Presentation on theme: "Transcendentalism Transcendentalism was an American literary, political and philosophical movement of the early nineteenth century that centered around."— Presentation transcript:
Transcendentalism Transcendentalism was an American literary, political and philosophical movement of the early nineteenth century that centered around Ralph Waldo Emerson. Other notable figures include Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, and Theodore Parker. The term “Transcendentalism” was derived from the German philosopher, Kant, who called “all knowledge transcendental which is concerned not with objects but with our mode of knowing objects.” Transcendentalists criticized their peers for blind conformity and encouraged people to find their own voices. The movement arose from liberal, New England Congregationalists, who believed in the importance of human striving and opposed the Puritan belief in total human depravity. It also reflected a shift from the tenets of the Enlightenment to Romanticism—intuitive and in touch with the senses. The Transcendentalists were “modern,” trying to take John Locke’s empiricism and temper it with Christianity; however, they eventually became skeptical of organized religion. They had a great appreciation for the powers of the mind and practiced a “non-doctrinal spirituality.” The transcendentalists were displeased with the society in which they lived, and they turned their focus to the policies of the U.S. government, specifically the treatment of Native Americans, the practice of slavery and the involvement in the war with Mexico. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance (1844)
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) born in Boston in 1803, the son of a Unitarian minister who died when Emerson was 8 years old; family was left to charity of the church mother kept boardinghouse to put her sons through Harvard studied theology and graduated from Harvard in 1821 (35 th in a class of 59) was ordained a pastor in 1829 influenced by German philosophers and faith in Christianity began to waver resigned from his church in 1831 after abandoning belief in the Lord’s Supper wife, Ellen, died from tuberculosis at age 19, allowing Emerson to travel, write and lecture first son, Waldo died in 1842 at age of 5; Emerson never fully recovered arguably the most influential writer of the 19 th century writings focused on non-conformity, self-reliance and anti-institutionalism other works: Nature, The American Scholar, Representative Men, The Conduct of Life died on April 27, 1882; buried in Concord’s Sleepy Hollow Cemetery Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance (1844)
Self-Reliance: Main Points 1. Everything you need is inside of you. Trust yourself. a.“To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart, is true for all men,---that is genius.” Men such as Moses, Plato and Milton were geniuses because they spoke what they thought, not what others thought. b.Man must have the courage to face the genius that surely lies within, this “transcendent destiny.” 2. The original is always clearer than the copy. Be yourself. “…that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide.” b.Man cannot understand and embrace his own power until he puts his heart and work into finding it. He finds joy in the resulting effort; conversely, following others leads to a “deliverance which does not deliver.” c.“…but God will not have his work made manifest by cowards.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance (1844) 3. Dance to the beat of your own drummer. Free yourself. a.We are born unique and separate; look to infants who do not conform to anybody. Young boys also operate independently, and bother themselves “never about consequences, about interests.” Man is, however, “clapped into jail by his consciousness.” b.Society conspires for conformity. “Society is a joint-stock company in which the members agree for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater.” To be a man, do not conform to the expectations of others. c.Men fall into societal ruts of “badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions.” If a man hides behind the mask of churches, dogma or political parties, it is difficult, if not impossible, to know who he really is. d.It’s your thing; do what you want to do. “But do your thing, and I shall know you.” Be an independent thinker. Conforming “scatters your force.” e.Man is timid and apologetic. He is no longer upright. He dares not say, ‘I think,’ ‘I am,’ but quotes some saint or sage.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance (1844) 4. Man must take care of himself. Be by yourself. a.“Then, again, do not tell me…of my obligation to put all poor men in good situations. Are they my poor? I tell thee, thou foolish philanthropist, that I grudge the dollar, the dime, the cent I give to such men as do not belong to me and to whom I do not belong.” Emerson wants to be charitable on his own terms, not because someone/society has pressured him into being so. This mindset threatened authority. b.“What I must do is all that concerns me, not what people think.” c.“Friend, client, child, sickness, fear, want, charity, all knock at once at thy closet door and say, ‘Come out unto us,’—Do not spill thy soul….keep thy state.” 5. It is important to live in the moment. Get over yourself. a.“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” A man should say how he feels right now, even if that contradicts something he has already said. It is okay to be misunderstood, as great men in history have been misunderstood. “To be great is to be misunderstood.” b. Don’t “drag about this monstrous corpse of your memory.” Live in this day. Seize the day, and do not regret what happened yesterday.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance (1844) 7. Society makes puppets out of men. Stand up for yourself. a.“Society is a wave. The wave moves onward, but the water of which it is composed, does not.” Bending to the pressures of society, man has become timid, “afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other.” b.Society chooses everything for us, our hobbies, occupations and even our spouses. “We are parlor soldiers.” “It is easy to see that a greater self-reliance,--a new respect for the divinity in man,--must work a revolution in all the offices and relations of men; in their religion; in their education; in their pursuits; their modes of living; their association; in their property…” c.When an American is compared with a native New Zealander, it becomes apparent that while the American may possess more worldly goods, the native retains a strength that the “white man” has lost. “The civilized man has built a coach but lost the use of his feet. He is supported on crutches, but loses so much support of muscle…His notebooks impair his memory; his libraries overload his wit.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance (1844) 7. The quest for property, social betterment is the want of self- reliance. Rely on yourself. a.“And so the reliance on Property, including the reliance on governments which protect it, is the want of self-reliance. Men measure their worth based on what others have, not by who they are. Material over character. b.“But a cultivated man becomes ashamed of his property,…out of a new respect for his being.” c.“Our dependence on these foreign goods leads us to our slavish respect for numbers. The political parties meet in numerous conventions; the greater the concourse, and with each new uproar of announcement, The delegation from Essex! The Democrats from New Hampshire! The Whigs of Maine!” d.It is far better for a man to brush all of this off and stand alone. At that moment, he becomes strong, for “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Young American (1844) Background: Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803-April 27, 1882) began his career as a Unitarian minister but went on, as an independent man of letters, to become the preeminent lecturer, essayist and philosopher of 19th century America. Waldo was born May 25, 1803, the fourth of eight children. His family—descendants of a number of noteworthy New England ministers—prized education, learning and culture. His father, William Emerson, distinguished minister of First Church, Boston. His father died when Waldo was eight, leaving the family without financial support. His mother Ruth sold her husband's library (which became the Boston Athenaeum), took in boarders and worked as a maid. They often had not enough to eat. Waldo and his brother Charles had only one overcoat between them. Aunt Mary Moody Emerson, his father's unmarried sister, was the dominant influence of Emerson's childhood and youth. She anticipated, especially in her openness to natural religion, the Transcendentalist sensibility. Emerson's distinctive views first began to emerge in his letters to "Tnamurya," an anagram of "Aunt Mary," during the 1820s. Waldo entered Harvard at 14. He began then to keep a journal, a practice he continued for the rest of his life, later calling its volumes—all long since published—his "savings bank." After graduation from the College in 1821, at the age of 18, Emerson taught school for his uncle, the Rev. Samuel Ripley, in Waltham and later opened a finishing school for girls, but he did not enjoy school teaching. In October 1826, Emerson was licensed to preach by the Middlesex Association of Ministers. He became dangerously ill that fall, probably suffering early symptoms of tuberculosis. In 1829 Emerson married Ellen Louisa Tucker. Ellen died of tuberculosis less than 18 months later. In 1833 Emerson began a new career as a lecturer. He made Concord his home and lived there for the rest of his life, leaving it only for lecture tours. At first he lectured mostly on scientific subjects, in a poetic spirit. In 1835 he married Lydia Jackson. Lydian, as he called her, took a keen interest in his ideas and his work. They had four children. In 1836 he published his first book, Nature, in an anonymous edition of 500 copies that took six years to sell out. Emerson's reputation flourished, as did the demand for his addresses, as the lecture circuit rapidly became a popular cultural institution. In a series of rhetorically powerful addresses in the early 1850s, one of the most significant of which has only recently been published, Emerson used his oratorical skills effectively in the antislavery cause. Emerson's health began to fail in 1871, at age 68. He lived out a long slow decline, though he continued to lecture, sometimes from his chair, until two years before his death. He died in his sleep, aged 79, on April 27, 1882.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Young American (1844) Main Points: American is the country of the Future It seem so easy for America to inspire and express the most expansive and humane spirit; new-born, free, healthful, strong, the land of the laborer, of the democrat, of the philanthropist, of the believer, of the saint, she should speak for the human race. Importance of the Railroad The increase acquaintance it has given the American people with the boundless resources of their own soil. By fifty years the planting of tracts of land, the choice of water privileges, the working of mines, and other natural advantages. Railroad iron is a magician’s rod, in its power to evoke the sleeping energies of land and water. Commerce is important to America This is the good and this the evil of trade, that it would put everything into market, talent, beauty, virtue, and man himself… Trade is the strong man that broke it (feudalism) down.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Young American (1844) Main points: · Commerce is the most significant political issue for Americans because its revolutionary new developments combine us together as Americans. 1. “There is no American citizen who has not been stimulated to reflection by the facilities now in progress of construction for travel and the transportation of goods in the United States.” 2. The railroad creates American sentiment and connects people with resources. It also unifies people together as a country. · “America is the country of the future.” 1. … “It is a country of beginnings, or projects, or designs, and expectations. It has no past: all has an onward and prospective look.” 2. … “For remote generations. We should be mortified to learn that the little benefit we change in our own persons to receive was the utmost they would yield.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Young American (1844) Main points: · History of commerce provides a record of the development of America and the tremendous benefits trade has brought. 1. “It is a new agent in the world and one of great functions; it is a very intellectual force.” 2. “Trade is an instrument in the hands of the friendly Power which works for us in our own despite.”
MANIFEST DESTINY by John O’Sullivan About John O’Sullivan O’Sullivan was born on the North Atlantic Ocean during the War of 1812 to an English mother and an Irish father An advocate for the Democrats Political writer, co-owner and columnist for The New York Morning News and The Democratic Review a literary magazine (Emerson, Whitman, and Hawthorn) Expansionist (expansion not by force) Attended Columbia College in New York where he excelled A Jacksonian Democrat deeply involved in politics and the Polk administration At first, O'Sullivan was not aware that he had created a new catch phrase The New York Morning News began losing money and investors fired him At thirty-two years old, he began looking for new ways to make a living
About John O’Sullivan Married Susan Kearny Rodgers He was involved in Cuba to help them gain their independence from Spain and later proposed that Polk try to purchase Cuba. He was ultimately charged and tried in federal court for violating the Neutrality Act He was appointed as the Minister to Portugal but spent the rest of his life barely making ends meet He opposed the thoughts of civil war and wanted a peace between the North and South but he ended up supporting the Confederate cause and defending slavery. He felt that the presidency was becoming too strong and states rights were weakening He spent many years in exile in Europe after the war and returned to the U.S. in 1870. He had a stroke in 1889. He died from influenza in a hotel in 1895
MANIFEST DESTINY Main Points Annexation is to be expected for the growth of America; to hold the rapidly growing population “…it is at least time for common sense to acquiesce [agree] with decent grace in the inevitable and the irrevocable [final, irreversible].” “…There is a great deal of Annexation yet to take place…the inevitable fulfillment of the general law which is rolling our population westward, the connexion of which with that ratio of growth in population which is destined within a hundred years to swell..” “…is too evident to leave us in doubt of the manifest design of Providence in regard to the occupation of this continent.” “… their incorporation into the Union was not only inevitable, but the most natural, right and proper thing in the world and it is only astonishing that there should be any among ourselves to say it nay.”
MANIFEST DESTINY Main Points O,Sullivan asked why the opposition “Why…this question of the reception of Texas…” “It is time now for opposition to the Annexation of Texas to cease…It is time for the common duty of patriotism to the Country to succeed…” “Texas is now ours. Already…her Convention has undoubtedly ratified the acceptance…our proffered invitation into the Union…” “It is wholly untrue, and unjust to ourselves, the pretence that the Annexation has been a measure of spoliation, unrightful and unrighteous- of military conquest under forms of peace and law- of territorial aggrandizement at the expense of justice, and justice due by a double sanctity to the weak. This view of the question is wholly unfounded…”
MANIFEST DESTINY Main Points Mexico “The independence of Texas was complete and absolute” “No obligation of duty towards Mexico tended in the least degree to restrain out right to effect the desired recovery of the fair province once our own…” “It was disintegrate [fragmented] from Mexico in the natural course of events, by a process perfectly legitimate own its own part, blameless on ours; and in which all the censors due to wrong, perfidy [deceit] and folly [stupidity], rest on Mexico alone.” “If Texas became peopled with an American population, it was by no contrivance of our government, but on the express invitation of that of Mexico herself; and the maintenance of a federal system analogous to our own…” “She was released, rightfully and absolutely, from all Mexican allegiance…There was never a clearer case…”
MANIFEST DESTINY Main Points Slavery is not the issue “Nor is there any just foundation for the charge that Annexation is a great pro-slavery measure- calculated to increase and perpetuate that institution. Slavery had nothing to do with it.” “Opinions were and are greatly divided, both at the North and South…That it will tend to facilitate and hasten the disappearance of slavery…cannot surely admit of serious question.” He went on to say that slavery will not prosper in that part of the country. They should think about the emigration of our own people into these parts. Slavery will eventually be voluntarily abolished anyway, “…as soon as the destined hour of emancipation shall arrive…”
Questions to Consider Why did O’Sullivan feel justified in insisting that debate end on the annexation of Texas? What right did the Republic of Mexico have to this territory? What role did slavery play in the question of annexation?
Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience (1848) Essayist, poet, and Transcendentalist Born to a pencil maker in Concord, Mass. July 12, 1817 Went to Concord Academy and then to Harvard Loved the outdoors Best known for his book Walden Other jobs teacher and pencil maker Once went to chapel in a green coat “because the rules required black” Refused to pay his poll tax
Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience (1848) “He [Thoreau] is a singular character — a young man with much wild original nature still remaining in him; and so far as he is sophisticated, it is in a way and method of his own. He is as ugly as sin, long-nosed, queer-mouthed, and with uncouth and somewhat rustic, although courteous manners, corresponding very well with such an exterior. But his ugliness is of an honest and agreeable fashion, and becomes him much better than beauty.” ---Nathaniel Hawthorne, distinguished American novelist "He [Thoreau] had a great contempt for those who made no effort to gauge accurately their own powers and weaknesses, and by no means spared himself, of whom he said that a man gathers materials to erect a palace, and finally concludes to build a shantee with them." --Ralph Waldo Emerson, philosopher and Thoreau’s friend and mentor Thoreau dedicated his life to the exploration of nature — not as a backdrop to human activity but as a living, integrated system of which you and I are simply a part. --Randall Conrad, Director of the Thoreau Project “Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison…. Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence.” --Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience (1848) MAIN POINT 1: Thoreau prefers a laissez-faire government, but he does not call for abolishing government. Rather he wants a better government. “That government is best which governs least…”“That government is best which governs least…” “…I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government.”“…I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government.”
Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience (1848) MAIN POINT 2: Most men serve the state mechanically and do not freely exercise moral judgment about their service. “The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. They are the standing army, and the militia, jailers, constables, posse comitatus, etc. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or of the moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones; and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purpose.”
MAIN POINT 3: It is man’s duty to wash his hands of wrong. “It is not man’s duty, as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradication of any…wrong; he may still properly have other concerns to engage him; but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it, and, if he gives it no thought longer, not to give it practically his support. If I devote myself to other pursuits and contemplations, I must first see, at least, that I do not pursue them sitting upon another man’s shoulders. I must get off him first, that he may pursue his contemplations too.” Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience (1848)
MAIN POINT 4: Order, Civil Government, and the rule of the majority (i.e. democracy) sometimes prevents people from doing the right thing. “Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority?”
Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience (1848) MAIN POINT 5: Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority because he has God on his side, and he should act immediately to wash his hand of wrong. If a government is maintaining unjust laws, people should at once effectually withdraw their support, both in person and property, from the government. They should “not wait till they constitute a majority of one, before they suffer the right to prevail through them. I think that it is enough if they have God on their side, without waiting for that other one. Moreover, any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one already.”
Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience (1848) MAIN POINT 6: One honest man can change the state by standing up to it. “…if one thousand, if on hundred, if ten men whom I could name, — if ten honest men only, — ay, if one HONEST man, in this State of Massachusetts, ceasing to hold slaves, were actually to withdraw from this copartnership, and be locked up in the county jail therefore, it would be the abolition of slavery in America. For it matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever. But we love better to talk about it: that we say is our mission.
Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience (1848) MAIN POINT 7: A man can change an unjust system by refusing to be unjust, and by being entirely willing to make a sacrifice. “Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison…. Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence.” “A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority; it is not even a minority then; but it is irresistible when it clogs by its whole weight.”
Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience (1848) MAIN POINT 8: Blood spilt is lamentable, but wounding one’s conscience is worse. Suppose blood should flow when standing up to the government or the majority in refusal to consent to unjust laws. “Is there not a sort of blood shed when the conscience is wounded? Through this wound a man’s real manhood and immortality flow out, and he bleeds to an everlasting death.”
MAIN POINT 9: The state should respect the individual. “The progress from an absolute to a limited monarchy, from a limited monarchy to a democracy, is a progress toward a true respect for the individual…. There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly. I please myself with imaging a State at least which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor; which even would not think it inconsistent with its own repose if a few were to live aloof from it, not meddling with it, nor embraced by it, who fulfilled all the duties of neighbors and fellow-men.” Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience (1848)
George Bancroft (1800-1891) The Progress of Mankind (1854) Transcendentalism: A literary and philosophical movement, associated with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Margaret Fuller, asserting the existence of an ideal spiritual reality that transcends the empirical and scientific and is knowable through intuition.
George Bancroft The Progress of Mankind (1854) Point 1: Americans and their political system have discovered how to bring to bear the Divine mind, and thus we are destined for greatness. …the condition of our race is one of growth or of decay. It is the glory of man that he is conscious of this law of his existence. (We great Americans choose growth.) The progress of man consists in this, that he himself arrives at the perception of truth. The Divine mind, which is its source, left it to be discovered, appropriated and developed by finite creatures. In this great work our country holds the noblest rank…. Our land extends far into the wilderness, and beyond the wilderness; and while on this side of the great mountains it gives the Western nations of Europe a theatre for the renewal of their youth, on the transmontane side, the hoary civilisation of the farthest antiquity leans forward from Asia to receive the glad tidings of the messenger of freedom. The islands of the Pacific entreat our protection, and at our suit the Empire of Japan breaks down its wall of exclusion….
George Bancroft The Progress of Mankind (1854) Point 2: In order to progress, each individual must contribute to the whole, and the whole of society is more intelligent than the wisest individual. In order to advance human progress, it is every individual’s responsibility “to contribute some share to the general intelligence. The many are wiser than the few; the multitude than the philosopher; the race than the individual; and each successive generation than its predecessor….”
George Bancroft The Progress of Mankind (1854) Point 3: Historians study God’s work, and history is the study’s of man’s progress. At the foot of every page in the annals of nations, may be written, “God reigns.” …It is because God is visible in History that its office is the noblest except that of the poet. Of all pursuits that require analysis, history…stands first. It is equal to philosophy; for as certainly as the actual bodies forth the ideal, so certainly does history contain philosophy. It is grander than the natural sciences; for its study is man, the last work of creation, and the most perfect in its relations with the Infinite. In surveying the short period since man was created, the proofs of progress are so abundant, that we do not know with which of them to begin, or how they should be classified. He is seen in the earliest stages of society, bare of abstract truth, unskilled in the methods of induction, and hardly emancipated from bondage to the material universe. How wonderful is it, then, that a being whose first condition was so weak, so humble, and so naked, and s of whom no monument older than forty centuries can be found, should have accumulated such fruitful stores of intelligence, and have attained such perfection of culture!
George Bancroft The Progress of Mankind (1854) Point 4: “The human mind tends not only toward unity, but UNIVERSALITY.” The world is just beginning to take to heart this principle of the unity of the race, and to discover how fully and how beneficently it is fraught with international, political, and social revolutions.
Frederick Douglass What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? (1852) Frederick Douglass sought to embody three keys for success in life: 1.Believe in yourself. 2. Take advantage of every opportunity. 3. Use the power of spoken and written language to effect positive change for yourself and society.
1818 – Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey is born a slave in Maryland. His mother, Harriet Bailey was a slave to Aaron Anthony who is believed to have been his father. 1827 - Douglass is briefly taught to read by Sophia Auld. The lessons end when Hugh Auld forbids it. 1838 - September 3 – He escapes from slavery by borrowing the papers of a free black sailor. Douglass arrives in New York, and changes his last name to Johnson. 1838 - September 15 – Douglass and Anna Murray are married. 1839 - April – He hears abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison speak.
1845 - Douglass’ autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is published. 1855 - Douglass’ second autobiography, My bondage and My Freedom is published. 1882 - August 4 – Douglass’ wife, Anna Murray Douglass, dies of a stroke. 1884 - January 24 – Marries a white woman, Helen Pitts, who worked as his secretary when he served as the recorder of deeds. 1895 - February 20 - Douglass dies of heart failure.
MAIN POINTS: A slave (such as himself), has no independence and therefore has no reason to celebrate the Fourth of July. “What have I or those I represent to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us?” “I say it with a sad sense of disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary!” “The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me.” Frederick Douglass, What To The Slave Is The Fourth Of July? (1852)
MAIN POINTS: Slavery is unchristian and Americans should be ashamed. “let me warn you, that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation (Babylon) whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrecoverable ruin.” “Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity, which is outraged, in the name of liberty, which is fettered, in the name of the Constitution and the Bible, which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery -- the great sin and shame of America!” Frederick Douglass, What To The Slave Is The Fourth Of July? (1852)
MAIN POINTS: Male slaves have proven their manhood and white men can no longer use that as an excuse for slavery. “Must I undertake to prove that the slave is a man? That point is conceded already. Nobody doubts it. “ “Is it not astonishing that, while we are plowing, planting, and reaping,… that while we are reading, writing, and ciphering,… living, moving, acting, thinking, planning, living in families…and above all, confessing and worshipping the Christian God…-- we are called upon to prove that we are men?” Frederick Douglass, What To The Slave Is The Fourth Of July? (1852)
MAIN POINTS: There is no argument that slavery is wrong “Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? That he is the rightful owner of his own body? You have already declared it.” “There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven who does not know that slavery is wrong for him.” “Must I argue that a system thus marked with blood and stained with pollution is wrong? No - I will not.” Frederick Douglass, What To The Slave Is The Fourth Of July? (1852)
MAIN POINTS: It is time to stop arguing and start fighting. The time for such argument is past. At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be denounced. Frederick Douglass, What To The Slave Is The Fourth Of July? (1852)
Frederick Douglass, What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? (1852) Main Points: 1)The Fourth of July is important to the white American people, but a mockery to the black people. “I am not included within the pale of the glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you this day rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that hath brought life and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct.” A day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, and unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless: you denunciations of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; are to him mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy
Frederick Douglass, What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? (1852) Main Points 2) American Slavery is what comes to the minds of slaves on the Fourth of July. It is not the freedom in America. Slaves had no freedom. “My subject, then, fellow-citizens, is AMERICAN SLAVERY. I shall see this day and its popular characteristics from the slave’s point of view. Standing there, identified with the American bondman, making his soul, that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this Fourth of July. Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself the be false to the future. Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity which is outraged, in the name of liberty which is fettered, in the name of the constitution and the Bible, which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery--the great sin and shame of America!”
3) The slave is a man, which is acknowledged by the government in the punishments given for their crimes. “Must I undertake to prove that the slave is a man? That point is conceded already. Nobody doubts it. The slaveholders themselves acknowledge it in the enactment of laws for their government. They acknowledge it when they punish disobedience on the part of the slave. There are seventy- two crimes in the state of Virginia, which, if committed by a black man (no matter how ignorant he be), subject him to the punishment of death...” “What is this but the acknowledgment that the slave is a moral, intellectual, and responsible being. The manhood of the slave is conceded. It is admitted in the fact that southern statute books are covered with enactments forbidding, under sever fines and penalties, the teaching of the slave to read or write. When you can point to any such laws, in reference to the beasts of the field, then I may consent to argue the manhood of the slave. 4) The wrongfulness of slavery is so strong that if any man be asked if it is wrong, he would say yes. “Must I argue the wrongfulness of slavery? Is that a question for republicans? Is it to be settled by the rules of logic and argumentation, as a matter beset with great difficulty, involving a doubtful application of the principle of justice, hard to be understood? How should I look today in the presence of Americans, dividing and subdividing a discourse, to show that men have a natural right to freedom, speaking of it relatively and positively, negatively and affirmatively? To do so, would be to make myself ridiculous, and to offer an insult to your understanding. There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven that does not know that slavery is wrong for him. Frederick Douglass, What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? (1852)
5) The Fourth of July is hypocritical because it is a celebration of freedom, yet there is still the evil of slavery. “What to the American slave is your Fourth of July? I answer, a day that reveals to him, more than other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy- a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour.
