Presentation on theme: "With malice toward none, with charity for all"— Presentation transcript:
1 With malice toward none, with charity for all What is America? Poli 110J 06With malice toward none, with charity for all
2 Midterms Yay! HARD COPY due at the START of class, Tuesday, Oct. 19 5-7 pagesPrompts posted at course website: adamgomez.wordpress.com/teaching/110JFA2010
3 Midterms Your paper must have: A thesis statement One to three sentences, in the first paragraphClearer is better. Thesis should be argumentative:“In this paper I will discuss the causes of the Civil War.” -- NOT a thesis statement.“Slavery was the primary cause of the Civil War.” -- Acceptable.“The primary cause of the Civil War was slavery, which produced economic, political, and moral conflicts between North and South that ultimately could not be resolved by peaceful means.” -- Better.
4 Midterm Page numbers Paragraphs. 5 page minimum, less will count against gradeParagraphs.Seriously, you have to have paragraphs.Also, no swearing or text abbreviations.For heaven’s sake, people.CitationsOk to cite lecture. Refer to it by lecture number (for example, lecture #6 for today)MUST cite & quote the texts appropriate to your chosen prompt.Page numbers, sections, articles, issue numbers, etc.
5 Midterms Standard margins, font size, line spacing, etc. We were undergraduates once, we know about Courier New.While grammar is not a major element in your grades, it does matter.If your grader does not understand what you’re saying, your grader does not understand what you’re saying.Papers MUST be submitted to turnitin.comClass ID:Enrollment password: PowerUSA
6 Midterms Your graders: Aaron Cotkin Andrew Bruck firstname.lastname@example.org Extra office hours this week TBA on website
7 1. “America is a community of belief, and the shared political beliefs of Americans are the foundation of their political identity.” Support or refute this statement, with reference to three authors in the class so far, one of whom must be Reinhold Niebuhr.
8 2. It has been argued in this course that the definition of the political community is in itself an act of power. Agree, disagree, or modify this argument with reference to three authors from the course so far.
9 3. On page 171 of The Irony of American History, Reinhold Niebuhr describes Lincoln as “an almost perfect model” of an American leader. To what extent does Lincoln’s view of American history fit Niebuhr’s description of that history as “ironic”?
10 Gettysburg July 1-3, 1863, after Lee’s invasion of the North 95,000 Union soldiers, 75,000 Confederate23,000 Union and 28,000 Confederate casualtiesMyth of Lee’s invincibility broken, major turning point in the warPickett’s Charge
11 Gettysburg Address Main Themes: America is a nation founded in and directed toward equalityAmericans can succeed or fail in this chargeThe Union is the definitive test case for democracyRedemptive potential of the current crisisCentral metaphors of birth, death, and rebirthGiving the war meaning by embedding it w/in greater narrative
12 Gettysburg Address“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”Biblical method of datingLanguage of conception & birthEquality the central ideal of American politics, it is the telos.Defining the American community
13 Gettysburg Address“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”The war is an ordeal, a testThe case of the US is determinative. Can democratic republican governments endure w/o succumbing to anarchy or tyranny?
14 Gettysburg Address They came to dedicate the cemetery, “as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live”Gave their livesDied so the nation might liveMartyrs
15 Gettysburg AddressIt is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. 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 gave the last full measure of devotion…
16 Gettysburg AddressThe living must show greater devotion even than the deadThe great task is not the war, but the national pursuit of equality.
17 ---that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain---that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom---and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
18 Gettysburg AddressBy the blood of martyrs, the US will be born anew, purified of its gravest sin.But we can fail, we must show necessary resolve.“Under God”Religious authorization of refounded Republic, but also chastened by knowledge of its higher accountability
19 Gettysburg AddressAll of the people, the polity includes all Americans regardless of whites.The community is defined by its belief in equality, not in particular origins or racial classes
20 Gettysburg Address “perish from the earth” Jeremiah 10 Promise of divine retributionThe fallibility of human works
21 Second Inaugural Powerlessness of human effort Spiritual equality political humility, forgivenessSpiritual unity of the USCritical position on self, politics, the war
22 Second Inaugural4 years before, there was cause for extented remark. “Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the nation, little that is new could be presented.”The binding power of history over the present
23 Second Inaugural“The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself; and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.”The present is uncertain, the future utterly opaqueThe limits on human action
24 Second Inaugural“On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it—all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war—seeking to dissolve the Union, and divide effects, by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came.”
