremacy that it had long claimed over the american colonies, and to move toward a commonwealth and federal model of imperial governance. as the people of walpole new, parliament had made this concession to regain the initiative after the surrender of general bergoin's army in
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october 1777. that was a battle in which general bellows had been present. were walpole men serving in saratoga with the forces. the defeats at the stage for the alliance france concluded with the united states in february of the next year, followed in 1779 by spain which entered the war on the side of france and the united states, without formally allying with the u.s., and by the dutch republic who joined in 1780. by the time british suffered its second great defeat in 1781, this had become a world war with fighting in europe, india, africa, and the caribbean. with the benefits of hindsight, we know britain emerged from the global struggle in much better shape than
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anyone, including the british, had reason to expect. we see two of these battles were great victories, the battle of the saints in jamaica in 1781 and the lifting of the siege of gibraltar in 1782. until those victories, the british empire looked as though it might be one of the american revolution's chief casualties. desperate times called for desperate measures. during the spring of 1778, as the news of the french alliance reached britain, the government lord north responded by dispatching frederick howard to philadelphia with parliament's remarkable -- and i want to suggest unexpectedly successful -- offer. for anyone who followed the standoff that began with parliament's attempts to tax the american colonies
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1765 andstamped act of these arees act, and exhibits that are splendid. you will find out about them by going upstairs. for anyone who followed this stand off, the here, we see the earl of carlisle -- i will show another picture. this is done in the late 1760's. i'm not sure -- but the cartoon on the right, we see the carlisle peace commissioners bowing down before a female american indian and oftentimes congress and the americans are symbolized as an american -- a native american. it gives you a pretty good idea of just what this defeat looked like to the british.
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having spent the previous decade insisting on its unlimited fiscal supremacy, parliament reversed itself with three far-reaching measures, all enacted on the government's behest. the first repeal the tax on tea, the last of the 1767 townsend duties still in affect, and ran -- and renounced for all time parliament's right to levy taxes for colonial revenue. pretty big deal. the second act repealed the massachusetts government act of 1774, which suspended the colony's 1691 charter and invested the royal governor with broad discretionary powers. finally, parliament authorized carlisle and the other peace commissioners to arrange a cease-fire when they got to america to suspend any other
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colonial legislation enacted since 1763 if they thought it would help persuade congress to open negotiations and to negotiate a treaty with congress itself, quote, as if it were a legal body. and that is a really big deal. congress was the usurping legislature. it was definitely not a legal body in british political discourse. a dull, melancholy silence for some time succeeded to this speech, reported the annual register in the house of commons when lord north announced the peace initiative. even the government supporters seemed stunned. in the words of one observer, to
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treat with those who denied and took up arms in opposition to the authority of parliament had long been out of the question, yet that was exactly what britain was prepared to do. one can certainly see why the proposal caused such consternation. by repealing the hated impost on tea and giving up the right to tax and revenue, parliament abandoned what lord jermaine and other hardliners had insisted was the government's central war aim. and here we see hardest hardliner of them all, lord germain, on my right, your left. and another british cartoon in the center. of even greater moment, the royal instructions that carlisle carried with him to america envisioned a union where parliament no longer had unlimited powers. that unit was substantially -- that union was substantially different not only from the union britain was fighting the war to uphold, but from how british riders understood the -- writers understood the relationship between britain and its colonies since the glorious
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revolution of 1688. should yielding on colonial taxation not produce the desired results, the commissioners were empowered to allow americans to retain the federal system of government that congress worked out under the articles of confederation and in fact to incorporate the articles into britain's unwritten imperial constitution. although the goal was to restore the kings authority in america, carlisle's terms overturned nearly a century of constitutional precedent and were quite revolutionary. henceforth, the british government would meet the costs of colonial governments not through parliamentary taxes, but with voluntary requisitions on each colony. this of course was the system that had been in place in america before 1762. that part was not really new. those requisitions could take the form of cash payments or the
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raising of independent regiments of a sort that washington had served in. you have seen the first portrait of washington dressed as a virginia militia officer. here is actually an officer of an independent virginia regiment. so that part is not new. however, carlisle's instructions mooted a number of much more radical reforms. while a new system had to protect the sovereignty of the mother country and sovereign rights of the crown, possible concessions -- and these are like, if it comes up, it is ok if you do these -- possible concessions include the popular election of colonial governors, the admission of colonial representatives into the house of commons, creation of a public treasury as envisioned in the articles of confederation, service the colony's debt, and turning congress into a north american parliament. if parliament approved, the effect would be to reconstitute the british empire as a commonwealth-style federation with each colony enjoying broad
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rights of self-government and the crown although serving as -- and the crown alone serving as the administrative and political center. and of course this matters because by the final quarter of the 18th century, parliament is still a legislature, but it is also the center, the locus of executive authority within the british empire as well. it is carried out in the name of the crown, but executive powers are in parliament. so carlisle and the commission is proposing to give up that power. although the commissions -- i am sorry -- for congress, on whose behalf benjamin franklin and other american envoys in paris were at that moment finalizing the alliance with france. they are doing this in paris. these concessions, radical though they were, were too little and came much too late. and here we see one of the famous images of franklin with
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louis xvi, and they have in front of them the treaty of paris. the treaty of 1778. and here we see the treaty, a handwritten copy on your right. within days of reaching philadelphia -- that is, within days of carlisle reaching philadelphia, which had been occupied by british troops since captureduring -- its in 1777, carlisle and other members of his peace commission discovered americans had no interest in terms that had they been offered in 1774, it would have been received with the highest tokens of gratitude. as was written in her influential 1805 history of the american revolution, the famous, famous portrait of warren. i'm sure you have all seen it.