About Frederick Douglass 1.Born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey. Was unsure of the exact date of his birth. It was estimated that he was born in February, 1818. He celebrated on the 14th 2.He was born in Talbot County, Maryland 3.Separated from his mother during infancy. She was believed to be literate. He was raised by his grandmother and never knew the identity of his father 4.At six he was separated from his grandmother and moved to another plantation 5.At twelve Douglass was given to Thomas and Lucretia Auld and later sent to Hugh and Sophia Auld 6.It was Sophia who began to teach Douglass to read. He soon became an passionate reader 7. Events that led to his escape…beating in the field by Covey, ran to Master Auld for help and was told to go back, had a “fight” with Covey and that resistance was a turning point in his life. “When a slave cannot be flogged, he is more than half free.” He learned to caulk ships and he hired himself out with the arrangement that he would give Auld a portion. That was grounds for leaving. When he missed a payment he lost his job. So with the help of a freedwoman, Douglass escaped. Two weeks later he married Anna Murray, the freedwoman who helped him escape. They moved to Massachusetts and had five children 10/09/200848
About Frederick Douglass 8.Douglass’s abolitionist career took off in 1841 when, because of his powerful speaking skills, he became an agent for the Massachusetts Anti-slavery Society 9.He wrote his 1 st autobiography in 1845. The book became a best-seller and as a consequence, Douglass had to move to England because he was still a fugitive slave. He spent two years lecturing in the British Isles and in 1846 sympathizers purchased his freedom 10.After returning home he established and edited the abolitionist newspaper North Star and was the station agent for the Underground Railroad 11. My Bondage and My Freedom was his second autobiography and was published in 1855 12.In 1859, Douglass was nearly brought up on charges of being affiliated with John Brown(arsenal at Harpers Ferry/Kansas wars and the Missouri Compromise) 13.Douglass was nominated in 1872 as the vice presidential candidate on the Equal Rights Party ticket with Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for President of the United States 14.Throughout this time and until his death Douglass worked tirelessly with several U.S. Presidents to see that all men had equality under the law 15.He married his secretary, Helen Pitts (who was white). He got negative reactions from both whites and blacks 16.Douglass died of heart failure in Washington on February 20, 1895. He was “approximately” 77 years old 10/09/200849
My Bondage and My Freedom Main Points 1.Told stories of his time in captivity/bondage. Douglas wanted to communicate the cruelty of the institution of slavery. Family: “Slavery does away with fathers, as it does with families.” “Genealogical trees do not flourish among slaves.” “…separating children from their mother…is a marked feature of the cruelty and barbarity of the slave system. But it is in harmony with the grand aim of slavery, which, always and everywhere is to reduce man to a level with the brute. It is a successful method of obliterating from the mind and heart of the slave, all just ideas of the sacredness of the family, as an institution.” “…master and father to the same child…and may sell his child without incurring reproach…” 10/09/200850
My Bondage and My Freedom Main Points Cruelty: “vulgar coarseness and brutal cruelty” Slaves suffered because of the wives hatred. “…if these idols but nod, or lift a finger, woe to the poor victim…” They were beaten with cow skins and hickory sticks. He described slaves as “broken-spirited men and helpless women”. “…a decent man would blow his own brains out…” Everyone, “…The slaveholder, as well as the slave, is the victim of the slave system.” “…there is no relation more unfavorable to the development of honorable character than…the slaveholder to the slave.” “This treatment is part of the system, rather than part of the man.” The evils of sin (slavery) can make a good person bad. He said how the slave owner was almost fatherly at times but “sometimes like one possessed by a demon…a wretched man at war with his own soul. 10/09/200851
My Bondage and My Freedom Main Points He told of incidences where even the slave women were severely beaten. They sought protection from the Master to no avail. “Was he dead to all sense of humanity?” The same incident happened to him but he resisted. It was then his first true feeling of wanting to be free came. Slaves received the poorest food that couldn’t sustain a human who did the type of work they were required to do. They slept on clay floors and worked constantly with “no hope of reward, no sense of gratitude, no love of children, no prospect of bettering their condition…” 2. The significance of literacy in his life. Douglass made it clear that the slave knew much more than the master thought even what was within. It was always understood that the slave was incapable of learning “Ignorance is a high virtue in a human chattel; and as the master studies to keep the slave ignorant, the slave is cunning enough to make the master think he has succeeds.” 10/09/200852
My Bondage and My Freedom Main Points 3.Mr. Auld had “unfolded…the true philosophy of slavery”. He told his wife that it was unlawful and unsafe and would only lead to mischief. Slaves ”should know nothing but the will of their master, and learn to obey it. If you teach that nigger…to read the bible, there will be no keeping him…it will forever unfit him for the duties of a slave…learning him would do him a great deal of harm-making him disconsolate and unhappy…this accomplished, he’ll be running away with himself.” Douglass said that was the first anti-slavery message he had ever heard. It woke him up. “Knowledge unfits a child to be a slave.” Knowledge was to him the direct path to freedom. The last paragraph (page 93)! Thanks to his slave owners, the lessons Mrs. Auld taught him were valuable and so was the lesson Mr. Auld taught him. They helped to bring about the development, transition, and determination later in his life. 10/09/200853
My Bondage and My Freedom (1855) Frederick Douglass MAIN POINTS: 1. Slavery dehumanizes by destroying the family unit. It undermining family values of both slaves and slave owners. The practice of separating children from their mother, and hiring the latter out at distances too great to admit of their meeting, except at long intervals, is a marked feature of the cruelty and barbarity of the slave system. But it is in harmony with the grand aim of slavery, which, always and everywhere, is to reduce man to a level with the brute. It is a successful method of obliterating from the mind and heart of the slave, all just ideas of the sacredness of the family, as an institution. …My poor mother, like many other slave-women, had many children, but NO FAMILY! Slavery has no use for fathers, as it does away with families. Slavery has no use for either fathers or families, and its laws do not recognize their existence in the social arrangements of the plantation. He [the master] can be father without being a husband, and may sell his child without incurring reproach, if the child be by a woman in whose veins courses one thirty-second part of African blood. …[T]he fact remains, in all its odiousness, that, by the laws of slavery, children, in all cases, are reduced to the condition of their mothers. This arrangement admits of the greatest license to brutal slaveholders, and their profligate sons, brothers, relations and friends, and gives to the pleasure of sin, the additional attraction of profit.
My Bondage and My Freedom (1855) Frederick Douglass 2. Education of slaves was dangerous to slave owners because it empowered slaves and could possibly lead to their freedom. Mr. Auld promptly forbade continuance of her instruction; telling her, in the first place, that the thing itself was unlawful; that it was also unsafe, and could only lead to mischief. (Douglass’ masters’ response to his wife teaching Douglass to read the Bible) …If you learn him now to read, he’ll want to know how to write; and, this accomplished, he’ll be running away with himself. It was a new and special revelation, dispelling a painful mystery, against which my youthful understanding had struggled, and struggled in vain, to wit: the white man’s power to perpetuate the enslavement of the black man. “Very well,” thought I; “knowledge unfits a child to be a slave.” I instinctively assented to the proposition; and from that moment I understood the direct pathway from slavery to freedom…
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Harriet Jacobs 1861
Biographic Overview Born 1813 Mother, Delilah daughter of a slave, Molly Horniblow; died when Harriet was 6 Moved in with grandmother, Molly Christian values instilled by Molly and Margaret Edenton, North Carolina Father, Daniel Jacobs, carpenter and slave, son of a white man Taught to read by Mistress, Margaret Learned that she was a slave at 6; had not known before
Biographic Overview 1825 Margaret dies, wills Molly, Harriet and siblings to her niece, who is only 5 years old 1825/26 Harriet’s father dies; Norcom tries to sell Molly The elderly sister of Margaret buys Molly for $50 and frees her 1829, succumbs to stress of situation; becomes involved with young unmarried attorney The child’s father, Dr. Norcom (Dr. Flint) becomes the de facto master; refuses to free Molly Molly is highly revered; no one will bid on her 1828, at fifteen, Harriet is faced with sexual harassment daily Has a son with attorney, Harriet and baby move in with Molly; 1831 the daughter of Harriet and “Mr. Sands” is born
Biographic Overview 1829-1834“Mr. Sands” tries repeatedly to buy Harriet; Norcom always refuses 1829-1834 Harriet lives in constant fear of her children being sold 1834 Harriet and children are sent to work for Norcom’s son and new bride on a plantation, in part as punishment for still refusing to submit to Norcom’s sexual advances 1835 Harriet goes into hiding; remains so for seven years
Biographic Overview 1842 Harriet escapes North Winter 1844-45, children with Harriet ; first time in 9 years; pursued by Norcom until 1853 1852 Freedom bought for $300 1853 Begins to write of her experiences in anonymous letters; begins book 1861 Incidents published in US; uses penname Linda Brent 1897 Dies in DC; Buried in Cambridge, MA
Main Point # 1 The change from child to sexual object is inevitable for a female slave. ““…first years of my service…accustomed to share …indulgences with the children of my mistress.” ““…my fifteenth year—a sad epoch in the life of a slave girl. My master began to whisper foul words…I could not remain ignorant of their import.” ““She will be compelled to realize that she is no longer a child.” ““She will become prematurely knowing in evil things.” ““…she will …tremble when she hears her master’s footfall.”
Main Point # 2 Amorality of Africans is a myth. ““He was a crafty man, and resorted to many means to accomplish his purposes.” ““He tried his utmost to corrupt the pure principles my grandmother had instilled.” ““My soul revolted against the mean tyranny.” ““…I was…shamefaced about telling her such impure things, especially as I knew her to be very strict on such subjects.”
Main Point # 3 Slaves, legally recognized only as property, had no protection against the will of the master. ““But he was my master. I was compelled to live under the same roof [as]a man forty years [older,] daily violating the most sacred commandments of nature.” ““…Where could I turn...? …black as ebony or fair as her mistress…there is no shadow of law to protect [the slave girl] from insult,…violence, or …death” ““He told me I was his property…subject to his will in all things. ““…pride and fear kept me silent…”
Main Point # 3 con't “My master met me at every turn, reminding me that I belonged to him, swearing…that he would compel me to submit…his footsteps dogged me. If I knelt by my mother’s grave, his dark shadow fell on me even there.”
Main Point # 4 The mistress was no source of refuge. White women viewed rape victims as the mistresses of their husbands and retaliated accordingly. ““The mistress who ought to protect the helpless victim, has no other feelings…but jealousy and rage.” ““…the little child…accustomed to wait on her mistress and her children, will learn, before she is twelve years old, …that her mistress hates [certain] one[s] among the slaves.” ““She might have …counsel[ed] and screen[ed] the young and innocent among her slaves; but…she had no sympathy.”
Main Point # 4 con't “Southern women …marry…knowing that [her husband] is the father of …slaves. They do not trouble themselves about it.” “ They regard such children as property, as marketable as …pigs...; it is seldom that they do not make [the children] aware of this by passing them into the slavetrader’s hands as soon as possible….” “He had never punished me…would not allow any body else to…[i]n that respect, she was never satisfied.” “…it became more and more apparent that my presence was intolerable.”
Main Point # 5 Degradations of rape are perpetuated over generations; the consequences are suffered by the victim and the victim’s child. ““ Perhaps the child’s own mother is among those hated ones. She listens to violent outbreaks of jealous passion, and cannot help understanding what is the cause.” ““My master was…the father of eleven slaves. But, did the mothers dare to tell who was the father…? No…They knew too well the terrible consequences. ”
Main Point # 6 The practice of raping of slaves was a commonly known but closely guarded secret. ““The secrets of slavery are concealed like those of the Inquisition.” ““Mrs. Flint possessed the key to her husband’s character before I was born.” ““She watched her husband with increasing vigilance; but he was well practiced in means to evade it…”
The Southern Belle Mistique What brought about the feminine ideal personified as a "Southern Belle"? George Bancroft’s Progress of Mankind What did Bancroft say about women ? – “She, whose presence in this briery world is as a lily among thorns, whose smile is …like the light of morning…whose eye is the gate of heaven…whom nature so reveres, that the …veil of her spirit is the best …emblem of beauty…[T]he progress of liberty…has redeemed her into the possession of the full dignity of her nature…public life seems closed against her, but without impairing her power over mind, or her fame. The lyre is…obedient to her touch, the muse…to her call, as to that of man; …truth in its purity finds no more honored interpreter.”
Myths and Mysteries of Chivalry Although the term “courtly love” had not been coined, the concept was known: – Idolization by a man of a woman – Seated in sexual attraction, but not in a goal of consummation – It is love that is ennobling – A contradictory experience between erotic desire and spiritual attainment – Found expression in the lyric poems of the troubadour poets of the Middle Ages – Was a social system that was codified between 1169 and 1174 – This type of admiration was reserved for UPPER CLASS WOMEN
Questions to Consider If a slave was indeed property, what could keep a master from having sex with his property? Was Jacobs appealing to common cultural values in her narrative? Is George Bancroft talking about all women? What does the fact that Harriet’s paternal grandfather was white tell us? Think about Jefferson’s argument against slavery regarding its harmful effects on whites…What is the significance of his statements with regard to this reading?
