Thomas Jefferson: Champion of liberty or dangerous radical? — with Robert Bork (1994) | THINK TANK


Ben Wattenberg: Hello. I’m Ben Wattenberg. On July 4, 1776, our Founding Fathers cut
America’s ties with England by adopting the Declaration of Independence. The author of their manifesto was only 33
years old: Thomas Jefferson, philosopher, diplomat, president, slaveholder, and sometime
radical. Who was Thomas Jefferson, and what would he
think of our nation today? Joining us to sort through the conflict and
the consensus are Judge Robert Bork of the American Enterprise Institute and author of
“The Tempting of America”; Professor Peter Onuf, the holder of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial
Foundation chair at the University of Virginia and editor of “Jefferson Legacies”; James
Oliver Horton, a scholar of the Jeffersonian era, professor of history and American studies
at George Washington University, and author of “Free People of Color: Inside the African
American Community”; and Jan Lewis of Rutgers University and author of “The Pursuit of
Happiness: Family and Values in Jefferson’s Virginia.” The question before this house: What about
Jefferson? This week on “Think Tank.” In 1962, at a dinner honoring Nobel Prize
winners, President John F. Kennedy said, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection
of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House,
with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” Some historians say that Thomas Jefferson
was the last Renaissance man. The author of the Declaration of Independence
and third president of the United States spoke six languages and was an accomplished inventor,
naturalist, mathematician, and architect. Jefferson personally designed his home, Monticello,
as well as the University of Virginia. Jefferson’s greatest legacy, of course,
is the Declaration of Independence. It is probably the single most recognized
and copied political document in the world. Its powerful words still resonate everywhere:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they
are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Now, how could the man who wrote those stirring
words own 150 slaves? And unlike George Washington, who freed all
of his slaves upon his death, Jefferson freed only five. But he thought slavery would not last, declaring,
“Nothing is more certainly written in the Book of Faith than that these people are to
be free.” Political life was not easy for Jefferson. His hatred of aristocracy made him a strong
supporter of the French Revolution. His enemies charged that he was too fond of
popular uprisings, calling him “Mad Tom” and “the Robespierre of the American mob.” But supporters hailed him as “the mammoth
of democracy” and as “the man of the people.” He died on July 4, 1826. On his tomb, he asked to be remembered as
“the author of the Declaration of Independence, the founder of the University of Virginia,
and author of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom.” Professor Onuf — Peter Onuf, let’s start
out. What kind of a man was he? Peter Onuf: Jefferson was an extraordinary
man, as your list of his achievements indicates. We still don’t know what to make of him,
though. I think the notion of Renaissance man is a
kind of fudge. He’s everything, which means that we don’t
really know what he is. What’s most remarkable about Jefferson the
democrat is that if anybody represents the aristocratic impulses in America before the
Revolution, it’s Jefferson and his class in Virginia. In effect, he’s the cream of the Virginia
aristocracy, and it’s remarkable that he could embrace these ideas that we now take
to be the defining ideas of democracy. Ben Wattenberg: Jim Horton? James Horton: Jefferson is an extraordinary
man — was an extraordinary man. He was also a very complicated man. In that regard, I think he becomes the personification,
really, of American society. He is a person of great principle, but a person
who cannot always achieve that which his principles would dictate. I think the same can be said of our society
— great principles, but we don’t always live up to them. Ben Wattenberg: Jan Lewis? Jan Lewis: I’d like to go back to a point
that Peter made and talk about this conundrum or paradox that Jefferson is the exponent
of democracy, yet in many ways he comes from an aristocratic background. Historians, I don’t think, have ever been
able to explain fully that paradox. How a man of such privilege — and he in
many ways maintained privilege in that beautiful setting at Monticello — how he was able
to go beyond his background and come up with ideas that are supposed to apply to all people
and that all people have chosen as their banner. Ben Wattenberg: Bob Bork, Judge Bork, lawyer
Bork. And you are surrounded by historians here. What do you make of Jefferson as a lawgiver,
law writer? I mean, that’s what he is principally known
as, I guess. Robert Bork: Well, if you mean the Declaration
of Independence, of course that is really in part a propaganda document; it’s a rhetorical
document. It’s not really part of our law. I suppose to the Virginia Statute of Religious
Freedom was a great achievement, but I don’t think of Jefferson primarily as a lawgiver. Ben Wattenberg: Why not? I mean, he — Robert Bork: Well, for one thing, you know,
if Jefferson’s principles had prevailed, they would have destroyed the United States. The Union would have been gone. He thought, for example, that the states could
nullify acts of Congress if they thought they were — if each state thought it was unconstitutional. He didn’t believe in judicial review. He thought each branch of government could
decide constitutionality for itself. Ben Wattenberg: That was the great fight with
Chief Justice Marshall? Robert Bork: Yes, that was part of the fight
with Marshall. He wanted a new Constitutional Convention
every 20 years. James Madison talked him out of that one. But obviously, if these principles had prevailed,
we would have —the states would have fragmented, and the Union would have been destroyed. Peter Onuf: I think it’s only fair to say,
Bob, that if Hamilton’s principles had prevailed, the same thing would have happened. Robert Bork: Well, that could well be. Ben Wattenberg: Was Jefferson a radical? Is that fair to say? I mean, all this stuff about “watering the
tree of liberty with human blood every 20 years,” that sort of stuff? Peter Onuf: Well, I think some of his rhetoric
was radical. And just to get back to the point you were
making here, his notions about being able to review — each state being able to review
and to decide congressional rulings for themselves. I mean, that comes in the context of the fear
that he had that the Federalists at the time of the Sedition Act were really concentrating
power in the hands of the federal government to a dangerous extent. So in some ways, that was a reaction. I’m not sure that if the context had been
different, he would have held to that belief. Robert Bork: Well, certainly when he interpreted
the Constitution, he interpreted federal power very narrowly, and this would have been a
very different nation if he had prevailed. Ben Wattenberg: Let me ask you a question. If Thomas Jefferson were alive today, would
he be a Democrat or a Republican, Jan? Jan Lewis: My son — I have to introduce
this by saying, my son, who is 16 and was attending many of the festivities around Jefferson’s
250th birthday last year, got so frustrated with this question that he insisted, if Thomas
Jefferson were alive today, he’d be 250 years old. [Laughter.] And I think I have to resist that sort of
question because the times were so extraordinarily different. That much said, I will say that we can follow
different parts of the Jeffersonian legacy, and they go in very different directions. As Bob has suggested, there is a states’
rights Jefferson that leads to nullification and to the Southern side of the Civil War,
and you can see those ideas developing. At the same time, there is Jefferson the rights
giver, and who leads to the sort of rights consciousness that we associate with liberal
Democrats. So there are different parts of his legacy
that lead in very different directions. Ben Wattenberg: How could a man who — I
mean, at times when you read about him, he sounds like sort of an agrarian nut. I mean, he hates cities. He hates mobs. He hates people in cities. How could a man like that be a member of the
Democratic Party today? James Horton: He distrusts cities. Peter Onuf: I think that’s misleading, in
any case, that notion of his hating cities. He’s a very urbane man. He loves urbanity and civility — that is,
the good things that cities bring. His political project is in opposition to
the metropolis, the concentration of power that he resisted in the patriotic resistance
movement before the Revolution, and the danger that such concentrations would be — emerge
in America under the aegis of a Hamiltonian system. James Horton: And to show you how complex
and how contradictory he was, you’re absolutely right that he feared the concentration of
federal power. But he used federal power when he was in the
federal office, when he was president of the United States — for example, the Louisiana
Purchase, which expanded the size of the United States several times. Ben Wattenberg: And which was unconstitutional. James Horton: Which was — at least he was
not sure that it was constitutional and said that, that he was not sure it was constitutional. Ben Wattenberg: Judge Bork, was it unconstitutional? Robert Bork: Probably was, probably was, but
there was a great disconnect between Jefferson’s words and his actions as president. In fact, when he was president, he had to
evade all of the principles that he had laid down before he became president. Not only the Louisiana Purchase, but he sent
out the Navy and the Marine Corps to Tripoli to attack the Barbary pirates. Ben Wattenberg: Without getting congressional
approval. Robert Bork: That’s right. One of the earliest precedents for a president
initiating hostilities without a declaration of war. Ben Wattenberg: What about his attitude toward
race and slavery? How do we deal with that now? James Horton: Jefferson — well, he was obviously
a slaveholder, obviously a man who was uncomfortable with the institution of slavery, who thought
the institution of slavery was wrong, and even so, could not bring himself to free his
own slaves. He only freed eight slaves his entire — well,
three during his lifetime, five in his will. A man with some 200 slaves who never moved
to the position of liberalism on the question of slavery that many in his own time, in his
own region did. So that although he was in some ways a leader
in terms of democratic thinking, he was — he lagged behind more progressive thinking on
the question of slavery, even for his time period. Robert Bork: Well, I think early on he proposed
a measure that no slavery would be allowed in new states, and he lost that by one vote
in the Congress. James Horton: Sure, but when the new states
were actually opening up — 1820s — he went exactly in the opposite direction. He denounced all that, said that slavery ought
to be allowed wherever it would expand. Peter Onuf: I think we have to understand
the limits of the notion of equality, and to some extent, we have to accept that when
Jefferson articulates universal principles, he comes up against a difference which he
can’t accommodate in his scheme. That is, it’s one of the aspects of liberalism
to generalize and universalize rights that we define ever more clearly the boundary between
those who are capable of bearing rights and those who are not. This is where Jefferson’s racism comes to
the fore — what we would call his racism. He naturalized difference. He couldn’t accept artificial difference
— that is, aristocracy — where privileged families would rule over others. But there were differences, for instance,