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the discussion of the carlisle peace commission goes on at some length. she clearly regards this as hugely important. she spent 10 pages talking about this. nothing short of recognizing the former colonies as the free and independent states that congress had declared them to be in 1776 would now do. congress, which of course was not in philadelphia, it is under britain's control, they are in york, pennsylvania, congress drove the point home by refusing to meet until the carlisle commissioners recognized american independence. on may 5, celebrated the french treaty's ratification by breaking open a case of a case of wine that carlisle sent to facilitate the hope for reconciliation with britain. take that. [laughter] with little else to do, they spent the next six months
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complaining in letters to his wife complaining about the size of sparrows and the unbearable heat of philadelphia and new york. he did not much like it here. in october, fed up with congress's foot dragging, as he saw it, carlisle issued a harshly-worded public manifesto promising that britain would wage war against the former colonies without mercy, in laying most of the blame for congress's refusal to negotiate on the united states' pretended new ally, louis xvi of france. a number of people took exception to this disrespectful reference to one of the leading powers of europe, and one of those who did was of the marquis de lafayette, who challenged the english peer to a duel. carlisle, whose most notable exports had been at the gambling table, wisely declined. with nothing to show, he left new york on a ship in december. his mission, an abject failure.
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and that is basically where most historians leave it. this failure, however, was an important failure. sometimes failures -- i don't know if it is a noble success, but it is an important failure. far more so than british or american historians, or for that matter, historians in the wider british empire including canada, ireland and the british caribbean, often concede. over the next five years, as the revolutionary war dragged on, and as the prospects for british victory waxed and waned, the terms the congress refused to consider in 1778 revealed two very important things about the shape of the british empire was likely to assume once the war was over. first, they showed that parliament's imperial authority was not as unlimited as the british claimed during the
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1760's and 1770's. no less significant, carlisle's overtures suggested the british constitution was sufficiently flexible to sustain a commonwealth-style union with britain's overseas colonies, one that would concede them, yield them quite a lot of autonomy over their own internal governance. some of the first people to grasp these wider implications, no surprise i suppose, were the british government supporters in america. here are two of them. for many loyalists, carlisle's terms seemed completely reasonable and answered the most urgent all objections that led congress to take up arms in 1775. benedict arnold for one cited the peace commission in an open letter justifying his decision to switch sides in 1780. the whole world, he wrote shortly after crossing british lines, saw the teams terms for
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ourng the war "exceeded wishes and expectations," and made congress, not parliament, look like the aggressors. those usurping congressman. in his writings on the loyalist behalf, galloway of pennsylvania, took a similar position, placing the blame for the failure on congress and the independents, who feared that the britain overtures would be popular with war weary americans. rather than jeopardize the power and david the -- the power and dignity that they had usurped from the british king, congress refused to negotiate with carlisle for a simple reason. his terms threatened to reduce their own personal and political standing. so this is a battle over ambition, over pride, arrogance. usurpation. from the standpoint of these two guys, we probably take galloway
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more seriously than we do arnold, britain had gone the better with this generous offer. during the war's final campaigns, british officers in america turned carlisle's union into the centerpiece of their attempts at pacification. reaching out to disaffected patriots like the leaders of vermont and using the promise of renewed self-government to encourage loyalists like arnold and galloway. following the capitulation of charleston to british forces in may of 1780, henry clinton promised white south carolinians who submitted to the king that britain's goal was to restore the"peace and liberty colony had traditionally enjoyed under british rule, including exemption from taxation except by their own legislature." there we see very clearly carlisle's terms enshrined in