Biography He was born on February 11, 1812, near Crawfordsville, Georgia. He became a lawyer and refused to seek political office, however he was sent to the Georgian legislature. He was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1842 and served there until he retired in1859. He supported slavery, but favored compromises like that which took place in 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act. He, like many other southern leaders, opposed secession, but threw their support in defending their homes once their states left the Union. He was chosen to represent Georgia at the Provisional Confederate Congress to draft a constitution and was elected vice president. He became disillusioned with Jefferson Davis and tried to negotiate peace. After the war, he was imprisoned and then elected by Georgia to the US Senate, but the Republicans refused to seat him. After Reconstruction, he was elected to the House. He was elected Governor in 1882 and died shortly after taking office.
The Provisional Confederate Congress met in Montgomery, Alabama to create a charter for the new union of states. Stephens dominated the Constitutional convention was almost immediately elected vice president. In “Slavery and the Confederacy” Stephens is discussing the differences between the US Constitution and the Confederate Constitution.
Main Point 1 The South was experiencing a revolution. “I was remarking that we are passing through one of the greatest revolutions in the annals of the world- seven States have, within the last three months, thrown off an old Government and formed a new.”
Main Point 2 The South will not be held back by oppressive tariffs and each state is responsible for maintaining its own infrastructure “The old thorn of the tariff, which occasioned the cause of so much irritation in the old body politic, is removed forever from the new” “The subject of internal improvements is put at rest under our system.” “The true principle is to subject commerce of every locality to whatever burdens may be necessary to facilitate it. If Charleston harbor needs improvement, let the commerce of Charleston bear the burden.” “The cost of the grading, the superstructure and equipments of our roads was borne by those who entered upon the enterprise”
Main Point 3 The new constitution is better than the old. “So taking the whole new constitution, I have no hesitancy in giving it as my judgment, that it is decidedly better than the old.”
Main Point 4 New features have been added to the constitution. “Another feature to which I will allude, is that the new Constitution provides that Cabinet Ministers and heads of Departments shall have the privilege of seats upon the floor of the Senate and the House of Representatives shall have the right to participate in the de bates and discussions upon the various subjects of administration.” “Another change in the constitution relates to the length of the tenure of the Presidential office. In the new Constitution it is six years instead of four, and the president shall be ineligible for re-election.”
Main Point 5 The Confederate constitution explicitly protects slavery. “The new constitution has put at rest forever all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institutions- African slavery as it exists among us- the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization.”
Main Point 6 The African race is inferior to the European race. “Its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition. “ “This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science.” He compared this to the ideas of Galileo and Adam Smith. Referring to the fanatical abolitionists….”They were attempting to make things equal which the Creator had made unequal.”
Main Point 7 There can be independence without war. “The prospect of war, is at least not so threatening as it had been.” “The idea set forth in President Lincoln’s inaugural, seems not to be followed up thus far so vigorously as we expected.” “Fort Sumter, it is believed, will soon be evacuated.” “Our object is peace, not only with the North, but with the world.” “War can be of no more benefit to the North, than to us.”
Main Point 8 The North contradicts itself when it comes to slavery. “While it is a fixed principle with them, never to allow the increase of a foot of Slave Territory, they seem to be equally determined not to part with an inch of the “accursed soil.”” “They were ready to fight on the accession of Texas, and are equally ready to fight now on her secession.” “They are disinclined to give up the benefits they derive from slave labor.”
Alexander Hamilton Stephens Slavery and the Confederacy Main Point 1: The new Constitution is similar to the old only better “All the great principles of Magna Charta are retained in it. No citizen is deprived of life, liberty or property, but by the judgment of his peers, under the laws of the land. The great principle of religious liberty, which was the honor and pride of the old Constitution, is still maintained and secured.” “So, taking the whole new Constitution, I have not hesitancy in giving it as my judgment, that it is decidedly better than the old.”
Alexander Hamilton Stephens Slavery and the Confederacy Main Point 2: With the Independence of the Confederate States of America, the South will no longer suffer from the oppressive tariffs of the United States’ federal government. “The old thorn of the tariff, which occasioned the cause of so much irritation in the old body politic, is removed forever from the new…” “The cost of the grading, the superstructure and equipments of our roads was borne by those who entered upon the enterprise…” “The true principle is to subject commerce of every locality to whatever burdens may be necessary to facilitate it.”
Alexander Hamilton Stephens Slavery and the Confederacy Main Point 3: Slavery is the cause of the split of the Union “…African slavery as it exists among us-the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. JEFFERSON anticipated this, as the “rock upon which the old Union would split”…What was conjecture with him, is now realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old Constitution were, that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically.” “Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of the races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the idea of a Government built upon it-when the “storm came and the wind blew, it fell.” (Matthew 7:27)
Alexander Hamilton Stephens Slavery and the Confederacy Main Point 4: Slavery is the “cornerstone” of the Confederacy “Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition. [Applause] This, our new Government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.” “It is upon this, as I have stated, our social fabric is firmly planted.”
Alexander Hamilton Stephens Slavery and the Confederacy Main Point #5: Northerners are fanatics. “Those at the North who still cling to these errors with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics. All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind; from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity.” Main Point #6: Northerners are trying to make equal what the Creator has made unequal. “They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights, with the white man. If their premises were correct, their conclusions would be logical and just; but their premises being wrong, their whole argument fails. They were attempting to make things equal which the Creator had made unequal.” “The truth of the Negro’s inferiority “has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science.” Anti-Lincoln Political Ad, 1964
Alexander Hamilton Stephens Slavery and the Confederacy Main Point 7: The Confederate government is in conformity with God and Nature “It is the first Government ever instituted upon principles in strict conformity to nature, and the ordination of Providence, in furnishing the materials of human society. Many Governments have been founded upon the principles of certain classes; but the classes thus enslaved, were of the same race, and in violation of the laws of nature. Our system commits no such violation of nature’s laws. The negro by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system.” “It is, indeed, in conformity with the Creator. It is not for us to inquire into the wisdom of His ordinances or to question them. For His own purposes He has made one race to differ from another, as He has made “one star to differ from another in glory.” The great objects of humanity are best attained, when conformed to his laws and degrees, in the formation of Governments as well as in all things else. Our Confederacy is founded, upon principles in strict conformity with these laws. This stone which was rejected by the first builders “is become the chief stone of the corner” in our new edifice.” [Applause] (Matthew 21:42) “The negro by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system [(i.e. slavery)].”
Alexander Hamilton Stephens Slavery and the Confederacy Main Point 8: The people of the confederacy are peaceful people, but do not try to coerce them. “Our object is Peace, not only with the North, but with the world… The ideal of coercing us, or subjugating us, is utterly preposterous.” Main Point 9: If we stay true, we will succeed. “If…we are true to ourselves, true to our cause, true to our destiny, true to our high mission, in presenting to the world the highest type of civilization ever exhibited by man—there will be found in our Lexicon no such word as FAIL.”
Reverend Benjamin Morgan Palmer The Fast Day Sermons (1861)
Reverend Benjamin Morgan Palmer Slavery a Divine Trust: Duty of the South to Preserve and Perpetuate it 1.The South’s providential trust “is to conserve and to perpetuate the institution of slavery as now existing….” 2.White slave owners act as guardians of their black slaves. Blacks are like helpless children who the slave owner protects. 3.“Freedom would be their doom.” 4.Slaves “form parts of our households, even as our children….” 5.The world should FEAR abolition. The world is more dependent on slavery for its wealth than ever, and if slavery ends, the world economy will totter. 6.The South needs slavery to support its material interests. Slavery is a matter of self-preservation for the South. 7.The South defends the cause of God and religion, since the “Abolition spirit is undeniably atheistic….”
Rabbi Morris J. Raphall POINT 2: Abolitionists, such as Reverend Henry Ward Beecher, are inventing new sins when they claim that slavery is evil. By doing this they are insulting and exasperating “thousands of God-fearing, law-abiding citizens” and have pushed the country toward civil war. POINT 1: The Bible does not condemn slavery. However, it does condemn coveting another’s property, including another’s slaves. Bible View of Slavery
Reverend Henry Ward Beecher Peace, Be Still POINT 1: “…The whole nation is guilty [regarding slavery]….” POINT 2: “Our civilization has not begotten humanity and respect for others’ rights, nor a spirit of protection to the weak….”
The Only Known Photograph of President Lincoln The Only Known Photograph of President Lincoln at the dedication of the Civil War cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863 Copy prints. Courtesy of Elizabeth L. Hill, Chief, Still Picture Branch, National Archives
Background Lincoln Birth: February 12, 1809 at LaRue County, Kentucky Middle Name: None Parents: Thomas and Nancy Hanks Lincoln Siblings: Sarah (1807-1828), Thomas (1812) Places Lived: Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, District of Columbia Wife: Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882); married 1842 Children: Robert Todd Lincoln (1843-1926), Edward Baker Lincoln (1846- 1850), William Wallace Lincoln (1850-1862), Thomas (Tad) Lincoln (1853- 1871) Property Owned: Iowa and Illinois (home purchase: 1844, Springfield) Formal Education: About 1 year total Degrees: Honorary degrees from Knox College (1860), Columbia (1861), Princeton (1864)
Background Lincoln Political Party: Whig (1832-1856), Republican (1856-1865) Offices Held: elected to Illinois General Assembly in 1834, 1836, 1838, 1840; elected to U.S. House of Representatives in 1846; elected sixteenth President of the U.S. in 1860 and 1864 Non-Political Work: Farmhand, clerk, flatboatman, store owner, surveyor, postmaster, lawyer Military Experience: Captain and private, Illinois Militia (1832); Commander- in-Chief (1861-1865) Patent: #6469 granted May 22, 1849 for device to lift boats over shoals; only U.S. President to own a patentpatent Appearance: 6'4", 180 lbs., gray eyes, black hair, size 14 shoe Death: Shot by John Wilkes Booth April 14; died April 15, 1865, Washington, D.C. Burial: Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Illinois; May 4, 1 865
Background on Gettysburg Address On November 2, 1863, several months after the battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3), David Wills invited President Lincoln to make a "few appropriate remarks" at the consecration of a cemetery for the Union war dead. Lincoln accepted the invitation, probably viewing it as an appropriate time to honor all those who had given their lives in the Civil War. He may also have seen the dedication as an opportunity to reveal his evolving thinking about the War, as a fight not only to save the Union, but also to establish freedom and equality for all under the law. These ideas are central to the speech Lincoln gave at Gettysburg, which, despite its brevity, as opposed to Edward Everett's long-forgotten two-hour oration, has become one of the most memorable of all time.
Background on Gettysburg Address Of the five known manuscript copies of the Gettysburg Address, the Library of Congress has two. President Lincoln gave one of these to each of his two private secretaries, John Nicolay and John Hay. The copy on exhibit, which belonged to Nicolay, is often called the "first draft" because it is believed to be the earliest copy that exists. The "second draft," probably made by Lincoln shortly after his return to Washington from Gettysburg, was given to John Hay, whose descendants donated both it and the Nicolay copy to the Library of Congress in 1916. There are numerous variations in words and punctuation between these two drafts. Because these variations provide clues into Lincoln's thinking and because these two drafts are the most closely tied to November 19, they continue to be consulted by scholars of the period.
Main Point # 1 The civil war was a fight to save the Union “Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met here on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.” “ It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly advanced”
Main Point # 2 The Civil War was being fought to establish freedom and equality for all under the law. “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” “It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Frederick Jackson Turner Born in Portage, Wisconsin, in 1861. His father was journalist by trade and local historian which piqued Turner's interest in history Graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1884 Turner decided to become a professional historian, and received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1890. He was a teacher at the University of Wisconsin from 1889 to 1910, when he began to teach at Harvard. He retired in 1924 but continued his research until his death in 1932.
The Significance of the Frontier in American History Turner's major contribution to American history was to argue that the frontier past best explained the distinctive history of the United States. He first delivered this lecture to a gathering of historians in 1893 at Chicago, which was the site of the World's Columbian Exposition which was an enormous fair to mark the four- hundredth anniversary of Columbus' voyage. Although almost totally ignored at the time, Turner's lecture eventually gained such wide distribution and influence that a contemporary scholar has called it "the single most influential piece of writing in the history of American history."
The Significance of the Frontier in American History Three years before Turner's frontier thesis, the U.S. Census Bureau had announced the disappearance of the “frontier line”. Turner took this "closing of the frontier" as an opportunity to reflect upon the influence the frontier had exercised. – “The peculiarity of American institutions is the fact that they have been compelled to adapt themselves to the changes of an expanding people-to the changes involved in crossing a continent, in winning a wilderness, and in developing at each area of progress out of the primitive economic and political conditions of the frontier into the complexity of city life.”