in the family, between men and women, parents and children, between races. He believed that African Americans were naturally
inferior. Jan Lewis: Yeah, I think when we read his
statement in the “Notes from the State of Virginia” about blacks, they make us extremely
uncomfortable today, and that this is a paradox with Jefferson. I mean he knows — he absolutely knows that
slavery is wrong. Everyone at the time knows that Jefferson
is opposed to slavery, particularly at the time of the Revolution. There is no question where the Declaration
of Independence leads: that it will lead to the elimination of slavery. At the same time, Jefferson plays around with
and creates a racism today that makes us, I think, very uncomfortable when we read those
words. Ben Wattenberg: Did Thomas Jefferson have
an affair with Sally Hemings, a slave on his plantation? James Horton: Obviously, we don’t know the
answer to that question. There is lots of circumstantial evidence that
he did, but there is no smoking gun. I don’t know of anybody who could testify,
“Yes, I know for sure that he did.” Peter Onuf: The only argument I would make
against the relationship — and I don’t like to put myself in the position of defending
Jefferson on this, but I think the main reason why it’s not likely to have happened is
that he was such a racist. And for him, miscegenation, mixing the races,
blurring the line between black and white created this unbearable dissonance and tension. Many of the people in the Hemings connection
were light-skinned; they could have passed for white. And to perpetuate that confusion of the races
while you’re claiming that the races are so distinct in their capabilities is to make
an unbearable situation for James Horton: Yes, but it would have been
very much in keeping with the kind of ethical dilemmas and inconsistency that we know Jefferson
had routinely in his life. Ben Wattenberg: Jan, you have written about
family life of Jefferson and his times. Where do you come out on the great Sally Hemings
mystery? Jan Lewis: Oh, I blame the nephews. Ben Wattenberg: You blame the nephews. Jan Lewis: The family, in fact. Ben Wattenberg: Well, wasn’t there one child
that was born exactly nine months after he returns as ambassador to France? Jan Lewis: Well, the timing is thought that
Jefferson might have been the father — that he was in the vicinity nine months before
the birth of each of Sally Hemings’ children. Ben Wattenberg: But so were the nephews, you’re
saying? Jan Lewis: No one’s done the research on
the nephews. The family thought that it was the nephews,
and in fact, many years afterwards, they would say, well, we know it was Uncle Peter. It was Uncle Sam. And what I found significant about that is
that even if Thomas Jefferson himself were not the father of Sally Hemings’ children,
which I think I would agree with Peter — not likely. Could be, but not likely. Even if he weren’t, by the family’s own
admission, these children would have been Jefferson’s great-nephews and nieces. They were family. And I think that this is a metaphor for race
relations in this country in that we’re all in some way family, and we should all
acknowledge that we are all related, that all of us are the descendants of Thomas Jefferson,
if not literally, metaphorically. Ben Wattenberg: Let me ask a question here. Here you have — as we’re talking here,
you have a man who certainly on the race issue does not seem like the great exemplar and
trumpeter of human liberty. And yet around the world — forget about
America for a minute —Jefferson, not Washington, not Hamilton, is — every revolutionary in
the world, the good guys as well as the totalitarians, waves the Declaration of Independence and
says, “All men are created equal,” “self-determination.” Where is that hypocrisy? I mean — Robert Bork: Well, Forrest McDonald, who was
an historian, said that Jefferson combined deviousness, slipperiness, hypocrisy with
charm and grace and a sure sense of his own purposes, which are priceless assets in a
politician. So that he did say a lot of — Ben Wattenberg: Does that remind you of anybody? [Laughter.] James Horton: Well, you know, here you have
the difference between his actions and his words. There is a great reverence within 19th-century
black society for his words. The conventions of blacks that were held throughout
the 1830s and the 1840s started off every meeting with the reading of the Declaration
of Independence. So that in terms of his words, they were revered
within the black community because, after all, those black people did believe all men
were created equal and so on. Actions — Robert Bork: He was a great rhetorician, and
he got off a lot of phrases that today we would identify with the new left, which is
why I think a lot of his rhetoric is so popular in an egalitarian age. But he was not an egalitarian. He referred to the people — when he opposed
the idea of direct election of senators, he referred to the people as “the swinish multitude.” Ben Wattenberg: “The swinish multitude.” That’s a pretty good bumper sticker for
a politician. Peter Onuf: I think the problem is not formulated
properly when we talk about the disjunction between words and actions. I think we’re looking at the outside in. We’re saying, what are the boundaries? How far do you go, Jefferson? Aha, we’ve found you. We’ve caught you out. These are the limits. You can’t be serious. This is just nonsense. But if we start with Jefferson’s own experience
of his world and talk about what his aspirations were, then it looks differently. Take the whole idea of equality. Equality is the buzzword of the revolutionary
period. Now we have appropriated it for our own multifarious
purposes now, but for Jefferson and his fellow patriot leaders, equality refers specifically
to their status and the status of their colonies in the British Empire. It was grounded in the notion of English rights. It was very specific. And what Jefferson did was try to reach beyond
that — not as far as we would like him to, perhaps, but the idea that you could form
even a union of liberty-loving, free Americans was itself an act of faith, an intellectual
leap. So if we look at it from Jefferson’s perspective,
inside out, then I think we have rather a different view than if we take this perspective
of why isn’t he good enough for us today? Why doesn’t he do what we do, we politically
correct moderns? James Horton: But let’s not judge him by
the standards of our time. Let’s judge him by the standards of his
own time. There are people in his own time who risked
their careers, who risked their fortunes in ways that are far more egalitarian than Jefferson
was willing to do. Ben Wattenberg: Let’s move on for a moment
to the legacy of Jefferson. There is this big argument between Jefferson
and Hamilton about what kind of America are we going to have, Jefferson sort of taking
his rural, agrarian view, and Hamilton writing the — what is it called about manufacturers? “The Report on Manufacturers,” looking
toward a booming, muscular sort of industrial society. Is it fair then to say, given what America
is today, that the true father of this America is Hamilton, not Jefferson? Jan Lewis: It seems to me that they both are. I mean, what we get out of the Hamiltonian
legacy is a strong, active, huge federal government — a centralized government. But we still have also the Jefferson suspicion
of a strong government. And it’s in the space between those two,
the actuality of a centralized state and an American suspicion of a centralized state. That’s where American history is made. Robert Bork: And I think it’s wrong to think
of either of them as the father of the country. This country would have developed as it did
if Jefferson and Hamilton had never existed. Jefferson’s idea of an agrarian society
was doomed from the beginning. You couldn’t succeed and live in this world
as an agrarian society. I mean, we’d be overrun by other powers. And the growth of the central government was
a natural development. People wanted it. George Washington immediately began proposing
projects that were well outside the federal power in the Constitution. Ben Wattenberg: So your current argument that
you make these days — you would have been making that in 1790 — that these guys are
using too much federal power, more than the Constitution gave them? Robert Bork: Well, the Constitution certainly
doesn’t give the federal government the power it now has. But the Constitution could not stop the federal
power from growing. There is no way it could stop it. I think the strong central government was
in the cards whatever the Constitution said. Peter Onuf: I think we misunderstand Jefferson’s
legacy if we think of him simply as an agrarian, this quaint figure who’s attached to a romanticized
past, who resists modernity and all the ills associated with it. I think Jefferson instead — his impact on
American history has been to authorize and license private initiative. A release of energy. His preference for agriculture is a preference
for commercial agriculture and the initiatives of individual farmers, and then traders as
well. He believed that the force to develop manufacturers,
as Hamilton was going to do, would in fact be retrograde; it would not contribute to
the wealth of the nation or its future prosperity. You could argue that through much of the 19th
century, until the great concentrations of capital that emerged in the Civil War and
afterwards, that this was the prescription. This was the formula that was going to make
America the way it was. So I think there was a choice early on, and
it is significant that the Jeffersonians emerged in power with the so-called Revolution of
1800. Ben Wattenberg: What about Jefferson and the
world? I mean, what would this — what did that
piece of paper mean, that Declaration of Independence? Forget America for a minute. It’s complicated and we just — Peter Onuf: Forget America. [Laughter.] Ben Wattenberg: Yeah, forget America. Bob, is that the revolutionary document of
the world? Robert Bork: Well, I think as the world becomes
increasingly egalitarian, the Declaration becomes an inspiration to people. And that’s true I think throughout Western
civilization. Ben Wattenberg: And it’s been used by good
guys and bad guys? Robert Bork: Oh, sure. James Horton: But I think that probably the
most important thing here is that it provides the touchstone for those people who are oppressed. It is a document to which they can turn, to
which they can appeal. It becomes a way of appealing to the conscience
of the nation. And without that document, without us saying
to the world, this is what we believe, it becomes very difficult for oppressed people
within the country to appeal to a conscience. To say, if you say you believe that, you must
act in that way. And it seems to me that that’s the importance
of the Declaration. Jefferson didn’t always do it, but the fact
that he put this declaration there makes it possible for us to have a touchstone. Peter Onuf: I think there’s another dimension
of Jeffersonian thought having to do with equality that relates to this, and that is
the equality that Jefferson hoped to achieve, as I mentioned before, was the equality of
the American colonies. And that notion of equality applied to states
and to nations is I think probably the most significant Jeffersonian legacy. On the level of rhetoric, it’s human equality
that we refer to. But it’s really national self-determination,
nation-making, the independence of states that’s been, I think, the great legacy of
the American Revolution and of Jefferson’s Declaration. Ben Wattenberg: Okay. Thank you, Professor Peter Onuf, Professor
James Horton, Professor Jan Ellen Lewis, Judge Robert Bork. And thank you. We have appreciated hearing from you very
much. Please send any comments or questions to the
address on the screen. For “Think Tank,” I’m Ben Wattenberg. Announcer: This has been a production of BJW
Inc., in association with New River Media, which are solely responsible for its content.