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1780 in clinton's offer to the people of south carolina. the war had to end before they would actually get that. so it is a promise never actually fulfilled. of the hundreds of people who responded to clinton's offer and accepted the king's protection in south carolina, most historians say they did so to protect their property, including their property in enslaved african americans. you can see that story clearly in the exhibits upstairs. but at a moment when reformers were starting to call on parliament and congress to check the rights of slaveholders, legislative autonomy mattered as well. as the earl of shelburne, british prime minister during the paris treaty negotiations told the south carolinan who helped negotiate the treaty in 1782, shelburne told lawrence, the constitution of great britain was sufficiently flexible to accommodate colonial demands for self-government throughout the whole world. ultimately, though, it was not america where the carlisle peace
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commission's transformative potential most fully emerged, but ireland. we come back to ireland and the town of walpole. i promised you we would. because the terms carlisle offered congress tracked loyalist constitutional and political thought so closely, and there is a body of loyalist thought, it makes for interesting reading, it prefigures many ways the british commonwealth of the 20th century. we are loyal to the crown but we want local legislative rights. because what carlisle was writing tracked their writing so closely, it is not surprising benedict arnold and joseph galloway would give them a warm reception. it is also not surprising that congress said yeah, that is what we thought. the support that the mission's terms received in ireland is a different matter. there is a lot of reporting on the carlisle peace commission in the irish press during the late 1770's.
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during the late 1770's, the revolutionary war had imposed enormous economic costs on irish men and women, plunging the kingdom into a deep recession. patriots, as the government's opponents called themselves, just like american patriots, placed much of the blame on britain's 1776 embargo on the irish provisioning trade with america. and ireland, particularly in court, had a very, very flourishing trade with america, very heavily involved in trade with america throughout the 18th century. and the revolutionary war disrupts this. and it creates a lot of economic hardship. invoking the example of their fellow patriots in america, opposition leaders like henry flood and henry gratton
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initially focused on the embargo. but they eventually called for britain to repeal all the restrictions that limited ireland's access to overseas markets in times of peace as well as war. free-trade became one of their great rallying cries. if i had known that, i would have put a picture in here. there is a picture of the gratin flag in the exhibit downstairs that you can see. if you have not seen it already, go check it out. it says, free-trade at the top and legislative rights at the bottom. that is a spoiler, actually. [laughter] dr. gould: well, in 1779, as the war spread to europe and as france and spain threatened britain and ireland with invasion, armed units of irish volunteers mustered in response to the franco-spanish threat only to begin making demands of their own. and here we see francis wheatley's wonderful paintings. one of my favorite artifacts of
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the american revolution. the dublin volunteers gathering on november 4, 1779. by the spring of 1780, patriots across ireland were insisting on the same terms the administrator had given the americans. it is worth noting, the earl of carlisle actually is appointed to the lord lieutenant seat of ireland. that is the vice royalty, royal representative of ireland, in 1780, and served as the irish lieutenant from 1780 through 1782. so he is actually there. it is not clear that is a trigger, but it is part of the interconnected context. by the spring of 1780, the irish are demanding the same rights britain had offered the americans in 1778. on april 19, five years to the day after the minutemen fired
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the shot heard round the world, henry gratin rose in the house of commons and moved that the kings, lords of commons in ireland where, quote, "the only powers competent to make laws to find this kingdom." a hugely important moment in irish history. britain had offered everything short of independence to america, including the entire session of parliamentary power. why, he wanted to know, should ireland be any different? a clear reference to the carlisle peace commission in this defining moment in ireland's 18th-century history. although we take another two years, britain eventually bowed to the wishes of gratin and the patriots after lord north's fall from power. north of course falls from power
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in the wake of cornwallis's defeat at yorktown. so again, there are interconnections here. during the spring of 1782, parliament repealed the irish declaratory act, which affirmed westminster's supremacy over irish affairs, while the rocking ham and shelburne ministries which had seceded lord north allow the dublin parliament to gut the medieval statue that subjected irish laws to review by the english privy council. in other words, britain conceded ireland's legislative independence. certainly for the first time since the glorious revolution, and irish historians argue over this, but certainly for the first time in a century, the irish parliament had the same legislative rights as the british parliament. hugely important moment. the british lower house, in