The Significance of the Frontier in American History The American Frontier and European frontier differ. – Turner described the European frontier as “a fortified boundary line running through dense populations.” – Turner describes the American frontier as “that it lies on the hither edge of free land”
The Significance of the Frontier in American History Turner observed how Europeans entered the continent and how it changed them. – First it finds settlers in “European dress, industries, tools, modes of travel, thought.” – “It takes him from the railcar and puts him in the birch canoe” – “It strips off the hunting garments of civilization and arrays him in the hunting shirt and the moccasins.” – “It puts him in the log cabin of the Cherokee and Iroquois…” – “Before long he has gone to planting Indian corn and plowing with a sharp stick..” – “…at the frontier the environment is at first too strong for the man. He must accept the conditions in which it furnishes, or perish, and so he fits himself into the Indian clearings and follows the Indian trails
The Significance of the Frontier in American History Turner believed that “the most important effect of the frontier has been in the promotion of democracy here and in Europe.” “As has been indicated the frontier is productive of individualism.” “Complex society is precipitated by the wilderness into a kind of primitive organization, based on family.” “The tendency is anti-social.” “It produces antipathy to control, and particularly to direct control…” “The frontier individualism has been from the beginning promoted democracy.”
The Significance of the Frontier in American History Turner believed the frontier led to a strong sense of nationalism. -”The frontier promoted the formation of a composite nationality for the American people.” -The experiences of the frontiersmen gave them commonality and association with other migrants during westward expansion.
The Significance of the Frontier in American History Again now, four centuries from the discovery of America, at the end of a hundred years of life under the Constitution, the frontier has gone, and with its going has closed the first period of American history.
Frederick Jackson Turner, The Significance of the Frontier in American History (1873) AMERICAN HISTORY IN A LARGE DEGREE HAS BEEN A HISTORY OF THE COLONIZATION OF THE WEST. Up to our own day American history has been in a large degree the history of the colonization of the Great West. The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward, explain American development. p. 76. THE FRONTIER HAS SHAPED THE AMERICAN CHARACTER: American social development has been continually beginning over again on the frontier. This perennial, this fluidity of American life, this expansion westward-with its few opportunities, its continuous touch with the simplicity of primitive society, furnish the forces dominating American character. The true point of view in the history of this nation is not the Atlantic coast, it is the Great West. p. 76. The frontier is the line of most rapid and effective Americanization. p. 77. The frontier individualism has from the beginning promoted democracy. p. 83. THE FRONTIER WAS THE CRUCIBLE OF AMERICANIZATION. In the crucible of the frontier the immigrants were Americanized, liberated, and fused into a mixed race, English in neither nationality nor characteristics. p. 82.
Frederick Jackson Turner, The Significance of the Frontier in American History (1873) THE AMERICAN FRONTIER HAS HELPED US UNITE AS A COUNTRY. The effect of the Indian fronteir as a consolidating agent in our history is important. The Indian was a common danger, demanding united action. p. 80 THE AMERICAN FRONTIER HAS CULTIVATED AMERICAN NATIONALISM. Nothing works for nationalism like intercourse within the nation. Mobility of population is death to localism, and the western frontier worked irresistibly in unsettling population. p. 83.
THE AMERICAN INTELLECT OWES ITS STRIKING CHARACTERISTICS TO THE FRONTIER. The result is that to the frontier the American intellect owes its striking characteristics. That coarseness and strength combined with acuteness and inquisitiveness; that practical, inventive turn of mind, quick to find expedients; that masterful grasp of material things, lacking in the artistic but powerful to effect great ends; that restless, nervous energy; that dominant individualism, working for good and for evil, and withal that buoyancy and exuberance which comes with freedom--these are traits of the frontier, or traits called out elsewhere because of the existence of the frontier. Since the days when the fleet of Columbus sailed into the waters of the New World, America has been another name for opportunity, and the people of the United States have taken their tone from the incessant expansion which has not only been open but has even been forced upon them. p. 85.
THE FRONTIER IS GONE. And now, four centuries from the discovery of America, at the end of a hundred years of life under the Constitution, the frontier has gone, and with its going has closed the first period of American history. p. 85. He would be a rash prophet who should assert that the expansive character of American life has now entirely ceased. Movement has been its dominant fact, and, unless this training has no effect upon a people, the American energy will continually demand a wider field for its exercise. But never again will such gifts of free land offer themselves. p. 85.
The Strenuous Life By Theodore “ Teddy ” Roosevelt Biography: October 27, 1858: born in New York City. As a child he suffered from asthma and struggled very hard to overcome his physical weakness with exertive exercise. 1876-1880: he attended Harvard. October 27, 1880: marries Alice Hathaway Lee. 1881-1884: elected to the New York State Assembly. 1884: his wife Alice and his mother die within hours of each other. In his grief he goes west to be a cattle rancher in the Dakota territories and the venture is a financial failure. 1886: he married Edith Carow. 1889:Appointed as a Member of the Civil Service Commission 1895: Police Commissioner of New York City. 1897: Appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy by President McKinley. 1898: Raised the Volunteer Regiment known as the “Rough Riders” which serves with distinction in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. 1898: Elected Governor of New York State. 1900: Elected Vice President of the United States September 14, 1901: Sworn in as President of the U.S. after McKinley is assassinated, becoming the youngest president in U.S. history. 1904: Elected to his first full term as President. While in office Roosevelt champions the construction of the Panama Canal and coins the phrase “Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick” in reference to foreign policy. 1906: First American to Win a Nobel Prize. He is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the end of the Russo- Japanese war in 1905. 1912: Runs for President on the Progressive Party ticket and loses to Woodrow Wilson. October 14, 1912: Shot in chest by a would-be assassin, says “I did not care a rap for being shot. It is a trade risk, which every prominent public man ought to accept as a matter of course.” He remains an active figure on the public stage but never runs for office again, he satisfies himself by writing and going on trips around the world and dies in his sleep at age 60 on January 6, 1919.
Main Points #1. If a nation is to be great, it cannot rest on its laurels. “A life of slothful ease, a life of that peace which springs merely from lack either of desire or of power to strive after great things, is as little worthy of a nation as of an individual.” “As it is with the individual, so it is with the nation. It is a base untruth to say that happy is the nation that no history. Thrice happy is the nation that has a glorious history.” “…if we shrink from the hard contests where men must win at hazard of their lives and at the risk of all they hold dear, then the bolder and stronger peoples will pass us by, and will win for themselves the domination of the world.” #2. Greatness can only be achieved through hard work. “…though they may have leisure, it is not to be spent in idleness; for wisely used leisure merely means that those who possess it, being free from the necessity of working for their livelihood, are all the more bound to carry on some kind of non-remunerative work in science, in letters, in art, in exploration, in historical research-work of the type we most need in this country…” “…a healthy state can exist only when the men and women who make it up lead clean, vigorous, healthy lives; when the children are so trained that they shall endeavor, not to shirk difficulties, but to overcome them; not to seek ease, but to know how to wrest triumph from toil and risk.” “The work must be done; we cannot escape our responsibility; and if we are worth our salt, we shall be glad of the chance to do the work-glad of the chance to show ourselves equal to one of the great tasks set modern civilization.” “Let us therefore boldly face the life of strife, resolute to do our duty well and manfully…let us not shrink from no strife, moral or physical…provided we are certain that the strife is justified, for it is only through strife, through hard and dangerous endeavor, that we shall ultimately win the goal of true national greatness.”
#3. If America is to be great, it must act on the world stage. “We cannot, if we would, play the part of China, and be content to rot by inches in ignoble ease within our borders, taking no interest in what goes on beyond them, sunk in a scrambling commercialism; heedless of the higher life, the life of aspiration, of toil and risk, busying ourselves only with the wants of our bodies for the day, until suddenly we should find, beyond a shadow of question, what China has already found, that in this world the nation that has trained itself to a career of unwarlike and isolated ease is bound, in the end, to go down before other nations which have not lost the manly and adventurous qualities.” “…there is, of course, always danger that we may not solve it aright; but to refuse to undertake the solution simply renders it certain that we cannot possibly solve it aright.” “We cannot sit huddled within our own borders and avow ourselves merely an assemblage of well-to-do hucksters who care nothing for what happens beyond. Such policy would defeat even its own end; for as the nations grow to have ever wider and wider interests, and are brought closer and closer contact, if we are to hold our own in the struggle for naval and commercial supremacy, we must build our power without our borders.” “Some stronger, manlier power would have to step in and do the work, and we would have shown ourselves weaklings, unable to carry to successful completion the labors that great and high-spirited nations are eager to undertake.”
Theodore Roosevelt, The Strenuous Life POINT 1: DO NOT LIVE A LIFE OF IDELNESS; A STRENUOUS LIFE IS MUCH MORE REWARDING AND NOBLE. I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who desires mere easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship, or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph. We do not admire the man of timid peace. We admire the man who embodies victorious effort; the man who never wrongs his neighbor, who is prompt to help a friend, but who has those virile qualities necessary to win in the stern strife of actual life. A mere life of ease is not in the end a very satisfactory life, and, above all, it is a life which ultimately unfits those who follow it for serious work in the world. The man must be glad to do a man's work, to dare and endure and to labor; to keep himself, and those dependent on him. The woman must be the housewife, the helpmeet of the homemaker, the wise and fearless mother of many healthy children.
POINT 2: ONLY THROUGH STRIFE AND STRENUOUS AND DARING EFFORT WILL WE ACHIEVE NATIONAL GREATNESS. …it is only through strife, through hard and dangerous endeavor, that we shall ultimately win the goal of true national greatness.
Theodore Roosevelt, The Strenuous Life POINT 3: WEAKNESS IS THE GREATEST OF CRIMES. OUR NATION HAS A RESPONSIBILTY TO BRING THE HALF-CAST NATIONS OF THE WORLD GOOD GOVERNMENT. IF WE DO THIS WE WILL BE GREAT, AND IF WE DO NOT WE WILL CEDE THE OPPORTUNITY TO “BOLDER AND STRONGER PEOPLES.” We cannot, if we would, play the part of China, and be content to rot by inches in ignoble ease within our borders, taking no interest in what goes on beyond them, sunk in scrambling commercialism; heedless of higher life, the life of aspiration, of toil and risk, busying ourselves only with the wants of our bodies for the day, until suddenly we should find, beyond a shadow of question, what China has already found, that in this world the nation that has trained itself into a career of unwarlike and isolated ease is bound, in the end, to go down before other nations which have not lost the manly and adventurous qualities. If we are to be a really great people, we must strive in good faith to play a great part in the world. The guns that thundered off Manila and Santiago left us echoes of glory, but they also left us a legacy of duty. If we drove out a mediaeval tyranny only to make room for savage anarchy, we had better not begun the task at all. It is worse than idle to say that we have no duty to perform, and can leave to their fates the islands we have conquered. Such a course would be a course of infamy. It would be followed at once by utter chaos in the wretched islands themselves. Some stronger, manlier power would have to step in and do the work, and we would have shown ourselves weaklings, unable to carry to successful completion the labors that great and high- spirited nations are eager to undertake.
Theodore Roosevelt, The Strenuous Life POINT 3 (CONTINUED): WEAKNESS IS THE GREATEST OF CRIMES. OUR NATION HAS A RESPONSIBILTY TO BRING THE HALF- CAST NATIONS OF THE WORLD GOOD GOVERNMENT. IF WE DO THIS WE WILL BE GREAT, AND IF WE DO NOT WE WILL CEDE THE OPPORTUNITY TO “BOLDER AND STRONGER PEOPLES.” The Philippines offer a yet graver problem. Their population includes half-caste and native Christians, warlike Moslems, and wild pagans. Many of their people are utterly unfit for self-government and show no signs of becoming fit. Resistance [in the Philippines] must be stamped out. The first and all-important work to be done is to establish the supremacy of our flag. We must put down armed resistance before we can accomplish anything else, and there should be no parleying, no faltering, in dealing with our foe. As for those in our own country who encourage the foe, we can afford contemptuously to disregard them; but it must be remembered that their utterances are not saved from being treasonable merely by the fact that they are despicable. [We must send out there only good and able men.... [They] must show the utmost tact and firmness, remembering that, we such people as those with whom we are to deal, weakness is the greatest of crimes, and that next to weakness comes lace of consideration for their principles and prejudices.