When is Independence Day?


When is Independence Day? Easy, July 4th. Everyone knows that, even non-Americans know
that. Yeah but… why? You may be thinking that the answer is simple,
because that’s the day that the Declaration of Independence was signed… I feel like I’m about to tell someone that
the tooth fairy isn’t real. Many people already know this, and if you
don’t, you will… now… the Declaration of Independence was not signed on July 4th. It was actually signed on August 2nd. Okay fine then, when the Continental Congress
voted to declare independence. That actually happened on July 2nd. In fact, John Adams thought that this should
be Independence Day, saying “The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable
Epocha (? That’s not a word!), in the History of America.” He also said that about May 15th when he wrote
a preamble that HE regarded as a declaration of independence but nobody else did so, you
know, take that with a grain of salt. Okay well then what happened on July 4th? Congress ordered some final official copies
of the Declaration of Independence to be printed… This was the day that those famous, immortal
words were printed and spread to the masses. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that
all men are created equal, that we will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on, we’re going to
survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day! Really though aside from those first few sentences,
the rest of the Declaration reads like a whiny list of complaints aimed at the King. Ranging from fairly legitimate:
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
To the fairly ridiculous: He has called together legislative bodies
at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records,
for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. Really, you’re complaining about the location
of your meeting place? Anyway, since we’re already splitting hairs
– which Declaration of Independence is THE Declaration of Independence? Well, you should know by now that I wouldn’t
rhetorically ask something that had an easy answer. As I said on July 4th, 1776, the Continental
Congress ordered around 200 copies of the Declaration of Independence to be officially
printed and distributed to various state assemblies, military units, and institutions. These are known as the Dunlap Broadsides,
after the printer who printed them. They’re all a little different actually,
because the typeset would shift between prints or he would stack them on top of each other
or fold them in half before the ink was dry, so they all have their own little quirks. There are only 26 known copies existing today…
and there may be more! The most recent copy was found in 2008. In 1989, one was discovered hidden behind
a framed picture bought at a flea market for 4 dollars. Four dollars. That actually happened! Seriously! Fun fact, none of them were officially sent
to England or you know, the people who probably most needed to see it. If you’re going to declare war, the war
doesn’t start until the declaration of war is received. Not written, not announced, but received. At least, back in the days of gentlemanly
war. Which, 1776 was definitely back in those days. Granted, the fighting had started long before
the Declaration of Independence was even a glimmer in Thomas Jefferson’s eye. Just for the sake of being thorough, the date
that most historians view as the actual beginning of the American Revolutionary war is April
15, 1775 with the Shot Heard Round the World at Lexington and Concord. Well over a year before the Declaration, which
again, was never sent with an ambassador to deliver to the king or anything. It just kind of made its way to England through
various British officials still living in the US. Two months ago, in April 2017, a copy of the
Declaration of Independence was found in Sussex, England that was likely written between 1783
and 1790. And it’s a copy of a copy of something someone
read to someone else in a noisy bar, so it’s slightly different in its own little ways. It’s close enough, but it spent a few rounds
playing telephone. Anyway, I’m wildly off track here. There are 26 Dunlap Broadsides. Two of which are in the Library of Congress
and one in the National Archives. These were made on July 4th, 1776. But they were not signed. So on July 19th Congress commissioned an engrossed,
parchment copy to be hand written by Timothy Matlack. This is known as the Matlack Declaration,
and it is the one that was signed on August 2nd. This is the one that John Hancock signed all
huge and fancy because he was the President of the Congress. Not the President of the United States, there’s
a difference, and I made a video on that already. But this is the one that is on primary display
at the National Archives, and is the one that Nicholas Cage stole in National Treasure. This is the one that many people refer to
as THE Declaration of Independence. Just for completionist’s sake, in January
1777, Congress commissioned another set of official broadsides to be printed, this time
with the names of everyone who signed it, known as the Goddard Broadside. This was the first time that public knew who
signed the Declaration of Independence and there are currently 9 of those in existence. So if Congress declared independence on July
2nd, some copies were distributed on July 4th, but THE Declaration of Independence was
written on July 19th and not signed until August 2nd… why is Independence Day July
4th? For the same reason that Christmas is on December
25th. They just decided. Oh yeah, I’m about to ruin Christmas for
you too, but only a little bit. If you don’t know already, most historians
agree that Jesus was born in the year 4 BC… which doesn’t… that’s not important. The important thing is that nobody knows the
day. Back in the year 200, when they were trying
to figure this all out, the main guesses were April 20th-21st or May 20th. There were other guesses all over the place
(January 2, March 25, April 18, April 19, November 17, November 20) but weirdly none
of them were in December. So why December 25th? Because that WAS the Winter Solstice under
the Julian Calendar – it’s December 21st now. And that was during other existing holidays
and festivals like Saturnalia and Sol Invictus. So, again, why December 25th? Because they just decided to put it here. Why July 4th? Because they just decided to put it there. But should they have? Let’s look at it another way. What makes a country a country? I mean besides the whole, having land and
people and a government and stuff. It’s when you’re a recognized member of
the UN, right? Well let’s take a look at an example: Kosovo. If the majority of you were to look at a map,
you would see this, Kosovo. Because, according to my demographics, most
of your countries recognize Kosovo. But it can’t get into the UN because two
members of the Security Council, China and Russia, say it’s not a country. So if you looked at a map from there, you’d
see this. So is it a country? Luckily since there was no UN in 1776 this
example doesn’t really apply, but we can use that same vein of thought. It’s when other countries agree that you’re
a country. As you can imagine, since there was no single
body like the UN to declare your status as a country, this coulda little messy. So who was the first country – aside from
the United States – to recognize the United States as a country. Morocco. (December 20, 1777) What? No let’s talk about countries that actually
matter, please. Okay then, France (February 6, 1778). Without a doubt, that French recognition and
military aid is what helped America finally win the Revolutionary war. The French waited until after the American
victory at Saratoga, because well think about it, nobody wants to help a loser. And predictably just over a month later, Britain
declared war on France so they were taking a huge risk by recognizing the US. This is the same problem as during the Civil
War by the way… I know another tangent, sorry… but had anyone
recognized the independence of the Confederacy, things might have turned out differently. But since they kept losing, nobody did. So okay, France, Morocco, and a few others,
whatever. The one that matters is Britain right? Yeah well that’s where things get a little
fuzzy. Because while Britain did formally recognize
the independence of the US with the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolution, they
didn’t really act like it. They kept capturing American ships and “impressing”
the sailors into the Royal Navy, and other things which are generally considered not
cool things to do to an independent country. Which started the War of 1812. An often forgotten war, which is sometimes
referred to as the Second War for Independence, because like I said, the UK – Yes it was
the UK at this point (Acts of Union 1800) – didn’t really respect American sovereignty. After this war ended on December 24, 1814,
there has been over 200 years of uninterrupted peace between the US and the UK. But there’s yet another way to look at it. When did the United States become the United
States? I mean sure, the thirteen colonies got together
and declared independence on July to August 1776, but we didn’t have a real federal
government yet… and then we had those dumb Articles of Confederation. But when was the Constitution handed down
by Jesus? Again that’s a messy question. It was written in 1787, ratified in 1788,
and went into effect on March 4, 1789. That’s the day that the United States became
the United States that we know and love today. So when is Independence Day? July 4th, look at a calendar. Okay but like… should it be though? The Revolution had been going on for quite
a while but independence was declared on July 2nd, printed on July 4th, and signed on August
2nd… The war wasn’t won until 1783… or 1814
depending on how you look at it. And the Constitution didn’t happen until
1789 so… should it be? Yes, you have to pick somewhere okay? Okay well the next time someone asks you what
actually happened on July 4th, at least now, you know better. So when do you think Independence Day should
be? Let me know down in the comments and don’t
forget to declare that subscribe button’s independence. By… by clicking it.