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westminster, william eaton, who had been a member of the carlisle peace commission in 1778, one of carlisle's commissioners, who served as carlisle's chief secretary in ireland, said the government had no choice. parliament, he quipped, might as well strive to make the tens flow up highgate hill. as an attempt to legislate for ireland. highgate hill is pretty high. the thames is not flowing up there. the irish union would depend on common allegiance to the king, not parliament's imperial sovereignty. given the extent of the irish patriots support, at their zenith, volunteers may have had 40,000 men under arms and they are many connections with patriots in america. historians describe the events of the early 1780's as an irish revolution whose affects were second in importance only to the winning of american independence. independence, however, was a
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difference that mattered. henry gratin for one went out of his way to emphasize that point. this nation, he proclaimed, is connected with england not only by allegiance to the crown, but by liberty. making ireland an independent republic was not part of the plan. and i want to note here the date. there is a reproduction of this painting in the exhibit which points out, november 4, 1779 is hugely important. it is the birthdate of william of orange. it is a very protestant event. there are middle-class catholics who participate. we estimate a third of their membership are catholic. so, the irish volunteers are trying to surmount ireland's deadly sectarian history, but they are not really succeeding. most protestants want legislative independence, but they don't want to sever all ties with britain. why?
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they are a minority in britain are guaranteeing their liberties at the end of the day. so the protestant character of this movement places limits to what the irish volunteers were willing to claim. ok. well, this is really important. one result of the irish volunteers was to lend new credibility in america to the terms that carlisle had offered congress in 1778. for a traitor like benedict arnold to praise the earl's proposed union was exactly what americans expected in midi -- and made the silence with which congress responded appear reasonable. when the praise came from a patriot like henry gratin, the proposal became harder to ignore. and it demanded a response from americans who were paying attention. on reading a speech in which gratin lauded his own country's
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continued loyalty to the crown, while casting aspersions on the sovereignty that americans demanded for themselves, boston merchant and future u.s. senator kristen dalton wrote the irish should instead thank us for the blessing they have lately acquired. ireland agreed the west indian patriot, benjamin von, who ended up retiring in maine, ireland agreed benjamin von started on the right path but it disciples -- but young disciples of freedom don't always understand the whole of the freedom's doctrine. ouch. in correspondence with friends and associates in ireland, americans were quick to congratulate them on their newfound independence. reading the correspondence of this period is interesting. they are polite. they are careful not to let the irish know this is what they are thinking. but they are equally clear when the talk among themselves that they would rather continue the
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war, as a george washington wrote in 1782, from the continental army encampment at newburgh, new york, than accept, quote, "the same kind of independency for themselves." irish independence, not interested. when washington wrote these words, there were quite a few politicians in britain whose views were closer to henry gratin's than they were to his own. one of the most important of these was this guy. the anglo-irish earl of shelburne, who, as colonial secretary, helped broker the settlement with ireland during the spring of 1782, and who oversaw peace negotiations with the americans after becoming prime minister in july. he goes from ireland to america. for shelburne, the legislative independence that britain granted ireland seemed like an
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acceptable form of independence for the united states. what's the matter? one of his first acts as colonial secretary was to instruct sir guy carlton, newly appointed anglo-irish commander-in-chief of britain's military forces in north america, to take whatever steps he judged necessary to revive old affections or extinguish late jealousies. to ensure that his instructions were followed, shelburne took the precaution of dispatching his personal secretary, maurice morgan, as carlton's assistant. after carlton and morgan reached new york, washington complained that it was impossible to say whether the new commander's mission was to concede independence as americans understood the term or legislative independence while the king retained, quote, "the same kind of supremacy as in ireland."