Background He grew up in Hartford, Connecticut Is the son of a working class English immigrant After graduating from Yale, he became a minister Returned to Yale as a professor of political and social science He is known for his provocative ideas, rigorous intellectual standards and staunch moral conviction William Graham Sumner, What the Social Classes Owe to Each Other (1883)
Social Darwinism Sumner became one of the leading proponents of laissez-faire and social darwinism William Graham Sumner, What the Social Classes Owe to Each Other (1883)
Main Points A person that doesn’t contribute to society is a burden on society – “a man who is present as a consumer, yet who does not contribute either by land, labor, or capital to the work of society, is a burden” Every person has a responsibility to take care of themselves, to mind their own business – “every man and woman in society has one big duty. That is, to take care of his or her own self. This is a social duty.”. William Graham Sumner, What the Social Classes Owe to Each Other (1883)
Main Points Cont. The state can not make any money, they can only give money to one person by taking it away from another – “these conflicts are rooted in the supposed reality that one group wins on the expense of another group. The gains of some imply the losses of others. The path of achievement in society is trod over the well being of others.” William Graham Sumner, What the Social Classes Owe to Each Other (1883)
The social structure is based on contract “A society based on contract is a society of free and independent men, who form ties without favor or obligation, and co-operate without cringing or intrigue.” William Graham Sumner, What the Social Classes Owe to Each Other (1883)
And that of the Forgotton Man “He is not, technically, “poor” or “weak”; he minds his own business, and makes no complaint. Consequently the philanthropists never think of him, and trample on him…..” William Graham Sumner, What the Social Classes Owe to Each Other (1883)
Thorstein Veblen, Theory of the Leisure Class (1899) Veblen was the son of Norwegian immigrants, and he grew up in rural Minnesota. He did not learn to speak English until he was a teenager. He received a B.A. from Carleton College in 1880 and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Yale in 1884. At Yale, he developed a friendship with his sociology professor, William Graham Sumner, and wrote his doctoral thesis on Immanuel Kant in the area of Moral Philosophy. In 1882, he started to teach political economy at the University of Chicago. He became known as a brilliant and eccentric thinker and an unconventional teacher. At the University of Chicago he gained a reputation as an insightful social critic, and it was during his years in Chicago that he wrote The Theory of the Leisure Class. He taught political economy and later became editor of the Journal of Political Thought. He taught at Stanford from 1906-1909 and at the University of Missouri from 1911-1918. In 1919 he became a founding member of the New School for Social Research in New York. He died in 1929 of heart disease.
The exigencies of the struggle for means of life are less exacting for [the leisure] class than for any other; and as a consequence of this privilege position we should expect to find it one of the least responsive of the classes of society to the demands which the situation makes for a further growth of institutions and a readjustment to an altered industrial situation. The leisure class is the conservative class. …exigencies do not readily produce in the members of this class, that degree of uneasiness with the existing order which alone can lead any body of men to give up views and methods of life that have become habitual to them. The office of the leisure class in social evolution is to retard the movement and to conserve what is obsolescent…. Main Point 1: The leisure class is conservative, finding no reason to support changes, because they enjoy the status quo and are little affected by economic pressures.
This conservatism of the wealthy class is so obvious a feature that it has even come to be recognized as a mark of respectability. Since conservatism is a characteristic of the wealthier and therefore more reputable portion of the community, it has acquired a certain honorific or decorative value. It has become prescriptive to such an extent that an adherence to conservative views is comprised as a matter of course in our notions of respectability; and it is imperatively incumbent on all who would lead a blameless life in point of social repute. Conservatism, being an upper-class characteristic, is decorous; and conversely, innovation, being a lower-class phenomenon, is vulgar. …progress is hindered by underfeeding and excessive physical hardship, no less effectually than by such a luxurious life as will shut out discontent by cutting off the occasion for it. The abjectly poor, and all those persons whose energies are entirely absorbed by the struggle for daily sustenance, are conservative because they cannot afford the effort of taking thought for the day after tomorrow; just as the highly prosperous are conservative because they have small occasion to be discontented with the situation as it stands today. From this proposition it follows that the institution of a leisure class acts to make the lower classes conservative by withdrawing from them as much as it may of the means of sustenance, and so reducing their consumption, and consequently their available energy, to such a point as to make them incapable of the effort required for the learning and adoption of new habits of thought. Main Point 2: Conservatism is decorous and respectable. Innovation is vulgar.
Main Points 3: The example of the leisure class fosters conspicuous consumption, which diverts resources away from sustenance of the lower classes. The prevalence of conspicuous consumption as one of the main elements in the standard of decency among all classes is of course not traceable wholly to the example of the wealthy leisure class, but the practice and the insistence on it are no doubt strengthened by the example of the leisure class. The requirements of decency in this matter are very considerable and very imperative; so that even among classes whose pecuniary position is sufficiently strong to admit a consumption of goods considerably in excess of the subsistence minimum, the disposable surplus left over after the more imperative physical needs are satisfied is not infrequently diverted to the purpose of a conspicuous decency, rather than to added physical comfort and fullness of life. Moreover, such surplus energy as is available is also likely to be expended in the acquisition of goods for conspicuous consumption or conspicuous boarding. The result is that the requirements of pecuniary reputability tend (1) to leave but a scanty subsistence minimum available for other than conspicuous consumption, and (2) to absorb any surplus energy which may be available after the bare physical necessities of life have been provided for. What is a living wage? Why is there starvation?
Main Point 4: Since the leisure class discourages change, it hinders evolutionary progress. …the leisure class, in the nature of things, consistently acts to retard that adjustment to the environment which is called social advance or development. The characteristic attitude of the class may be summed up in the maxim: "Whatever is, is right" whereas the law of natural selection, as applied to human institutions, gives the axiom: "Whatever is, is wrong." Not that the institutions of today are wholly wrong for the purposes of the life of today, but they are, always and in the nature of things, wrong to some extent. They are the result of a more or less inadequate adjustment of the methods of living to a situation which prevailed at some point in the past development. The institution of a leisure class, by force or class interest and instinct, and by precept and prescriptive example, makes for the perpetuation of the existing maladjustment of institutions, and even favors a reversion to a somewhat more archaic scheme of life; a scheme which would be still farther out of adjustment with the exigencies of life under the existing situation even than the accredited, obsolescent scheme that has come down from the immediate past.
Declaration of Sentiments (1848) SENECA FALLS CONVENTION
raised in a Quaker community in Massachusetts considered slavery an evil to be opposed. They refused to use cotton cloth, cane sugar, and other slavery-produced goods. In America Lucretia Mott helped organize women's abolitionist societies, since the anti-slavery organizations would not admit women as members. It was not until 1848, however, before Lucretia Mott and Stanton and others could bring together a local women's rights convention in Seneca Falls. The "Declaration of Sentiments" written primarily by Stanton and Mott was a deliberate parallel to the "Declaration of Independence": "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created equal."
When Elizabeth Cady married abolitionist Henry Brewster Stanton in 1840, she'd already observed enough about the legal relationships between men and women to insist that the word obey be dropped from the ceremony. While Stanton is best known for her long contribution to the woman suffrage struggle, she was also active and effective in winning property rights for married women, equal guardianship of children, and liberalized divorce laws so that women could leave marriages that were often abusive of the wife, the children, and the economic health of the family. Elizabeth Cady Stanton died in New York on October 26, 1902, nearly 20 years before the United States granted women the right to vote.
Main Point 1 All men and WOMEN are created equal. “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men and women are created equal…”
Main Point 2 Women also have certain unalienable rights by God. “…that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…”
Main Point 3 Women have the right to refuse allegiance to their government and insist upon the institution of a new government. “Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”
Main Point 4 Men have treated women badly and dominated them. “The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.”
Main Point 5 Women are equal citizens of these United States and they should be immediately given the rights they deserve. “…because women do feel themselves aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights, we insist that they have immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of these United States.”
The Origins of Insanity in Women From “The Relations of female patients to hospitals for the insane” Transactions of the American Medical Association, Vol. 15, 1865 Horatio Storer
Biography Born in Boston, Ma, 1830 Educated at Boston Latin School Attended Harvard College MD from Boston (Harvard) Medical School After MD, traveled to Europe; spent one year practicing and studying with James Young Simpson in Edinburgh, Scotland 1855 opened medical practice in Boston; specialized in Gynecology and Obstetrics
Biography 1857 began a state and nationwide “physicians campaign against abortion” by convincing the AMA to form a committee on criminal abortion; in 1859 the committee report was presented; the report was then adopted at the AMA convention in Louisville, KY 1865, Storer won an AMA prize for his essay, published as “Why Not? A Book for Every Woman”, the work was aimed at informing women of the moral and physical complications of induced abortion. It was widely sold and physicians distributed it to their patients who requested abortion.
Biography 1865, Storer also published in Transactions of the American Medical Association, Vol. 15, “The Relations of Female Patients to Hospitals for the Insane”, from which “The Origins of Insanity in Women” is an excerpt 1869, Storer started the Boston Gynaecological Society, the first medical society dedicated exclusively to gynecology; he quickly published the first gynecology journal, The Journal of the Gynaecological Society of Boston
I have the correct and only answer for the explanation of women’s insanity; furthermore, I have the only correct treatment for insanity in women. All other physicians must follow my course of instruction on the subject. “…I have state certain fundamental propositions or laws, whose acceptance is essential to any rational explanation or treatment of the mental diseases of women…” “…That the rational and successful treatment of mental disease in women must be based upon the preceding theories that I claim are established, 1. By many analogies, physiological and pathological, in the cerebral manifestations of the human female and that of the lower mammals; 2. By clinical observation; and 3. By the results of autopsies of the insane, both in private practice and, where made by equal impartiality, in insane asylums.” The Origins of Insanity in Women Main Point #1
Main Point #2 Insanity in women originates in a dysfunctional or diseased reproductive system. “…That in women mental disease is often, perhaps generally, dependent upon functional or organic disturbance of the reproductive system.” “…That in women the access or exacerbation of mental disease is usually coincident with the catamenial (menstrual) establishment, periodical access, or final cessation.” “…and that in autopsies of insane women as compared with those of insane men, disease of the brain as a primary lesion very rarely exists.”
Main Point #2 “…The attacks of this were very clearly coincident with the menstrual period…” “…she had experienced…what is technically termed nymphomania—a symptom merely, as are most of the mental disturbances of women.” “…the ordinary forms of …puerperal mania, and of …obstetric insanity…in its different manifestations I would attach the equally legitimate title of catamenial mania, are very familiar to every observer.”
My experience makes me an expert on this subject. “…The comparison…of doubtfully insane, of almost insane, of decidedly insane women, in all their range from aggravated hysteria to actual madness has so long been my daily occupation that I am enabled to express myself plainly upon this subject...” Main Point #3
Insanity in women can be treated by surgery; specifically by surgical treatment of the reproductive organs. “…It is just as unscientific here, and generally as futile, to treat merely or primarily the mental disturbance, which is usually a symptom only or a consequence…” “…The necessity of removing a cause to prevent or to cure its effect is as decided in mental pathology as physical. We recognize it everywhere else; we must recognize it in the treatment of insane women…” Main Point #4
“…To what extent can the insanity of women be medically and surgically treated?—has …hardly been propounded in insane asylums…although its solution in active everyday practice is …of common enough occurrence…” The Rest of the Story Main Point #4 Insane asylums do not even consider surgical cures as treatment for insane women.
“…the patient herself being inclined to recognize a deeper and inner origin for her suffering. …They have not since returned save in one single instance, when an acute attack of the erotic desire, plainly resulting from indulgence in so-called pepper tea, was at once allayed by the application of potassa fusa to the cervix. Now, were not this treatment based…upon a broad and general physiological principle, its effect as a [defense] in similar cases to female chastity, threatened and undermined by sources of irritation within the patient herself, would be sufficient to entitle it to our respectful consideration. The above case must not be thought more pertinent than others of a similar reflex character…there is not erotic desire or other symptoms of genital irritation. However masked, they all instance a single law.” The Case of the Schoolteacher The Rest of the Story Main Point #4
Why did Dr. Perri include this document in the readings for this course? What do the views of insane women tell us about attitudes to sane women? Do you think it would have made any difference if there had been any women doctors in America in the 1860s? How does Storer’s position bolster the later argument against women’s suffrage? Was Storer sincere or a misogynist masquerading as a doctor? Questions To Consider
Myra Bradwell Background Born Myra Colby on February 12, 1831 in Manchester, VT Parents were Eben and Abigail Willey Colby; descendents of Boston settlers Graduated from Elgin Female Seminary where she later taught for a year. Met her husband, James Bolesworth Bradwell, while he was visiting from Tennessee as a law student. Married on May 18, 1852 in Chicago. Had four children, two of which lived into adulthood. Studied law under her husband but put it on hold when the Civil War began. Returned to studies when the war ended.
Background, cont. Founded the publication The Chicago Legal News in 1868, where she was the publisher, business manager, and editor-in-chief. On October 3, 1868 the first issue was published stating: “The News will be…devoted to legal information, general news, the publication of new and important decisions, and of other matters useful to the practicing lawyer or man of business.” Passed the Illinois bar exam in 1869 at the age of 38 with high honors and applied to practice law in Illinois. Illinois Supreme Court denied her application.
Background, cont. Bradwell used her publication to enact legislation to grant many rights to women…one being the right to pursue any occupation a woman chooses. Bradwell never reapplied to the bar, but her original application was accepted making her the first woman member of the Illinois State Bar Association; on March 28, 1892 she was admitted to practice before the US Supreme Court. Myra Bradwell died February 14, 1894 from cancer.