Frederick Douglass vs Thomas Jefferson. Epic Rap Battles of History


Epic Rap Battles of History THOMAS JEFFERSON VS. FREDERICK DOUGLAS BEGIN!! When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a battle to commence the KPLOW! I hit ’em with the illness of my quill I’m endowed with certain unalienable skills let me run down my resume will ya? set up a little place called the United States (USA!) sound familiar? I told King George he could eat a fat dick when it comes to declerations I’m a first draft pick I’ll topple an tyrant so kings a pirates beware I’m so down with revloutions I invented the swivel chair I’ve many volumes on my shelves it’s true but I’ve yet to read the three books you wrote about YOU looking like a skunk in a three piece suit didn’t come back from Paris to battle Pepe Le Pew first Secretary of State VP number two not to mention third President the fuck’d you do? you finished? OK STRAIGHT OUTTA BONDAGE!! a brainy mother fucker here to diss you BIG HAIR BIG NUTS BIG ISSUES starting with your nickel there’s a real declaration head’s for racist tails for slave plantation you’re a soft white Monticello Marshmallow watching my people sweat while you sat playing cello HELLO but now you’re facing me FREDDY D! I’d never work for you ass but I’ll kick it for free your stone face on Rushmore ain’t nothing check my photos now that real muggin’ the face of a free man taught himself to read man no compromise you couldn’t whip a 5th of me man you got a self evident truth of your own you let freedom ring but never picked up the phone aw Frederick I’ve never heard a verse I dug less alright I admit it, I confess I participated in a broken sytemn that I hated but I needed to keep my financial status situated and the words I used were “hideous blot” to describe the slave trade and the pain it hath brought and I fought to stop the trade of new slaves in Virginia when I ran the whole state and still made it home for dinner so forgive me I was busy man I had a lot to do but we did it you’re free now so… we cool? this ain’t Lousiana man I ain’t buying it you talk about freedom but you ain’t applying shit so no, we ain’t cool you founding absentee father you had six babies with you slave mama and never even bothered to free her when you died on the 4th of July it’s a very importan holiday but what the fuck does it mean to this guy? cause I celebrate December 6th, 1865 the day the 13th damn amendment was ratified and I ceased to be an alien to your unalienable rights and we the people stopped meaning we the people who are white man you did some good things I ain’t denying you fame I’m just saying they need to put an asterisk next to your name WHO WON?! WHO’S NEXT?! YOU DECIDE EPIC RAP BATTLES OF HISTORY!!!!!!

Thomas Jefferson & His Democracy: Crash Course US History #10


Hi I’m John Green, this is Crash Course US History, and today we’re going to discuss Thomas Jefferson. We’re going to learn about how America became
a thriving nation of small, independent farmers, eschewing manufacturing and world trade, and becoming the richest and most powerful nation in the world in the 19th century, all thanks to the vision of Thomas Jefferson, the greatest and most intellectually consistent Founding Father, who founded the University of Virginia and grew 20 varieties of peas at Monticello. Me From the Past, get to your desk! In a stunning turn of events, Me From the Past is an
idiot and Jefferson is more complicated than that. [Theme Music] So in 1800, Thomas Jefferson, pictured here – this is the third time that we’ve featured Thomas Jefferson on the chalkboard, so we had to go a little Warhol on it. Right, so, Jefferson, the Republican, ran
against John Adams, the Federalist. 1800 was the first election where both parties
ran candidates and actually campaigned. And, surprisingly, the Federalist’s elitist strategy of “vote for Adams because he’s better than you” did not work. Now, both parties realize that it was important to coordinate their electoral strategy to make sure that the vice presidential candidate got at least one fewer electoral votes than the presidential candidate. But then the Republican elector who was supposed to throw his vote away forgot to, so there ended up being a tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. As per the Constitution, the election went to the House of Representatives, where it took 36 ballots and the intervention of Alexander Hamilton before Jefferson was finally named president. Incidentally, Burr and Hamilton really disliked each other, and not in like, the passive-aggressive way that politicians dislike each other these days, but in the four-years-later-they-would-have-a-duel-and-Burr-killed-Hamilton kind of way. A duel which occurred, wait for it, in New
Jersey. But anyway, shortly after the election of 1800, the 12th Amendment was passed, making the Electoral College simpler, but not as simple as, say, you know, one person’s vote counting as one vote. Anyway, complain about the Electoral College all you want, but without it, we would never have had President Rutherford B. Hayes, and just look at that beard! So Jefferson became president and his election showed that Americans wanted a more democratic politics, where common people were more free to express their opinions. The Federalists were never really a threat again in presidential politics. And, arguably, the best thing that John Adams ever did was transfer power in an orderly and honorable way to his rival, Jefferson. Jefferson’s campaign slogan was “Jefferson and Liberty,” but the liberty in question was severely limited. Only a fraction of white men were allowed to vote and, of course, there was no liberty for the slaves. There’s a lot of contentious debate on the subject of Jefferson and slavery, but here’s my two cents, which I should not be allowed to contribute because we should only round to the nearest nickel, which, by the way, features Thomas Jefferson. So Thomas Jefferson was a racist and he wrote about black people’s inherent inferiority to whites and Native Americans, and the fact that he fathered children with one of his slaves doesn’t change that. George Washington freed his slaves
upon his death. Well, sort of. They were supposed to be freed upon his wife’s death, but living in a house full of people who were waiting for you to die made Martha want to free them while she was still alive. But with few exceptions, Jefferson didn’t free his slaves upon his death and throughout his life, he used the sale of slaves to finance his lavish lifestyle. And this leads to two big philosophical questions
when it comes to history. First, if Jefferson clearly did not think that black people were the intellectual or moral equals of whites and was perfectly comfortable keeping them in bondage, then what does the most important phrase of the Declaration of Independence actually mean? And the second question is even broader: Does it matter if a person of tremendous historical
importance had terrible aspects to their character? Does being a bad person diminish your accomplishments? I don’t have a great answer for those questions, but I will tell you that no remembers Richard Nixon for starting the EPA. But this is very important to understand: Slaves were aware of concept of liberty and they wanted it. So in addition to an election, 1800 also saw
one of the first large-scale slave uprisings. Gabriel’s Rebellion was organized by a Richmond, Virginia blacksmith who hoped to seize the capital, kill some of its inhabitants, and hold the rest hostage until his demands for abolition were met. But the plot was discovered before they could carry it out and Gabriel, along with 25 other slaves, was hanged. But after the rebellion, Virginians, if they didn’t know it already, were very aware that slaves wanted and expected liberty. And the response was predictable: Virginia
made its laws concerning slaves much harsher. It became illegal for slaves to meet in groups on Sundays unless supervised by whites, and it became much more difficult for whites to legally free their slaves. Oh, it’s time for the Mystery Document? The rules here are simple: Identify the author, no shock;
fail to identify the author, shock. “The love of freedom, sir, is an inborn sentiment,
which the god of nature has planted deep in the heart: long may it be kept under by the arbitrary
institutions of society; but, at the first favorable moment, it springs forth,
and flourishes with a vigour that defies all check. This celestial spark, which fires the breast of the savage, which glows in that of the philosopher, is not extinguished in the bosom of the slave. It may be buried in the embers; but it still lives;
and the breath of knowledge kindles it to flame. Thus we find, sir, there have never been slaves in any country who have not seized the first favorable opportunity to revolt.” I mean, from the bit at the beginning about the love of freedom, it seems like it could be Jefferson, but the rest does not seem like Jefferson. Probably wasn’t a slave, since they were denied access to education precisely because the “breath of knowledge” is so dangerous to the institution of slavery. Oh, this is looking pretty bleak for me, Stan.
Mmmmmm. John Jay? [buzzing noise] Dang it! Who was it? George Tucker?! Who the John C. Calhoun is George Tucker?! Is there a person watching this who knew that
it was George Tucker? Fine! [electricity noise] Gah! Apparently George Tucker was a member of the General Assembly of Virginia and the Mystery Document was a description of Gabriel’s Rebellion that suggested a solution to the inherent problem of rebellious slaves. He argued that we should set up a colony for them in Indian territory in Georgia, which, of course, also wouldn’t have worked because we were soon to steal that territory. But back to Jefferson. His idea was to make the government smaller, lower taxes, shrink the military, and make it possible for America to become a bucolic, agrarian, empire of liberty, rather than an English-style, industrial, mercantile, nightmare landscape. So how did he do?
Well, really well at first. Jefferson got rid of all the taxes, except
for the tariff, especially the Whiskey Tax. And then, when he woke up with a terrible, cheap whiskey-induced hangover, he paid off part of the national debt. He shrunk the army and the navy, and basically made sure that America wouldn’t become a centralized, English-style state for at least the next 60 years. Low taxes and small government sounds great,
but no navy? That would be tough, especially when we needed ships and marines to fight the Barbary pirates “on the shores of Tripoli,” who kept capturing our ships in the Mediterranean and enslaving their crews. This is yet another example of how foreign affairs
keeps getting in the way of domestic priorities; in this case, the domestic priority of not
wanting to spend money on a navy. Also, vitally, Jefferson’s presidency really marks the last time in history when a Republican president didn’t want to spend money on the military. Don’t get me wrong: Democrats can do it too.