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as late as the end of july, shelburne minded richard ozweld, britain's emissary to paris, was his preference was for a settlement based on eight, quote, "federal union that would keep the 13 american states within the british empire." though shelburne conceded that the american commissioners were unlikely to agree to such terms. he retreats from this position gradually. shelburne also had a nasty habit of saying one thing and then another. he was hard to pin down. after he concedes defeat, he continued to talk about a federal union. well, in a matter of weeks, he did in fact admit defeat. bowing to necessity, he instructed ozweld to do what the earl of carlisle did not and negotiate with benjamin franklin and john jay in their capacity as ministers of the independent united states. on november 30, st. andrew's day, as the british commission secretary caleb whitford noted
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enthusiastically in his diary, representatives of britain and the united states signed a provisional peace treaty bringing the war of the american revolution to a close. and here we see benjamin west's wonderful painting of the american peace commissioners. now, this painting is unfinished. and people have oftentimes made quite a lot of that. west wanted to paint all of the peace commissioners, including the british commissioners, but richard oswald refused to sit for his portrait. and this has sparked a rumor that refuses to die, that oswald was embarrassed of the role he had played in this. in fact, oswald was very proud of the role that he played. he had land in south carolina. he also had human property in south carolina. he and lawrence were business partners. he is not at all ashamed of his
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role. what he was ashamed of was his looks. he was not good-looking. so he refused to sit for the treaty. and west's group portrait remained unpainted. giving further to that story, here we see david hartley, who replaced oswald as the commissioner for the definitive treaty, which was signed in september of 1783. hartley was very happy to have his portrait painted and happy to have it painted with the definitive treaty by his right hand. and here we see in the expansion, i don't know if you can see it -- i can, it says definitive treaty. so anyway, that is the story behind west's unfinished portrait. well, because britain eventually accepted american independence
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on congress's terms, it is tempting to consign lord shelburne's ideas about a federal union to the same dustbin of history, historical might-have-beens, as the carlisle peace commission or the irish revolution of 1782 at its short-lived constitutional settlement. another spoiler alert, it lasts for about 19 years. succeeded by an incorporated union in 1800, 1801. dismissing these various attempts at alternate peace settlements, though, i think risks missing three important points. each of which warrants more attention from historians of the american revolution than they usually receive. the first is the importance of resisting the tendency to think in comparative terms of the british empire and united states
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as each other's polar opposites. i'm delighted to see in the opening placard for the exhibit on st. george, the word "entangled." these are entangled entities. they are interconnected. they were in 177 they still 1776, they still were in 1783, they continue to be into the 20th century. although the two communities were obviously distinct, they continued to be entangled with each other in deep and profound ways. with the vast gray areas where their political institutions and cultures resembled each other and overlapped. in 1770 eight, these similarities were sufficiently strong for carlisle's instructions to include the possibility of absorbing the u.s. articles of confederation into a remodeled british imperial constitution, and for
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the british commissioners to invite americans to accept the obligations of royal subjecthood within what carlisle suggestively called a united british empire. that is capital u. without giving up all the benefits of republican citizenship. the comparative historian thinks of subject and citizen as object, as opposite. in fact, they have a lot in common. because of this fluidity and interconnection, the second point to bear in mind is that the union that carlisle proposed in 1778 ended up exhibiting a much greater influence on the constitutional development of the british empire then congress's refusal to negotiate would lead us to expect. as the creation of new brunswick in 1784 and the canada act of 1791, creating ontario and quebec. as both of the shows, parliament's renunciation of the right to colonial taxes for
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revenue, which has become a fixed part of the british imperial constitution, or at least as fixed as a right enacted by parliament could be, an important caveat. ensuring taxes on the british side of the imperial border were in some cases five times lower than in the united states. if i you cared about -- if all you cared about was taxes, you went to canada. ironically, the american which started as a tax result lead to higher taxes. it is a fact. look it up. as the walpole tax riots of 1792 showed, the possibility of re-federating with the british empire on the basis of common allegiance to the king turned out to be popular with disaffected republicans on the margin of the new union of states. during vermont's 14 year on and off flirtation with british officials in canada, a flirtation that just begun, the
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-- when carlisle arrived in philadelphia. the possibility refused to go away, raising false hopes in montreal while giving congress nightmares. although the constitution of 1787 reduce britain's attractiveness, the possibility of rejoining the british empire did not completely disappear. over the next 70 years, the roster of americans willing to consider the idea of some sort of affiliation or league with britain included the leaders of kentucky and tennessee, daniel boone, andrew jackson, the republics of east and west florida, before florida was purchased by the united states, and texas and california before they joined the american union in 1845 and 1848. significantly, groups who remained open to britain's overtures also included the african-americans loyalists, who founded sierra leone's province of freedom in 1787.
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initially sierra leone is not founded as a british colony. it's a black nation under the protection of the british crown. the relationship looks a lot like the carlisle union or ireland's. and also one of my favorite characters, a white loyalist adventure from frederick, maryland who attempted in 1799 to create a mixed-race anglo creek republic on the florida panhandle, which he grandly called the state of muskogee. all thought they saw legislative independence within the british empire as a viable alternative to being absorbed by the united states. were they right? lord carlisle certainly thought so. as long as the same king is acknowledged, he wrote during the summer of 1778, americans would eventually come to see that they and the british were quote, the same people.