25 Second Inaugural‘All’ or ‘both’ said four times: emphasis on fundamental national unityPassive voice: ‘While the inaugural address was being delivered’War emphasized, it is inevitable: ‘war’ said 7 times (9 if you count ‘it’)
26 ‘And the war came.’abolitionist Wendell Phillips, January 8, 1852: “Revolutions are not made; they come. A revolution is as natural a growth as an oak. It comes out of the past. Its foundations are laid far back.”But for Lincoln there is nothing natural here. It comes like lightning out of the sky.
27 Second Inaugural“All knew that this [slave] interest was, somehow, the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union; while the government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it.”Slavery the war’s causeSouth more responsible
28 Second Inaugural But the plans of all have failed: “Neither party expected for the war the magnitude, or the duration, which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with, or even before, the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding.”
29 Second InauguralNeither/neither/each: the sections are joined in their failureLincoln includes himself in this failure: his plans have had results that he never predictedThe results are ‘fundamental’, astounding. The US has been transformed.Though he led, he was not in control any more than anyone else
30 Second Inaugural“Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not that we not be judged”
31 Second Inaugural Shift to the present, here and now Again, emphasis on unityGenesis 3:23 “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”The curse of God for disobedienceSlaveowners disobey God’s will
32 Second Inaugural Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that ye be not judged” From Sermon on the MountSuggests both the mercy and judgment of GodWhile the South bears more responsibility, the North is not without flaw. Universality of sin means that a people should always first criticize themselves.Equality and forgiveness
33 Second Inaugural“The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has his own purposes.”God the major actor in the drama of the warBoth sides could not winNeither side has truly gotten what it wantedGod’s will over all history, distinct from human plans and desiresHumans rendered equal in this way
34 Second Inaugural‘Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!’Matt. 18:7God’s will controls history, nothing can go against the will of God.Yet individuals remain responsible for their sins
35 Second InauguralIf we shall suppose that American Slavery is once of those offences which, in the Providence of God, must needs come, but which having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war, as the woe due those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a Living God always ascribe to Him?
36 Second Inaugural “American” Slavery was An offence to GodAllowed by GodWilled by God to end nowNorth and South EQUALLY guilty before God, though not before humansDivine justice vs. human justicePerfection a dichotomous variable
37 Second Inaugural“Fondly do we hope—fervently do we pray—that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away.”Humans can do nothing to alter God’s will. They must humble themselves and pray that God’s mercy is greater than his justiceDistilling moral & religious meaning from the bewildering events and destruction of the War
38 Second Inaugural Shared moral community of Americans Both guilty in their shared failure to uphold equalityBoth powerless to resist the will of GodTranscendence of GodNot some tribal deityHis justice and purposes are very much different from those of humans.
39 Second InauguralYet if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still must it be said ‘the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.’
40 Second Inaugural The US is guilty enough to deserve destruction Slavery a mortal transgression against American obligation to equalityAffirms the perfection of divine justice over human claims to justiceThough the justice of God is inscrutable, it is nonetheless perfectly just“three thousand years ago”: these ideas predate the US, & may outlast them by as muchJust as the war is not the product of human agency, neither will be its end
41 Second Inaugural The judgments of the Lord Psalm 19 Lincoln must somehow act ethicallywithin a context beyond his comprehensionwith outcomes that are impossible to firmly predictand be judged by the inscrutable mind of God according to standards that he cannot fully understand humility as political good
42 Second InauguralWith malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in”Forgiveness motivated by recognition of moral equalityAct firmly in the right, as God gives us to see itMoral conviction & moral humility
43 Second Inaugural“to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan—to do all which may achieve a just and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”Atonement between North & SouthAtonement between America & its GodPolitical humility: don’t strive for utopia, strive for a better worldEquality demonstrated in a commitment to alleviated suffering
44 Second InauguralMen are not flattered by being shown that there has been a difference of purpose between the Almighty and them. To deny it, however, in this case, is to deny that there is a God governing the world.If God is always on your side, is he really there?
45 Second InauguralIt is a truth which I thought needed to be told; and as whatever there is of humiliation there is in it, falls most directly on myself, I thought others might afford for me to tell it.Why does the humiliation fall most directly on him?
47 Long-term outcomes of the Civil War Federal government decisively rendered superior to state governmentsBlacks being citizens, racial equality becomes civil rights issueNecessities of war lead to dramatic expansion, bureaucracratization of federal gov’tPush to homogenize law across statesExpanded power of corporations, closer ties to government