I’m looking at you, LBJ. As much as he wanted to get rid of any trace of the Federalists, Jefferson found himself thwarted by that imminently conservative and undemocratic institution: the Supreme Court. Jefferson appointed Republicans to most government positions, but he couldn’t do anything about the Supreme Court because they serve for life. And since the country was only like, 12 years
old, they were all still pretty fresh. Most important among them was Chief Justice
John Marshall, who happened to be a Federalist. Marshall was Chief Justice basically forever and is, without question, the most important figure in the history of the Supreme Court. He wrote a number of key opinions, but none was more important than the 1803 decision in Marbury v. Madison. Marbury v. Madison is so important because in that decision, the Supreme Court gave itself the power of judicial review, which allows it to uphold or invalidate federal laws. The Court then extended this power to state laws in Fletcher v. Peck and eventually even to executive actions. Like, we think of the main job of the Supreme Court being to declare laws unconstitutional, but that power isn’t anywhere in the Constitution itself. Marbury v. Madison gave the Court that power and without it, the Supreme Court would probably be a footnote in American history. So unlike Marshall, Jefferson and the Republicans
were big proponents of strict construction: the idea that the Constitution should be read as literally as possible as way of limiting the power of the federal government. The problem is, there might be things the government wants to do that the Constitution didn’t account for, like, for instance, buying a large tract of land from Napoleon, who, as we remember from Crash Course World History, complicates everything. Let’s go to the Thought Bubble. So yeah, Jefferson basically doubled the size of the US in what came to be known as the Louisiana Purchase. Napoleon was eager to sell it, because the rebellion in Haiti had soured him on the whole idea of colonies, and also because he needed money. Jefferson wanted to purchase New Orleans because western farmers were shipping their products through the city and when he approached France about this, Napoleon was like, “Hey! How bout I sell you, this!” Jefferson couldn’t turn down that deal, so he bought the whole kit and caboodle for $15 million, which is worth about $250 million today. To put that into perspective, a new aircraft carrier
costs about $4.5 billion, so he got a good deal. What’s the problem with this? Well, nothing if you believe in a powerful government that can do stuff that’s not in the Constitution. But if you’re a strict Constructionist like Jefferson, you have to reconcile this obviously beneficial act with there being no mention in the Constitution of the president being able to purchase land in order to expand the size of the US. So laying scruple aside, Jefferson bought Louisiana and then sent Lewis and Clark to explore it, which they did, even going beyond the boundaries of the Purchase all the way to the Pacific. And this was so cool that it almost makes us forget that it was kind of unconstitutional and a huge power grab for the president. So the question is: why did he do it? Jefferson’s desire to increase the size of the
country prompted Federalists to complain that, “We are to give money, of which we have too
little, for land, of which we already have too much.” By doubling the size of the country, Jefferson could ensure that there would be enough land for every white man to have his own small farm. And this, in turn, would ensure that Americans
would remain independent and virtuous. Because only a small farmer who doesn’t have to depend on the market for food or shelter or anything really (well, except slaves), can be truly independent, and thus capable of participating in a nation of free men. Thanks, Thought Bubble. And this desire to create a nation of independent farmers producing only primary products helps explains Jefferson’s other incredibly controversial policy: the embargo. Jefferson imposed the embargo in order to punish Britain for its practice of impressing American sailors, as well as its blockade of France, with whom Britain was once again, or possibly just still, at war. So basically, Jefferson wanted free trade among nations and his solution was to get Congress to forbid all American ships from sailing to foreign ports. The theory was that the British were so dependent on American primary products, like wood and cotton, that if we cut off trade with them, the British would stop impressing American sailors and end their blockade. What’s the connection between free trade and
Jefferson’s agrarian ideal? Well, the idea was that America would trade its primary products for Europe’s manufactured goods, so that the US wouldn’t have to develop any manufacturing capacity of its own. Alas, or perhaps fortunately, this did not
work. For one thing, Britain and France were too busy fighting each other even to notice America’s embargo. So they just continued blockading and impressing. Also, the embargo devastated the American
economy. I mean, exports dropped by 80%. Furthermore, not being able to import European manufactured goods only served to spur American manufacturing. I mean, Jefferson might have wanted Americans to be a bunch of self-sufficient farmers, but Americans wanted European manufactured stuff, like teapots and clocks and microwaves. Well, then how did they cook stuff, Stan? And if they couldn’t get that stuff from Britain,
they would just make it themselves. So in terms of Jefferson’s agrarian ideal,
the embargo was a massive failure. And lastly, the embargo limited the power of the federal government about as much as crystal meth limits cavities. I mean, imposing the embargo was a colossal use of federal power and it was also an imposition on people’s liberties. The problem the embargo was supposed to solve didn’t go away and, as we’ll discuss next week, it eventually led to the US’s first declared war. For now, I want to leave you with this: Thomas Jefferson is revered and reviled in almost equal measure in American history. The Declaration of Independence, which he mainly drafted, is a signal achievement delineating some heroic ideas for the founding of the United States, but also embedding some of its crucial shortcomings. And Jefferson’s presidency is like that too. He claimed to champion small government, but he enlarged federal power more than Washington or Adams ever did. He imagined an agrarian republic, but his
policies led to increased manufacturing. He wanted to foster freedom, but he owned
slaves and took land from the Indians. In the end, Jefferson’s life and policies encapsulate the best and the worst of us, which is why his presidency is still worth studying closely. I’ll see you next week. Crash Course is produced and directed by Stan
Muller. Our script supervisor is Meredith Danko. The associate producer is Danica Johnson. The show is written by my high school history
teacher, Raoul Meyer, and myself. And our graphics team is Thought Cafe. If you have questions about today’s video, please ask them in comments, where they’ll be answered by our team of historians and we’re also accepting submissions for the Libertage Captions. Thank you for watching Crash Course and, as we say in my hometown: don’t forget to be awesome. Oh! That was a fake out, it’s going this way!

Andrew Jackson: Founder of the Democratic Party (1829 – 1837)


It’s Professor Dave, let’s discuss Andrew
Jackson. The election of Andrew Jackson to the presidency
is a watershed moment in the history of American politics, since he is considered the founder
of the modern Democratic Party. He was the first true “man of the people”
to be elected, as all of the previous presidents had been well-educated members of the aristocracy. Jackson however, was born into an immigrant
Scotch-Irish farming family of relatively modest means, and never attended college. If one man can be said to symbolize both the
best and worst of the American spirit, it would be Jackson. Though his election was hailed as a victory
for democracy, he was also a racist slave owner whose relocation policies of Native
Americans drew condemnation even at the time. Jackson’s presidency was the first to demonstrate
the inherent dangers of American populism. Jackson’s presidency was associated with
the spread of Jacksonian democracy, the movement of political power from established elites
to ordinary voters. “The Age of Jackson” shaped the national
agenda and the course of American politics for decades to come. Jackson’s philosophy was much in the same
vein as Thomas Jefferson, in advocating core Republican values that had been held by the
generation of the Revolution. His presidency held a high moralistic tone;
it railed against corruption and the banking system. Like Jefferson he had strong agrarian sympathies,
having been a planter himself, and he held to a limited view of the federal government. But like Jefferson, Jackson’s moved away
from his initially sympathetic views of States’ Rights as his presidency continued, and in
time he would threaten to use force against South Carolina if it pursued nullification
over tariffs. During the Revolutionary War, the young Jackson
acted as a courier and was nearly starved to death when captured by the British. He became a lawyer and was elected to the
House of Representatives and then twice to the U.S. Senate. In 1801, Jackson was appointed colonel in
the Tennessee militia, which became his political as well as military base. He gained national fame in the War of 1812
during the Battle of New Orleans, where he won a decisive victory over the superior British
forces. His men said he was as tough as old hickory
wood, and he thusly acquired the nickname, “Old Hickory.” Ordered by President Monroe to lead a campaign
against the Seminole and Creek Indians in 1817, Jackson was also ordered to prevent
runaway slaves from escaping to Spanish Florida. He captured Pensacola with little more than
a few warning shots and deposed the Spanish governor. He tried and executed two Englishmen who had
been supplying and advising the Indians, and his actions struck fear into the Seminole
tribes as word spread of his ruthlessness. The executions and Jackson’s invasion of
Spanish territory created an international uproar. Many in the Monroe administration called for
Jackson to be censured, however, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, a believer in
Manifest Destiny, defended Jackson. Critics alleged that he exceeded his orders
but Jackson claimed he was charged with ending the conflict and that the best way to do it
was to seize Florida from Spain, once and for all. When the Spanish minister demanded a “suitable
punishment” for Jackson, Adams used Jackson’s conquest and Spain’s own weakness to get