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the wealthier americans would resume sending their children to be educated in england, and the affection the people throughout the empire had felt for each other would return quote, as the recollection of these misfortune subside. yet the history of the two unions that most closely resembled the one that carlisle hoped congress would accept, is not encouraging. in the case of ireland, the constitutional settlement of 1782 collapsed less than two decades later. a victim of renewed confessional strife and revolution. among its victims was the anglo-irish aristocrat richard st. george, whose tenants ambushed and killed him in 1798. the american confederation turned out to be even more short-lived. in 1787, one of the first acts of the convention that gathered in independence hall in philadelphia right around the corner was to scrap the articles of confederation, whose revision
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was the purpose of their meeting, and to write a completely new constitution. despite federalism's widespread appeal, the fact was, and if we honest, i think is, loose-knit federastions have a troubled history. would his british united empire be anymore successful than the confederation that he wanted to replace? that's hard to say for sure, but it wasn't a bet that most americans between 1778 and 1783 were willing to take. thank you. [applause] dr. gould: so yeah, i think the plan is for questions. i know there are two microphones in the wings. i'm happy to entertain questions about vermont, new hampshire,
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ireland, ken burns. [laughter] yes, right here. >> how much was carlisle -- dr. gould: i think there is, i don't know if the q&a will be on c-span, but it may be. so they are asking us to speak into the mic. it is one of the reasons i didn't run around. you guys can hear me. >> how much was carlisle's list of, to-do list, informed by galloway's plan of union? which had been presented to the continental congress and rejected by one vote, i think. dr. gould: yes, exactly. i mean, there are definitely loyalists in england who the north ministry is talking to. it is -- to assign a particular person like galloway and give
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him sort of the influential role is a little misleading. the short answer is i'm not sure of that particular question, although i wouldn't rule it out. what i would say is these ideas are so pervasive that in many ways carlisle is articulating, i mean, his instructions make a fascinating read. it is sort of a grab bag of choose your favorite loyalist idea and put it in there. so, they are pervasive. and certainly galloway immediately picks up on it and galloway continues to write into the 1780's. william smith, the chief justice of british new york, is also very influential and meets with him. so, it's a -- the other problem with carlisle, i presented this as kind of a uniform fixed set of positions, carlisle is a bit
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of a moving target, and those of you who read about the carlisle peace commission may well have noticed that the way i presented it. i simplified that. i mean, it is a good question, and certainly galloway is among the most influential of the loyalists. and probably the most creative, too. he is a serious thinker. >> how close did vermont come to rejoining the british? dr. gould: oh, that's a good question. you know, it's funny. at the end of the day, it's the constitution of course of 1787 that creates the federal government with a clear supremacy, not total supremacy, but enough supremacy over the
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states that allows the federal government to step in and broker a settlement. and the dispute is with new york, even though new hampshire has a horse in the race too. with the constitution i think there is no question vermont wants to be in the union. but you know, ira allen in particular, there are definitely some fairly influential vermonters who would have rather ended up in the british fold. i don't know how well you know the geography of vermont, if you go to burlington, there is a coast guard station. because lake champlain is an international waterway. it empties into the st. lawrence estuary. it's part of the st. lawrence drainage basin. so that if you are farming on the west side of the green
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mountains, as the allens were, you actually had pretty good reasons to want to be trading down to st. lawrence. there actually is a division within vermont, the eastern vermont counties, that is the one in the connecticut valley, are probably less taken with the idea of a union. that is where walpole is, and walpole wants to punch king george in 1782. but at the end of the day, the union was -- once you got the constitution in place, the union was going to win out. but you know, i think that we make a mistake if we assume that is the whole story. the presence of this british alternative has a huge impact on what goes on in these western territories well into the 19th century. there is also one over here. and there is a question back there. >> when you talk about a
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commonwealth-style, obviously what comes to mind today is a commonwealth of nations, but i don't want to be anachronisticly putting that back. is that the term they are using? how does that not anticipate the later developments? dr. gould: that is a good question. historians have used it. so, it shows up in historical literature, and so i'm emboldened to use it because of other people's anachronisms. nothing like blaming someone else for your own anachronisms. there is a lot -- you know, i have to go and look. i want to look at galloway, but it is not just galloway. i would want to look at some of the irish writers. gratin had things to say about this. one of the really interesting early interesting proponents of this is john cartwright. he calls american independence