14 th Amendment All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
1) Any citizen or noncitizen does not have the right under the fourteenth amendment to practice law. Mr. Justice Miller “There are certain privileges and immunities which belong to a citizen of the United States as such; otherwise it would be nonsense for the fourteenth amendment to prohibit a State from abridging them, and he proceeds to argue that admission to the bar of a State of a person who possesses the requisite learning and character is one of those which a State may not deny.” “This right in no sense depends on citizenship of the United States. It has not, as far as we know, ever been made in any State, or in any case to depend on citizenship at all. Certainly many prominent and distinguished lawyers have been admitted to practice, both in the State and Federal courts, who were not citizens of the United States or of any State.”
Cont., “The…right to control and regulate the granting of license to practice law in the courts of a State is one of those powers which are not transferred for its protection to the Federal government, and its exercise is in no manner governed or controlled by citizenship of the United States in the party seeking such license.”
2)The prescription of man and woman is set for the family by Natural Law. Mr. Justice Bradley “This is the law of the Creator.” “Man is, or should be, woman’s protector and defender.” “…The civil law, as well as nature herself, has always recognized a wide difference in the respective spheres and destinies of man and woman.” “…a woman had no legal existence separate from her husband, who was regarded as her head and representative in the social state…”
3) Women were made to be timid and delicate, not to be lawyers. Mr. Justice Bradley “…a married woman is incapable, without her husband’s consent, of making contracts which shall be binding on her or him.” “…the Supreme Court of Illinois deemed important in rendering a married woman incompetent fully to perform the duties and trusts that belong to the office of an attorney and counselor.” “It is true that many women are unmarried and not affected by any of the duties, complications, and incapacities arising out of the married state, but these are the exception to the general rule. The paramount destiny and mission of woman are to fulfill the noble and benign offices of wife and mother.”
Myra Bradwell Bradwell v. The State of Illinois (1873), U.S. Supreme Court Main Point 1 (Majority Decision written by Justice Miller): Citizenship does not give one the right, under the fourteenth amendment, to practice law in the courts of a state. “We agree with [counsel] that there are privileges and immunities belonging to citizens of the United States, in that relation and character, and that it is these and these alone which a State is forbidden to abridge. But the right to admission to practice in the courts of a State is not one of them. This right in no sense depends on citizenship of the United States.” p. 84. Justice Samuel Freeman Miller
Main Point 2 (Concurring Opinion by Justice Bradley): Men and women are very different. Women are naturally timid and delicate and there are many occupations for which they are unfit. Man is woman’s protector and defender. …[T]he civil law, as well as nature herself, has always recognized a wide difference in the respective spheres and destinies of man and woman. Man is, or should be, woman's protector and defender. The natural and proper timidity and delicacy which belongs to the female sex evidently unfits it for many of the occupations of civil life. p. 85. Justice Bradley Main Point 3 (Concurring Opinion by Justice Bradley): Women belong to the domestic sphere, and should not adopt a career distinct and independent from that of her husband. The constitution of the family organization, which is founded in the divine ordinance, as well as in the nature of things, indicates the domestic sphere as that which properly belongs to the domain and functions of womanhood. The harmony, not to say identity, of interests and views which belong, or should belong, to the family institution is repugnant to the idea of a woman adopting a distinct and independent career from that of her husband. p. 85.
Main Point 4 (Concurring Opinion by Justice Bradley): God has given women the role of wives and mothers. This is a natural law to which we must adapt, and not be persuaded by exceptional cases. The paramount destiny and mission of woman are to fulfill the noble and benign offices of wife and mother. This is the law of the Creator. And the rules of civil society must be adapted to the general constitution of things, and cannot be based upon exceptional cases. p. 85.
Woman and the New Race by Margaret Sanger 1920
Biographical Information Born September 14, 1979 and died September 6,1966. She was a nurse and a birth control advocate. Margaret was also known as Margaret Louise Higgins Sanger. Worked with poor women on Lower East Side of New York. After Comstock Act of 1873 (forbid distribution of birth control devices and information), she wrote articles for the Socialist Party paper called “The Call.” Wrote “What Every Girl Should Know” in 1916; also wrote “What Every Mother Should Know” in 1917. Founded National Birth Control League in 1914. Arrested several times. Founder of what is now known as Planned Parenthood. Was married twice. Was called a racist and eugenicist by people who opposed birth control and abortion.
Main Point #1 Women accepted the role of assuming the inferior role in the family and it’s their duty to show people they don’t want that forever. – “Only in recent years has woman’s position as the gentler and weaker half of the human family been emphatically and generally questioned. Men assumed that this was woman’s place; woman herself accepted it. It seldom occurred to anyone to ask whether she would go on occupying it forever.” – “…there was no indications that she was desirous of achieving a fundamental change in her position.” – “In accepting her role as the ‘weaker and gentler half,’ she accepted that function. In turn, the acceptance of that function fixed the more firmly her rank as an inferior.”
Main Point #2 Women need to be aware of their bodies. – “Woman’s passivity under the burden of her disastrous task was almost altogether that of ignorant resignation. She knew virtually nothing about her reproductive nature and less about the consequences of her excessive childbearing. It is true that, obeying the inner urge of their natures, some women revolted. They went even to the extreme of infanticide and abortion.”
Main Point #3 Birth control can solve problems that women undeniably face. – “Even as birth control is the means by which woman attains basic freedom, so it is the means by which she must and will up root the evil she was wrought through her submission. As she has unconsciously and ignorantly brought about social disaster, so must and will she consciously and intelligently undo that disaster and create a new and a better order.” – “Woman herself has wrought that bondage through her reproductive powers and while enslaving herself has enslaved the world.”
Main Point #4 The issue of voluntary/involuntary motherhood needs to be brought to the forefront. – “On the very face of the matter, voluntary motherhood is chiefly the concern of the woman.” – “We must examine this phase of her problem in two lights-that of the ideal, and of the conditions working toward the ideal.”
Main Point #5 Women’s work and men’s work needs to be reviewed because of it’s nature. – “It is she who has the long burden of carrying, bearing and rearing the unwanted children. It is she who must watch beside the beds of pain where lie the babies who suffer because they have come into overcrowded homes. It is her heart that the sight of the deformed, the subnormal, the undernourished, the overworked child smites first and oftenest and hardest. It is her love life that dies first in the fear of undesired pregnancy. It is her opportunity for self-expression that perishes first and most hopelessly because of it.”
(Main Point #5 cont.) – “The woman is not needed to do man’s work. She is not needed to think man’s thoughts. She need not fear that the masculine mind, almost universally dominant, will fail to take care of its own. Her mission is not to enhance the masculine spirit, but to express the feminine; hers is not to preserve a man-made world, but to create a human world by the infusion of the feminine element into all of its activities.”
One last quote… “Birth control is woman’s problem. The quicker she accepts it as hers and hers alone, the quicker will society respect motherhood. The quicker, too, will the world be made a fit place for her children to live.” ~Margaret Sanger~
Whether it was the tyranny of monarchy, an oligarchy or a republic, the one indispensable factor of its existence was, as it is now, hordes of human beings—human beings so plentiful as to be cheap, and so cheap that ignorance was their natural lot. Upon the rock of an unenlightened, submissive maternity have these been founded; upon the product of such a maternity have they flourished. No period of low wages or of idleness with their want among the workers, no peonage or sweatshop, no child-labor factory, ever came into being, save from the same source. Nor have famine and plague been as much “acts of God” as acts of too prolific mothers. Unknowingly, women replenish the poor insane criminal hungry ranks of prostitutes legions of soldiers to die in foreign conquests (due to pressures of overpopulation) [In the mass, women] went on breeding with staggering rapidity those numberless, undesired children who become the clogs and the destroyers of civilizations. In her submission lies her error and her guilt. By her failure to withhold the multitudes of children who have made inevitable the most flagrant of our social evils, she incurred a debt to society. War, famine, poverty, and oppression of the workers will continue while woman makes life cheap. They will cease only when she limits her reproductivity and human life is no longer a thing to be wasted. Main Point 1: Much of humankind’s misery can be attributed to women’s ignorance about reproductivity, women’s acceptance of inferior status, and women’s willingness to unthinkingly submit to the will of their men and have numerous children. The result has been the cheapening of life through over-population. Margaret Sanger, Women and the New Race (1920)
Main Point 2. Through sex education and birth control, women will gain free motherhood and become liberated. They will also be remaking the world into a more humane and less miserable place. The most important force in the remaking of the world is a free motherhood....she may, by controlling birth, lift motherhood to the plane of a voluntary, intelligent function, and remake the world. Millions of women are asserting their right to voluntary motherhood. They are determined to decide for themselves whether they shall become mothers, under what conditions and when. This is the fundamental revolt referred to. It is for women the key to the temple of liberty. Even as birth control is the means by which woman attains basic freedom, so it is the means by which she must and will uproot the evil she has wrought through her submission. …she must emerge from her ignorance and assume her responsibility. She can do this only when she has awakened to a knowledge of herself and of the consequences of her ignorance. The first step is birth control. Through birth control she will attain to voluntary motherhood. Having attained this, the basic freedom of her sex, she will cease to enslave herself and the mass of humanity Birth control is woman’s problem. The quicker she accepts it as hers and hers alone, the quicker will society respect motherhood. The quicker, too, will the world be made a fit place for her children to live.
Main Point 3: Women need to value themselves for who they are. They also need to educate themselves (know thyself). The problem of birth control has arisen directly from the effort of the feminine spirit to free itself from bondage. Woman herself has wrought that bondage through her reproductive powers and while enslaving herself she enslaved the world. Her mission is not to enhance the masculine spirit, but to express the feminine; hers is not to preserve a man-made world, but to create a human world by the infusion of the feminine element into all of its activities. She goes through the vale of death alone, each time a babe is born. As it is the right neither of man nor the state to coerce her into this ordeal, so it is her right to decide whether she will endure it. That right to decide imposes upon her the duty of clearing the way to knowledge by which she may make and carry out the decision.
Background Born July 16, 1862 in Holly Springs, MS six months before Emancipation Proclamation. Both parents worked and continued to work for the same man after Emancipation. Her father also worked in politics and became a trustee of Rust College, which was a freedman’s school that Ida later attended.
Background At 16 her parents and 9 month old brother died from yellow fever She convinced the school she was already 18 so she could begin teaching and support her surviving siblings
Background 1884 she was forced to change train cars and later sued the train company. 1889 she became co-owner and editor of Free Speech, an anti-segregationist newspaper based in Memphis. 1892 the father of her goddaughter was lynched and she used the paper to denounce the lynching and endorse economic retaliation
Background 1900 spoke for woman suffrage 1909 founding member of NAACP 1910 helped found and became president of the Negro Fellowship League March 25, 1931 died of uremia
1) White men made excuses as to why they had the right to lynch black men without the formality of judicial trial and legal execution. “The first excuse given to the civilized world for the murder of unoffending Negroes was the necessity of the white man to repress and stamp out alleged “race riots”. “The second excuse, which had its birth during reconstruction…by an amendment to the Constitution the Negro was given the right to franchise, and theoretically at least, his ballot became his invaluable emblem of citizenship.” “…the third excuse-that Negroes had to be killed to avenge their assaults upon women.”
2) White men in the South claim chivalry, an attribute they do not possess. “ True chivalry respects all womanhood, and no one who reads the record, as it is written in the faces of the million mulattoes in the South, will for a minute conceive that the southern white man had a very chivalrous regard for the honor due the women of his own race or respect for the womanhood which circumstances placed in his power.” “When emancipation came to the Negroes…the noblest, purest, and best white women of the North, who felt called to a mission to educate and Christianize the millions of ex-slaves…They were …unpardonable offenders in the social ethics of the South, and were insulted, persecuted and ostracized, not by Negroes, but by the white manhood which boasts of its chivalry toward women.”
3)White people would lie and exaggerate to serve their purpose. Case 1) Tortured and Burned in Texas o “The crime of murder was of itself bad enough, and to prove that against [Henry] Smith would have been amply sufficient in Texas to have committed him to the gallows…The truth was bad enough, but the white people of the community made it a point to exaggerate every detail of the awful affair, and to inflame the public mind so that nothing less than immediate and violent death would satisfy the populace. As a matter of fact, the child was not brutally assaulted…” o “They absolutely refused to make any inquiry as to the sanity or insanity of their prisoner, but set the day and hour when in the presence of assembled thousands they put their helpless victim to the stake, tortured him, and then burned him to death for the delectation and satisfaction of Christian people.”
Case 2) Lynched for Anything or Nothing “…Two women driving to town in a wagon, were suddenly accosted by Lee Walker. He claimed that he demanded something to eat. The women claimed that he attempted to assault them…At once the dispatches spread over the entire country that a big, burly Negro had brutally assaulted two women.” “…At 12 o’clock last night, Lee Walker…was taken from the county jail and hanged to a telegraph pole just north of the prison.” “It proved too much for a large part of the crowd…but a large number stay…not a bit set back by the sight of a human body being burned to ashes…some remarked on the efficacy of this style of cure for rapists, others rejoiced that men’s wives and daughters were now safe from this wretch.”