Spain to cede Florida to the United States with Jackson named as military governor. In 1822, the Tennessee legislature nominated
Jackson for President for the 1824 election. To improve his credentials, Jackson ran for
and captured one of Tennessee’s senate seats in 1823. He had previously served as the state’s
senator in 1797, but resigned after less than a year. The 1824 presidential contest saw Jackson
face off against Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, Treasury Secretary William Crawford,
and House Speaker Henry Clay. Jackson received the largest share of the
popular vote but not a majority. He also captured more electoral votes than
any other candidate, but again lacked a majority. The election was therefore decided by the
House of Representatives, which chose Adams, despite the fact that Jackson was the clear
victor. Jackson’s supporters cried foul when Clay,
after throwing his states’ support to Adams, was subsequently appointed Secretary of State
in the new Adams Administration. The Massachusetts born Adams had been a Federalist,
but after that party collapsed he became a moderate Democratic-Republican, though never
fully trusted by many Southerners. Jackson denounced the “corrupt bargain”
and along with Vice President John C. Calhoun, Martin Van Buren, and Thomas Ritchie, founded
the Democratic Party to revive many of the ideals of the old Jeffersonian Democratic-Republican
Party, and forge a national organization dedicated to the common man of the United States. Jackson and Calhoun easily defeated Adams
in 1828. During the election, his opponents referred
to him as a “jackass” but Jackson enjoyed the insult and used the jackass as his symbol
for a while. Years later, cartoonist Thomas Nast revived
the symbol, making it the symbol for the entire Democratic Party. Jackson was the first President to invite
the public to attend the White House inaugural ball. The massive crowd tracked mud on the floor
and on chairs, breaking valuable items just to get a glimpse of Jackson. To get them to leave, White House attendants
had to serve punch in huge tubs on the lawn. This event earned Jackson another nickname,
“King Mob.” Jackson saw himself as a reformer and attempted
to purge the government of corruption from previous administrations, launching presidential
investigations into all executive Cabinet offices and departments. He believed in direct election of the president
and repeatedly called for the abolition of the Electoral College by constitutional amendment. Sharing Jefferson’s distrust of the moneyed
elites, he finally succeeded in abolishing the Bank of the United States. Many believed this was responsible for the
Panic of 1837 and blamed Jackson for the economic recession that lasted nearly a decade. Jackson’s presidency also initiated a policy
of Indian removal. Though relations between Europeans and Indians
were always complicated, they grew increasingly more so in the years after the American Revolution. By the era of Jackson’s Administration,
the earlier policy of non-intervention had grown untenable. The issue was especially problematic in the
South, with its larger Indian population. Jackson became an advocate for a relocation
policy to the territories of the Louisiana Purchase, in what is considered by some historians
to be the most controversial aspect of his presidency. On May 26th, 1830, Congress passed the Indian
Removal Act, Jackson’s first legislative victory. The act was especially popular in the South
where the discovery of gold on Cherokee land had increased pressure in the region. The state of Georgia became involved in a
jurisdictional dispute with the Cherokees, resulting in the 1832 U.S. Supreme Court decision
Worcester vs. Georgia, in which Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that Georgia
could not impose any laws upon the Cherokee territory. Jackson is credited with the reply, “John
Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it,” but the quote is actually newspaperman
Horace Greeley’s. As many as four thousand Cherokees died during
their relocation to Oklahoma on the infamous “Trail of Tears.” Overall, more than forty five thousand American
Indians were relocated to the West during Jackson’s administration. In an effort to purge the government of the
corruption of previous administrations, Jackson launched presidential investigations into
all executive Cabinet offices and departments. After a Congressional investigation into the
postal service revealed egregious mismanagement, Jackson implemented much needed reforms. During his presidency, those in opposition
to Jackson’s purging of office holders and expansion of executive power formed the Whig
Party, and took to calling Jackson “King Andrew the First”. However, Jackson’s repeated calls for the
abolition of the Electoral College by constitutional amendment went unheeded. Holding to the belief that the college was
an impediment to direct democracy, Jackson stressed “I have heretofore recommended
amendments of the Federal Constitution giving the election of President and Vice-President
to the people. So important do I consider these changes in
our fundamental law that I cannot, in accordance with my sense of duty, omit to press them
upon the consideration of a new Congress.” But in other reforms, he was more successful. Jackson’s Service Pension Act of 1832 provided
pensions to veterans and his Act of July 1836 enabled widows of Revolutionary War soldiers
to receive their husband’s pensions. In 1836, he established the ten-hour day in
national shipyards. Jackson also oversaw a massive restructuring
of the government spoils system, fearing it would lead to public corruption. But the conflict that had the most profound
legacy was the so-called “Nullification Crisis” of 1828 to 1832. Southern planters claimed that high tariffs
on European imports made those goods so expensive that they had to instead buy them from producers
in the northern US, raising their overall prices. Southern politicians argued that these tariffs
benefited northern industrialists at the expense of farmers in the south. The issue came to a head when Vice President
Calhoun supported his home state, South Carolina, which claimed it had the right to nullify
the tariff legislation of 1828 and any Federal laws that went against its own self-interest. Although Jackson sympathized with the South
over this matter, he also fiercely supported a strong union, with a powerful central government. The issue developed into a bitter rivalry
between the two men. At the Jefferson Day dinner in 1830, one toast
was to “The Union of the States, and the Sovereignty of the States,” whereupon Jackson
rose and addressed his toast to “Our federal Union: It must be preserved!” – a clear
challenge to Calhoun. Calhoun clarified his position by responding
“The Union: Next to our Liberty, the most dear!” At the first Democratic National Convention,
Calhoun and Jackson broke from each other politically and Martin Van Buren replaced
Calhoun as Jackson’s running mate in the 1832 presidential election. On December 28th, 1832, with less than two
months remaining on his term, Calhoun resigned as Vice President to become a U.S. Senator
for South Carolina. In response to South Carolina’s nullification
claim, Jackson promised to send troops to the state to enforce the law. In December 1832, he issued a resounding proclamation
against the nullifiers, stating that he considered “the power to annul a law of the United
States, assumed by one State, incompatible with the existence of the Union, contradicted
expressly by the letter of the Constitution, unauthorized by its spirit, inconsistent with
every principle on which it was founded, and destructive of the great object for which
it was formed.” Jackson claimed that South Carolina stood
on “the brink of insurrection and treason”, and he requested that its citizens declare
their allegiance to the Union their ancestors had fought for. Jackson also denied the right of secession,
saying: “The Constitution forms a government not a league. To say that any State may at pleasure secede
from the Union is to say that the United States is not a nation.” But this crisis was far from over. Another unfortunate element of Jackson’s
legacy is that he indirectly triggered the worst economic crisis in American History
up to that point. When he dissolved the Second Bank of the United
States during his second term, he removed restrictions on some state banks; and wild
speculation in lands, based on easy bank credit, had swept the West. To end this speculation, Jackson issued a
Specie Circular requiring that lands be purchased with gold or silver, which over time resulted
in panic. Hundreds of banks and businesses failed. Thousands lost their land. The U.S. Senate censured Jackson on March
28th, 1834, for removing funds from the Bank. The censure was a political maneuver spearheaded
by Jackson’s archrival, Senator Henry Clay. During the proceedings, Jackson called Clay
“as full of fury as a drunken man in a brothel”, and the issue was highly divisive within the
Senate; however, the censure, which was largely symbolic, was approved 26 to 20. When the Jacksonians had a majority in the
Senate, the censure was expunged after years of effort by his supporters, led by Thomas
Hart Benton, who had once shot Jackson in a street fight but eventually became his ardent
defender. Jackson was notorious for his quick temper. One biographer wrote: “Observers likened
him to a volcano, and only the most intrepid or recklessly curious cared to see it erupt. His close associates all had stories of his
blood-curdling oaths, his summoning of the Almighty to loose His wrath upon some miscreant,
typically followed by his own vow to hang the villain or blow him to perdition. Given his record – in duels, brawls, mutiny
trials, and summary hearings – listeners had to take his vows seriously.” The great French chronicler of American Life
in the 19th Century, Alexis de Tocqueville, criticized Jackson for his domineering actions,
stating: “General Jackson stoops to gain the favor of the majority; but when he feels
that his popularity is secure, he overthrows all obstacles in the pursuit of the objects
which the community approves. Supported by a power his predecessors never
had, he tramples on his personal enemies, whenever they cross his path, with a facility
without example; he takes upon himself the responsibility of measures that no one before
him would have ventured to attempt. He even treats the national representatives
with a disdain approaching insult; he puts his veto on the laws of Congress and frequently
neglects even to reply to that powerful body.” But one gets the impression that Jackson wouldn’t
have it any other way. On the last day of his presidency he admitted
to only two regrets – that he “had been unable to shoot Henry Clay or hang John C.
Calhoun.”