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the glory of great britain. but what he means by independence is legislative independence. he is envisioning what we would anachronistic call a commonwealth. it publishes i want to say in 1776, i talked a lot about that in my first book. it is either 1775 or 1776, right at the start of the war. and he may use the term commonwealth in there. of course when someone like cartwright, or james burg, another person talking in these terms, scotsman, they are thinking of themselves as commonwealth men, there are commonwealth women too, sort of harking back to an older republican style. so it is a complicated question. commonwealth, just like republic, it is simply the english version of republic, can mean both an extended loose-knit
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associations of states. republican mean that, too. it can also refer to a state that is itself a republic. the commonwealth of pennsylvania, i grew up here. the very proud of the fact that we are commonwealth just like kentucky and massachusetts. so commonwealth, it is a slippery term in this period. but you do see republic used to describe a larger commonwealth-style federation. i think you do see commonwealth as well but i would have to do some digging around to be certain of that answer. in the back, and then some others here. >> so, when we are kids and we learn about the american revolution in elementary school, we learn that everybody in the country was a patriot. and then as we get a little bit
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older, we learn that not so much. i'm curious this balance between patriots and loyalists. once news of the carlisle initiative gets out, does that balance change dramatically? do more folks sort of come over to the loyalist side? dr. gould: no. but the thing that -- the thing that really surprised me, and i first stumbled on the peace commission in my first book, which is on british politics and the revolution, and i mainly looked at it from that sort of internal debate in the house of commons. and british historians are just like, to say they are not interested in the carlisle peace commission would be an understatement. americans are more interested in it. but what i was really struck by an my first book, and i've come back to it in my writings, it's carlisle's terms that are the alternative. as i have said here.
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i'm struck by the sense of purpose that it actually gives the british cause from 1778 to 1783. so, if you follow, if you read about what happens in south carolina -- and that is the darkest moment for the patriot cause. you know, the continental currency never doing that well, just collapses after the fall of charleston. in fact, congress simply stops issuing it. it is the darkest moment in philadelphia, the economic center. and in south carolina, hundreds and hundreds of people, including like former governors of the state, people who had been patriots, accept the king's protection.
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and it's hugely demoralizing. and you know, part of -- clinton thinks he sees a way to pacifying south carolina and the carlisle terms are providing the provision for it. the other thing though that is interesting, carlisle's commission also forces congress to start getting its act in order. you know, the articles of confederation, the draft had been finished since 1777. they are being leaned on by the french. but it's in response to the carlisle peace commission taht -- that congress really starts paying attention to the constitutional propriety within the confederation. so between the carlisle commission and france, i didn't really talk about the french side of this, the articles of
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confederation sort of becomes, they take shape from under pressure on the french on one hand who want to see a tighter union, and the british were threatening to blow it all apart. so that becomes an important part of the confederation's history as well. again, the confederation is such a nonstarter for most american historians that we don't hear much about that. i am going to talk more about that in this book i'm writing. so it is important, but you are right, we all thought everyone was patriots back in the day. yes. >> thank you very much for a very enlightening talk. the links between ireland and america. and of course there could have been an element of divide and
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rule, trying to divide tactics and of course the fact of trying to fend off the french, and that made a big difference. but the point i really want to come to is this -- the experience of legislative independence in ireland was deeply unsatisfactory because it was legislative independence. quite a part of it from being a partisan parliament only, including dissenters and so on. if there was no executive independence, london kept complete control of the executive and they relied on powers of patronage to keep a majority. the executive was not actually responsible or accountable to parliament. now, it did have its points. at the time of the 1921 treaty negotiations, churchill had at
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his side a rather pedantic ideologue called lionel curtis. and he pointed out that the freedom conceded by the treaty didn't go so far as the sovereign legislative independence granted in 1782. now i mean, this is theoretical and academic and soon unproved, but i suppose my net point would be the americans were very wise not to go down that path. [laughter] dr. gould: yes. yeah no, thank you very much for that. and actually you have highlighted a number of really interesting and important things here. actually, the first-rate disappointment of this settlement happens with ratification of the definitive treaty of paris. there is an expectation. and i had not realized wolfe tone would be so prominent in
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this exhibit. tone get very involved in this later. i don't know if he is this involved this early on. but anyway, there is an expectation that ireland, which of course had been an equal belligerent in the war or american independence, as the british tend to call it, and the irish do as well, that ireland would also get to ratify the treaty of paris. it doesn't. and i think the ratification takes place in britain sometime in the fall of 1783. and ireland is just cut out of that. right, exactly. this is a great disappointment. and it cuts to the question of these executive confederate of powers. the interesting thing is within the confederation it is almost the opposite problem of no executive.