4) Political figures promised protection but failed to do so. “John Peterson was suspected of rape, but escaped, went to Columbia, and placed himself under Gov. Tillman’s protection…” “Governor Tillman, who had during his canvass for re-election the year before, declared that he would lead a mob to lynch a Negro that assaulted a white woman, gave Peterson up to the mob.”
5) Black men were lynched as a warning to others. “The relationship had been sustained for more than a year, and yet this colored man was apprehended, thrown into jail from whence he was taken by a mob of one hundred neighbors and hung to a tree and his body riddled with bullets.” “‘Warning to all Negroes that are too intimate with white girls. This the work of one hundred best citizens of the South Side.’”
Questions: Why would people go in herds to watch these lynchings take place? Did any of these cases surprise you? How long did it take for these actions to change?
born Booker Taliaferro in 1856 on the Burroughs tobacco farm in Virginia mother was a cook; father was white man from nearby farm went to school but only to carry books for the daughters of James Burroughs “I had the feeling that to get into a schoolhouse and study would be about the same as getting into paradise.” in 1865, left for West Virginia after the Emancipation Proclamation James & Elizabeth Burroughs Booker T. Washington’s childhood home 189
at age 16, he walked 200 miles back to Virginia to attend The Hampton Agricultural Institute, a new school for black students guiding force behind the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, founded in 1888 married three times: Fannie Smith, Olivia Smith and Margaret Murray wrote autobiography, Up From Slavery, in 1901 called The Great Accommodator by critics died at Tuskegee in 1915 “There was no period of my life devoted to play. From the time that I can remember anything, almost everyday of my life has been occupied in some kind of labor.” 190
Tuskegee Institute originally known as the Tuskegee Negro Normal Institute; opened on July 4, 1888 school taught academics but emphasized practical education: farming, carpentry, brick making, shoemaking and cabinetmaking Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller donated large sums of money to the school many graduates became teachers today, the main campus has 161 buildings, on 268 acres, with 5,000 students, faculty and staff “The opportunity to earn a dollar in a factory just now is worth infinitely more than the opportunity to spend a dollar in an opera house.” 191
Main Points: Atlanta Exposition Address 1.One-third of the South’s population is black, and this potential can no longer be ignored. “One-third of the population of the South is of the Negro race. No enterprise seeking the material, civil, or moral welfare of this section can disregard this element of our population and reach the highest success.” “…but the opportunity here afforded will awaken among us a new era of industrial progress.” 192
Main Points cont. 2.It is critical for black people to start at the bottom, work their way up, and to cultivate a relationship with the Southern white man, for here lies opportunity. Don’t rock the boat. “Cast down your bucket where you are…cast it down in agriculture, mechanics, in commerce, in domestic service, and in the professions. And in this connection it is well to bear in mind that whatever other sins the South may be called to bear, when it comes to business, pure and simple, it is in the South that the Negro is given a man’s chance in the commercial world…” “It is at the bottom of life we must begin, and not at the top. Nor should we permit our grievances to overshadow our opportunities.” 193
Main Point 2 cont. “Our greatest danger is that in the great leap from slavery to freedom, we may overlook the fact that the masses of us are to live by the productions of our hands, and fail to keep in mind that we shall prosper in proportion as we learn to dignify and glorify common labor…” “No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem. The wisest among my race understand that the agitation of questions of social equality is the extremest [sic] folly, and that progress in the enjoyment of all the privileges that will come to us must be the result of severe and constant struggle.” 3. For white people, it is equally important to help black people achieve success, for they will reward you with loyalty and hard work. “Cast down your bucket among these people who have, without strikes and labor wars, tilled your fields, cleared your forests, builded [sic] your railroads and cities, and brought forth treasures from the bowels of the earth, and helped make it possible this magnificent progress of the South.” Andrew Carnegie with Washington 194
Main Point 3 cont. “Casting down your bucket among my people, helping and encouraging them…you will find that they will buy your surplus land, make blossom the waste places in your fields, and run your factories.” “While doing this, you can be sure in the future, as in the past, that you and your families will be surrounded by the most patient, faithful, law- abiding, and unresentful [sic] people that the world has seen.” “As we have proved our loyalty to you in the past, in nursing your children, watching by the sick- bed of your mothers and fathers, and often following them with tear-dimmed eyes to their graves, so in the future, in our humble way, we shall stand by you with a devotion that no foreigner can approach 195
4. The choice for the white man is this: help us or hurt yourselves. “Nearly sixteen millions of hands will aid you in pulling the load upward, or they will pull against you the load downward. We shall constitute one- third and more of the ignorance and crime of the South, or one-third its intelligence and progress; we shall contribute one-third to the business and industrial prosperity of the South, or we shall prove a veritable body of death, stagnating, depressing, retarding every effort to advance the body politic.” Washington with Mark Twain 196
5. Blacks and whites do not have to socialize together, but they must work together for mutual benefit. “In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress. 197
Aftermath 198 Washington’s speech made him an national figure when newspapers reported on his conservative ideas Presidents Taft and Roosevelt both visited with Washington; Roosevelt’s invitation for Washington to visit the White House angered many Southern whites Washington was excoriated by W.E. B. Du Bois in his work The Soul of Black Folks; Washington retaliated with his own criticisms of the Niagara Movement Du Bois and 22 other prominent African-Americans signed the following statement: "We are compelled to point out that Mr. Washington's large financial responsibilities have made him dependent on the rich charitable public and that, for this reason, he has for years been compelled to tell, not the whole truth, but that part of it which certain powerful interests in America wish to appear as the whole truth."
199 Questions to Consider 1.What did Washington hope that African-Americans would gain by abandoning their long-standing insistence on equal rights? 2.How might George Bancroft have viewed Washington’s advice to African-Americans?
Main Point: We should concentrate on work and progress. Blacks and whites need stop fighting, agitating and relocating. The South will progress if we work together. We only hurt ourselves by fighting.
THE MESSAGE FOR BLACKS: Work hard, and do not agitate for equality. Start at the bottom and work your way up. Cast it down in agriculture, mechanics, in commerce, in domestic service, and in the professions. …when it comes to business…, it is in the South that the Negro is given a man’s chance in the commercial world…. Our greatest danger is that in the great leap from slavery to freedom we may overlook the fact that the masses of us are to live by the productions of our hands, and fail to keep in mind that we shall prosper in proportion as we learn to dignify and glorify common labour and put brains and skill into the common occupations of life…. No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem. It is at the bottom of life we must begin, and not at the top. The wisest among my race understand that the agitation of questions of social equality is the extremist folly, and that progress in the enjoyment of all the privileges that will come to us must be the result of severe and constant struggle rather than of artificial forcing. However, working together does not necessary include socializing together.
THE MESSAGE FOR WHITES: We are a loyal and humble people who serve you well if you treat us well. It is in your interest to encourage and help black people. Cast it down among the eight millions of Negroes whose habits you know, whose fidelity and love you have tested….. Cast down your bucket among these people who have without strikes and labor wars tilled your fields, cleared your forests, builded your railroads and cities, brought forth treasures from the bowels of the earth, just to make possible this magnificent representation of the progress of the South. Casting down bucket among my people, helping and encouraging them as you are doing on these grounds, and to education of head, hand, and heart, you will find that they will buy your surplus land, make blossom the waste places in your fields, and run your factories. While doing this, you can be sure in the future, as in the past, that you and your families will be surrounded by the most patient, faithful, law-abiding, and unresentful people that the world has seen. As we have proved our loyalty to you in the past, in nursing your children, watching by the sickbed of your mothers and fathers, and often following them with tear-dimmed eyes to their graves, so in the future, in our humble way, we shall stand by you with a devotion that no foreigner can approach, ready to lay down our lives,…. [We will interlace ] our industrial, commercial, civil, and religious life with yours in a way that shall make the interests of both races one.
THE MESSAGE FOR WHITES: If white people insist on keeping the Negro down, they will only be hurting themselves. Nearly sixteen millions of hands will aid you in pulling the load upward, or they will pull against you the load downward. We shall constitute one-third and more of the ignorance and crime of the South, or one- third its intelligence and progress; we shall contribute one-third to the business and industrial prosperity of the South, or we shall prove a veritable body, of death, stagnating, depressing, retarding every effort to advance the body politic. Stamp commemorating Booker T. Washington Issue Date: April 7, 1940
SIGNIFICANT FINE POINT FOR BOTH RACES: We do not have to socialize together, but we should work together for the common cause of development. In all things that are purely social we call be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.
W.E.B. Du Bois, Strivings of the Negro People (1897) Main Points: 1. Being a problem [i.e. being an black person in 19th c. America] is a disturbing experience, compelling one to always take other people’s estimation of them in consideration and creating a double- consciousness. [T]he Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second-sight in this American world,-- a world which yields him no self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world. It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. (p. 123)
2. The African American feels his duality of being both African and American. One ever feels his two-ness, — an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder. The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife, — this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost. He does not wish to Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa; he does not wish to bleach his Negro blood in a flood of white Americanism, for he believes — foolishly, perhaps, but fervently — that Negro blood has yet a message for the world. He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without losing the opportunity of self-development. (p. 123) 3. The end of the Negro’s striving is “to be a co-worker in the kingdom of culture, to escape both death and isolation, and to husband and use his best powers. (p. 123)
3. Prejudice and discrimination keep the freedman oppressed. The freedman has not yet found in freedom his promised land. Whatever of lesser good may have come in these years of change, the shadow of a deep disappointment rests upon the Negro people…. (p. 88) 4. Americans, including white Americans, should appreciate the Negro race. Work, culture, and liberty,--all these we need, not singly, but together; for to-day these ideals among the Negro people are gradually coalescing, and finding a higher meaning in the unifying ideal of race,--the ideal of fostering the traits and talents of the Negro, not in opposition to, but in conformity with, the greater ideals of the American republic, in order that some day, on American soil, two world races may give each to each those characteristics which both so sadly lack. (p. 88)
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Niagara Movement, (1905) 1.We should meet, despite the existence of other organizations for Negroes. 2.We must complain about common wrongs toward blacks. We must complain. Yes, plain, blunt complaint, ceaseless agitation, unfailing exposure of dishonesty and wrong—this is the ancient, unerring way to liberty, and we must follow it. (p. 100) 3.In not a single instance has the justice of our demands been denied, but then come the excuses.
Abrams v. United States Court case brought before the Supreme Court and decided upon in 1919, during America’s involvement with the Great War. This court case set a precedent for the Clear and Present Danger Test, and it questioned whether or not Congress should pass laws that inhibited the constitutional right on the freedom of speech. This case also tried the defendants under the Espionage Act.
Point One “The Hypocrisy of the United State and her allies.” “He (the President) is too much of a coward to come out openly and say: We capitalistic nations cannot afford to have a proletarian republic in Russia. What the defendants were saying in the pamphlet was that the US was targeting Russia for its form of government. US is a democracy with a capitalistic economy.
Point Two “ The Russian Revolution cries: Workers of the World! Awake! Rise! Put down your enemy and mine! Yes! Friends, there is only one enemy of the workers of the world and that is capitalism.” Abrams testified in court that the US was a capitalistic nation and therefore an enemy. The Russians believed that you had to be selfless and work for the greater good. Russians viewed capitalism as evil and corrupt. The court probably viewed his statement as a threat.
Point Three “ With the money which you have loaned, or are going to loan them, they will make bullets not only for the Germans, but also for the Workers Soviets of Russia. Workers of the ammunition factories, you are producing the bullets, bayonets, cannon, to murder not only Germans, but also your dearest, best, who are in Russia and fighting for freedom.” The defendants were stating within the pamphlet that people supporting the war effort would be indirectly responsible for the murder of their fellow Russians. This in essence was seen as betrayal.
Point Four “ Persecution for the expression of opinions seems to me perfectly logical. If you have no doubt of your premises or your power and want certain result with all your heart you naturally express your wishes in law and sweep away all opposition.” Justice Holmes Justice Holmes dissented his opinion with the court’s ruling. He believed that this issue should never have been brought before the court. “ It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment.. While that experiment is part of our system I think we should be vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death”
Point Four Cont. What Holmes is saying is that the public should be able to express their opinions and that by bringing this to court, we are promoting censorship in our own country. “ Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech.” … “I regret that I cannot put into more expressive words my belief that in their conviction upon this indictment the defendants were deprived of their rights under the Constitution of the United States.”
Justice Holmes’ opinion He believed that the Constitution of the United States already had decided that Congress should not pass laws inhibiting the freedom of speech. He questioned the integrity of the court’s decision to punish the defendants for something that was clearly not a danger to American society and would have sorted itself out eventually in the wake of other opinions.
Questions to consider Did the Clear and Present Danger Test allow Congress a power that isn’t granted in the Constitution originally? Is this ruling a product of the time period or something more? Would the court’s opinion been any different if the defendants were citizens of the US instead of Russian citizens?