The Constitution, the Articles, and Federalism: Crash Course US History #8


Hi, I’m John Green, this is Crash Course U.S. History, and today we’re going to talk about the United States Constitution. And, in doing so, we’re going to explore how the American style of government became the envy of the entire world, so much so that everyone else copied us. What’s that, Stan? We’re not gonna talk about other countries
stealing our form of government? Because no other country stole our form of
government? That – that doesn’t seem possible, Stan. [Patriotic Rock Music] No, Stan, not the Libertage, cue the intro! [Theme Music] So, today we’re going to learn why the green
areas of not-America didn’t copy us. All right, so as Americans may dimly remember from history classes, the Constitutional system we’ve been living under since 1788, the year of the first Presidential election, was not the original American government. The first government set up by the Continental Congress was called the Articles of Confederation and it was, in a word: Bad. In two words, it was not good, which is why
it only lasted 10 years. The problem with the confederation is that it wasn’t so much a framework for a national government as it was a “firm league of friendship,” which unfortunately only sounds like a team
of Care Bear Superheroes. The Articles set up a “government” that consisted of a one-house body of delegates, with each state having a single vote, who, acting collectively, could make decisions on certain issues that affected all the states. There was no president and no judiciary. You can try to tell me that John Hanson, the president of the congress, was the first American president, but it’s just not true. Any decision required 9 of the 13 congressional votes, which pretty much guaranteed that no decisions would ever be made. Ahh, super majorities: Always so efficient. But besides the 2/3rds requirement, the Congress
was very limited in what it could actually do. The government could declare war, conduct foreign affairs and make treaties – basically, the stuff you need to do to go to war with England. It could coin money, but it couldn’t collect
taxes; that was left to the states. So if you needed money to, say, go to war
with Britain, you had to ask the states politely. The articles could be amended, but that required a unanimous vote, so zero amendments were ever passed. The government was deliberately weak, which followed logically from Americans’ fear of tyrannical governments taxing them and quartering soldiers in their houses and so on. But here’s the thing, weak government is
like nonalcoholic beer: It’s useless. That said, the Articles government did accomplish
a couple things. First, it won the war, so, yay – unless you were a slave or a Native American, in which case, you know, probable boo. Second, the government developed rules for dealing with one of the most persistent problems facing the new nation: Ohio. Which was called the northwest, presumably
because it is north and west of Virginia. Getting control of the land meant taking it from the Indians who were living there, and the Articles government was empowered to make treaties, which it did. Crash Course World History fans will remember the Athenians telling the Melians that “the strong do as they can and the weak suffer what they must,” and the Americans definitely went to the Athenian
School of Treaty-Making. Through treaties signed at Fort Stanwix and Fort McIntosh, the Indians surrendered land north of the Ohio River. The biggest accomplishment of the Articles government was the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which set up a process to create 5 new states between the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Two things to know about this: first, it acknowledged that American Indians had a claim to the land and that they had to be treated better if settlers wanted to avoid violence. And second, Stan, can I get the
foreshadowing filter? Yes, perfect. The ordinance outlawed slavery in all five
of the new states. Still, the Articles government was a complete disaster for exactly one reason: It could not collect taxes. Both the national government and the individual states had racked up massive debt to pay for the war, and their main source of revenue became tariffs, but because Congress couldn’t impose them, states had to do it individually. And this made international trade a total nightmare, a fact worsened by the British being kinda cranky about us winning the war and therefore unwilling to trade with us. In 1786 and 1787, the problem got so bad in Massachusetts that farmers rose up and closed the courts to prevent them from foreclosing upon their debt-encumbered farms. This was called Shays’ Rebellion, after Revolutionary War veteran and indebted farmer Daniel Shays. The uprising was quelled by the state militia, but for many, this was the sign that the Articles government, which couldn’t deal with the crisis at all, had to go. But not for everyone; Thomas Jefferson,
for instance, was a fan of Shay’s Rebellion. “A little rebellion now and then is a good
thing. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time
to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Which is all fine and good, I mean, unless
you’re the bleeding patriots or tyrants. But to most elites, Shays’ Rebellion showed that too much democratic liberty among the lower classes could threaten private property. Also, people who held government bonds were nervous, because without tax revenue, they were unlikely to get paid back. And when rich people feel like something has
to be done, something is usually done. Let’s go to the Thought Bubble. The first attempt to do something was a meeting in Annapolis in 1786 aimed at better regulating international trade. Only six states sent delegates, but they agreed to meet the next year in Philadelphia to “revise” the Articles of Confederation. The delegates who met in Philly the next year
had a funny definition of “revision,” though. Rather than make tweaks to the articles, they wrote a new charter of government, the Constitution, which is, with some significant alterations, the same one that Americans live under and argue about today. Despite what some seem to believe, the 55 men who met in Philadelphia and hammered out a new form of government were not gods, but they were far from ordinary, especially for the time. Most were wealthy, some very much so. More than half had college educations, which was super rare since .001% of Americans attended college at the time. About 40% had served in the army during the
war. But, one thing they all shared was a desire
for a stronger national government. The delegates agreed on many things: the government should have executive, legislative,
and judicial branches; and should be republican, with representatives,
rather than direct democracy. But the devil appeared in the details. Alexander Hamilton, probably the biggest proponent of very strong government, wanted the President and Senate to serve life terms, for example. That idea went nowhere because the overarching concern of almost all the delegates was to create a government that would protect against both tyranny by the government itself and tyranny by the people. They didn’t want too much government, but they also didn’t want too much democracy, which is why our Presidents are still technically elected not directly by regular people but by 538 members of the Electoral College. This system is so byzantine and strange that when American politicians speak of spreading democracy through the world, they never actually advocate for American-style elections. Thanks, Thought Bubble. Yes, I know, you have fantastic elections
in Canada. Yeah, right, OK. All that too.
I get it, OK? It’s U.S. History, Thought Bubble. So conflicts between competing interests arose quickly at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. The first being between states with big populations
and those with small populations. Large states supported James Madison’s Virginia Plan, which called for a two-house legislature with representation in both proportional to a state’s population. And smaller states, fearing that the big boys would dominate, rallied behind the New Jersey plan. [muttered] New Jersey. This called for a single legislative house with equal representation for each state, as with the Articles of Confederation. But, of course, coming from New Jersey, it had no chance of succeeding, and sure enough, it didn’t. Instead we got the Great Compromise, brokered by Connecticut’s Roger Sherman, which gave us two houses: a House of Representatives with representation proportional to each state’s population, and a Senate with two members from each state. House members, also called Congressmen, served two year terms while Senators served six year terms, with 1/3 of them being up for election in every 2 year cycle. The House was designed to be responsive to the people, while the Senate was created to never pass anything and it was so masterfully designed that it still works to this day. However, this solution created another problem:
Who should be counted in terms of representation? Slaveholding states wanted slaves to count toward their population, even though of course they could not vote, because they were property. States with few slaves argued that slaves shouldn’t be counted as people because, just to be clear, none of these dudes were not racist. This issue was solved with the notorious 3/5ths
compromise. For the purpose of determining the population, the total number of white people plus 3/5ths the population of “other persons” – the word “slave” was never used – would be the basis for the calculation. So yeah, that’s still in the Constitution. The Constitution also contains a fugitive slave clause requiring any escaped slave to be returned to their master. And this meant that a slave couldn’t escape slavery by moving to a state where slavery was outlawed, which meant that on some level some states couldn’t enforce their own laws. Spoiler alert: this becomes problematic. But except for the tyranny of slavery, the
framers really hated tyranny. To avoid tyranny of the government, the Constitution embraced two principles: Separation of powers and federalism. The government was divided into three branches – legislative, executive, and judiciary, and the Constitution incorporated checks and balances: each branch can check the power The legislature can make laws, but the president
can veto those laws. The judiciary can declare laws void, too,
but that’s a power they had to grant themselves. You won’t find it in the Constitution – I
promise, you can look for it. And federalism is the idea that governmental authority rests both in the national and the state governments. As an American, I am a citizen both of the
United States and of the state of Indiana. And the national government, the one set up by the Constitution, is supposed to be limited in scope to certain enumerated powers. Most other powers, especially the protection of
health, safety and morals, are left to the states. But the Constitution also seeks to protect against the radicalism that too much democracy can bring. The mostly rich framers worried that the people, many of whom were poor and indebted, might vote in congress people, or God forbid a President, in favor of, like, redistribution of property. To hedge against this, senators were elected by the states, usually by state legislatures, and they were supposed to be, like, leading citizen types. You know, the kind of good Americans who take bribes and have adulterous affairs in airport bathrooms and patronize prostitutes and shoot Alexander Hamilton. Anyway, the other hedge against too much democracy is the aforementioned Electoral College, which many Americans hate because it has the potential to elect a president who did not win the popular vote, but that’s kind of the point. The electors were supposed to be prominent, educated men of property who were better able to elect a president than, like, the rabble. But, the Constitution of the United States is a really impressive document, especially when you consider its longevity. I mean, as Crash Course World History fans will remember, the nation-state is pretty new on the historical scene, and the United States established by the Constitution, is actually one of the oldest ones. But the Constitution would be meaningless if it hadn’t been ratified, which it was, but not without a fight that helped clarify America’s political ideology. 9 out of the 13 states were required to ratify the Constitution in special conventions called for the purpose. In order to convince the delegates to vote for it, three of the framers, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay wrote a series of 85 essays that together are known as the Federalist Papers. Taken together, they’re a powerful and ultimately persuasive argument for why a strong national government is necessary and ultimately not a threat to people’s liberty. Oh, it’s time for the Mystery Document? The rules here are simple. If I name the author of the Mystery Document, shock as in surprise. If I don’t shock as in [gurgling noise] All right, Stan, let’s see what we’ve
got here. “If circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and
those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.” Federalist Papers. Alexander Hamilton.