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and the great what-might-have-been in american history is robert morris's attempt to create a post in 1781 and 1782 in little rhode island puts the kibosh on it. because you cannot revise the articles of confederation unless all 13 states agree. an taxation, they did not have. -- and the proposal was to give congress the power of taxation, which it did not have. had that happened, we might have seen the emergence of an american executive. you could almost say the problem within the american confederation is exactly the opposite. there is no executive. and that is a real driving force in the constitutional convention. ok. i have been told, so, yeah. ok. thank you very much. i have been asked to tell people that, you know, obviously we will be back for a full day of
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panels tomorrow and on saturday. and there will be special tours of this marvelous exhibit of the life and times of richard st. george. and really, i have just done sort of a quick turn through. i cannot wait to go into detail. it brings out some of what i have been talking about quite vividly. so, thank you very much. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [laughter] >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on american history tv, on lectures in history, gettysburg college professor tenet -- timothy shannon on colonial era diplomacy. >> they had to discuss diplomacy with native american people, the protocol, customs, language, and
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metaphors, that govern that diplomacy were not european, they were native american. railamerica,00 on the distant drummer, bridge from no place, on the narcotics and marijuana problem and the efforts to study and treat it. barbiturateses and rip apart the fabric of family life at every social and economic level. this affects hospitals, prisons, and rehabilitation centers across the country. the lifene fraser on and work of laura ingalls wilder. when mary fell ill and nearly was and became blind, laura kind of forced into this role that she had never contemplated for herself, which was to be a teacher. >> and we continue our look at
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the work at cartoonist pat all event with cartoons of president bush to obama, which has just acquired the cartoon collection. explore the nation's past on american history tv every weekend on c's than three. that house will be in order. beenr 40 years c-span has providing american filter coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events from washington, d.c. and around the country so you can make up your own mind. c-span is brought to you by our local cable or satellite provider. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. you can watch archival films on public affairs each week on our series, railamerica, saturday at
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10:00 and sunday at 4:00 eastern on american history tv. here's a quick look at one of our recent programs. ♪ >> a few days before tragic death comes to president john f. kennedy, he and the first lady are the picture of happiness, their children, john jr. and caroline are to mark their birthday after the president returns from a trip to texas. arriving in dallas on the morning of the fatal day, he and miss kennedy are greeted by vice president johnson and the mayor of dallas. john f. kennedy has been president for two years, 10 months, two days.
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they ride in the familiar presidential limousine, because the weather has turned bare, the bubble top has been removed. and the fifth floor window, at 12:30, come the rifle shots that bring death to president kennedy and seriously wound the governor of texas. 29 minutes later, the 35th president of the united states lies dead in a nearby hospital. the presidential limousine bears the marks of a violent death, the flowers misses kennedy carried from the airport are twisted and torn. shock and disbelief give way to .ears
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the nation and the world's reaction is one of bewilderment and grief. airport, 99s minutes after mr. kennedy's death, vice president lyndon b. johnson, his wife at his side, and the grief stricken widow with them, take the presidential jet,- both aboard the which brings him along with the body of the president back to washington. lyndon b. johnson becomes america 36 president, john f. kennedy chose him as his deputy, together they were elected by the american people, who will now look to lyndon johnson to ensure governance. upon him now falls all of the weight of leadership. >> this is a sad time for all people. we have suffered a loss that cannot be weighed. for me, it's a deep personal tragedy.
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i know that the world shares the sorrow that misses kennedy and her family bears. i will do my best, that is all i can do. ask for your help, and god's. ♪ >> nation, the world, mourns john fitzgerald kennedy. he's move from the white house to the capital, seat of the congress of the united states. >> you can watch archival films on public affairs in their entirety on our weekly series, real america, saturday at 10:00
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and sunday at 4:00 eastern here on american history tv. >> a pulitzer prize winning cartoonist and his work are the subject of discussion at the university of virginia, which has just acquired his cartoon collection. we hear from scholars from miller center. they focus on the presidency from lyndon b. johnson to ronald reagan. [applause] >> welcome. what we are going to have for the next 75 minutes is a kind of meeting of two cultures. one culture is represented by the people on this stage who are


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