[dinging noise] YES. Too easy, Stan, although I appreciate the
opportunity for a rant. The whole idea of the Second Amendment was that the people could protect themselves from a standing army by being equally well-armed. Which, these days, would mean not that citizens should have the right to buy assault rifles, but that they should have the right to buy, like, unmanned drones. And arguably, suitcase nukes. And by the way, in the Constitution, this
is not listed as a privilege, it is listed as a right. And, as a right, if I can’t afford my own predator drone, I guess the government should buy one for me. It’s almost as if Alexander Hamilton had no way of knowing that weaponry would one day advance past the musket. P.S. You know how Alexander Hamilton died? GUNSHOT. Sorry, I just, I had to. I am on a roll. So, it would be easy to ignore the people who opposed the Constitution because, you know, they lost. But some of the ideas of these so-called Anti-Federalists were particularly powerful, and they deserve a bit of attention. Anti-Federalists, unlike the mostly wealthy federalists, were usually supported by common people, small farmers who weren’t as involved in commercial activity. They saw less need for a strong national government
that would foster trade and protect creditors. And, the Anti-Federalists were very afraid of a strong government, especially one dominated by the wealthy. Writers like James Winthrop held that a large group of united states would be like an empire and “that no extensive empire can be governed upon Republican principles.” As evidence, he could point to Britain, or
all the way back to Rome. Smaller, more local governments, are more responsive to the people and better able to protect their rights. To the Anti-Federalists, that meant state
governments. And while ultimately the Federalists won out and the Constitution was ratified, the issue of how large government should be did not go away. So, the Constitution was really only a starting
point. It’s a vague document, and the details would
be worked out in the political process. And then on the battlefield. Thanks for watching.
I’ll see you next week. Crash Course is produced and directed by Stan
Muller. Our script supervisor is Meredith Danko. The show is written by my high school history
teacher, Raoul Meyer, and myself. Edited by Stan and Mark Olsen. The associate producer is Danica Johnson. And our graphics team is Thought Bubble. If you have questions about today’s video,
or anything about American history, good news: there are historians in comments, so ask away. Thanks for watching Crash Course and as we
say in my hometown, Don’t Forget To Be Awesome.

Stamped from the Beginning: Ibram X. Kendi on the History of Racist Ideas in U.S.


AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org,
The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. We’re joined today by historian Ibram X.
Kendi, professor of history and international relations, founding director of the Anti-Racist
Research and Policy Center at American University. He just left the University of Florida at
Gainesville. He is the author of the National Book Award-winning
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. If you could take us through your thesis,
Professor Kendi, as you raise the profile of five figures through history, right through
today, Angela Davis, and talk about their role in our history? IBRAM X. KENDI: Sure. And so, the thesis for the book actually came
about through researching for the book, which I think is a good thing. And that was, I ended up entering into this
history of racist ideas believing this common idea that, really, the sort of origins, the
cradle, of racist ideas is ignorance—are ignorance and hate, and that ignorance and
hate leads to racist ideas, and it’s these people who have these racist ideas who are
the people who institute racist policies, like slavery, segregation and even massive
incarceration. And so, the more I sort of studied this history,
the more I contextualized the development of these ideas in their historical moment,
and, more importantly, the more I distinguished between the producers of racist ideas and
the consumers, and decided to study the producers, the more I found that people were producing
racist ideas to justify existing racist policies. In other words, racist policies were becoming
before racist ideas. And those racist policies were emerging out
of self-interest. And so, you had economic, political and even
cultural self-interest driving the creation of racially discriminatory policies, and then
the need to justify those policies led to the development of racist ideas, and then
those racist ideas and their circulation—or, more so, consumption—led to our ignorance
and hate. And so I chronicle this history through five
major characters. And the first character is Cotton Mather,
who was a Boston theologian, who, at the time—he lived from the 1660s to the 1720s—race or
racial ideas were largely theological ideas, because theological ideas were largely scientific
ideas. And so, he was involved in popularizing many
of the early theological ideas justifying or making the case for black inferiority. By the emergence of the United States, the
racial discourse became more secular, and particularly through the role of Thomas Jefferson. And Thomas Jefferson died on the eve of the
abolitionist movement—Thomas Jefferson being the second major character in the text—and
that abolitionist movement was largely spearheaded by William Lloyd Garrison, who of course was
the third major character. And W.E.B. Du Bois was the fourth major character. He, of course, was one of the sort of fathers
of civil rights and black power. And the last major character, that covers
the last 50 years, where mass incarceration, in particular, became front and center, was
Angela Davis. AMY GOODMAN: And so, talk about, from Cotton
Mather to Angela Davis, how they embodied your idea of how racist policies and ideas
develop. IBRAM X. KENDI: So, in the case of Cotton
Mather, Cotton Mather was involved in probably the first great American debate over race,
which was whether black people could become Christians. And slaveholders who were also Christian made
the case that black people were too barbaric. Cotton Mather, being a major Boston theologian,
being a major minister wanting to have a new group of people to proselytize to, made the
case that they can be Christianized, because their souls have the capacity to be white,
even though their bodies are black and inferior and worthy of enslavement. And so, this debate, he made this case for
this debate because he wanted to open up the sort of reins on the church to be able—particularly
the Puritan church, to be able to proselytize to black people. So he had this sort of hidden self-interest,
this hidden cultural self-interest, that led to his idea. And, you know, Thomas Jefferson, as many of
you would understand, I mean, he was a slaveholder who, of course, wanted to create ideas that
allowed him to continue slaveholding. And, you know, all the way up to sort of Angela
Davis. Angela Davis, I chronicle as, you know, this
major anti-racist theorist, because I really sort of show the debate, really, between racist
and anti-racist ideas. And I show, particularly within the realm
of criminal justice, that, you know, all of these ideas justifying law and order, justifying
the war on drugs, justifying tough on crime, and now justifying police being exonerated
for killing black lives, that Angela Davis was long at the forefront of challenging those
ideas by challenging the racist ideas that were underlying them. AMY GOODMAN: You write very poignantly in
the prologue to Stamped from the Beginning, “I somehow managed to write this book between
the heartbreaks of Trayvon Martin and Rekia Boyd and Michael Brown and Freddie Gray and
the Charleston 9 and Sandra Bland, heartbreaks that are a product of America’s history
of racist ideas as much as this history book of racist ideas is a product of these heartbreaks. Young Black males were twenty-one times more
likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts between 2010 and 2012, according
to federal statistics.” And you go on to say, “The under-recorded,
under-analyzed racial disparities between female victims of lethal police force may
be even greater. Federal data show [that] the median wealth
of White households is a staggering thirteen times the median wealth of Black households—and
Black people are five times more likely to be incarcerated than Whites.” Talk more about this. IBRAM X. KENDI: Sure. Well, Amy, this is—I mean, since the beginning
of the United States, since the beginning of colonial America, there has been what’s
called racial disparities, as you just outlined, racial disparities where black people were
more likely to be poor, black people were more likely to be killed by the police, black
people were more likely to be imprisoned. And so the question becomes: Why? Why is it that black people are on the lower
end of these racial disparities? Why does racial inequality exist in this country? And really, the racial debate has largely
been trying to answer that question. And really, Stamped from the Beginning chronicles
that long racial debate trying to answer that question. And really, there’s been three positions,
and those positions still persist to this day. The first position states that it’s because
black people are inferior. The reason why so many more black people are
being killed by the police is because black people keep acting recklessly before the police. If black people would act better, then this
would not be a problem. So they principally state that there’s something
wrong and inferior about black people. This is what I call the segregationist position. On the other side of the debate has been the
anti-racist position. The anti-racist position states that the racial
groups are equal. There’s nothing wrong or right about black
people or any other racial group of people. So, because the racial groups are equal, it
must—these disparities, these inequities must be the result of racial discrimination. So they spend their time challenging racial
discrimination. And then the third position, which is called
the assimilationist position, actually argues both. Typically and historically, they’ve stated
that, yes, there is racial discrimination, but there’s also something wrong and inferior
about black people. And so, they’ve sought to civilize and develop
black people at the same time they were challenging racial discrimination. AMY GOODMAN: So talk about where Black Lives
Matter fits into this picture, the organizing from the grassroots up, and where you see
it going. IBRAM X. KENDI: Yeah, I think it fits precisely
into this picture, because I think Black Lives Matter activists have made the case that the
problem is the criminal justice system, that the problem is racist policing, that the problem
is the laws that are being created that make the case that there’s something wrong with
the people as opposed to the environment that these people—the lack of jobs and resources
these people are being faced with. And so, I’m hoping, and I’m sure many
people are hoping, that Black Lives Matter and many other activists, anti-racist activists,
who have been inspired by Black Lives Matter, and other types of activists will recognize
the anti-racist position, which is that either the racial groups are equal or they’re not. And if you believe that the racial groups
are not equal, that there’s something wrong or inferior about black people, that that’s
a racist idea. And so you cannot continue to imagine that
this nation is post-racial at the same time that you don’t believe that the racial groups
are equal, that you’re championing policies that actually discriminate against black people. AMY GOODMAN: Talking to historian Ibram X.
Kendi. His book won the National Book Award, Stamped
from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. And you talk about overall racial inequities,
from everything from wealth to health. Certainly, when we look at what’s happening
right now in the Senate, though the healthcare bill has been put off for the moment, now
opposed by nine Republicans, who run the political spectrum, feeling that regulations—like,
what, Senator Paul of Kentucky—have to be stricter, that Medicaid and other healthcare
policies and safety nets have to be dismantled, to those who feel that this is way too stringent. But always at the bottom of this you have
the most vulnerable in society. So talk about from wealth to health, Professor
Kendi. IBRAM X. KENDI: So, I mean, from wealth, I
mean, the Great Recession, some have made the case, was one of the largest losses of
black wealth in American history, one of the largest losses of Latino wealth in American
history, that when we have these major economic catastrophes, you know, those people who are
the most sort of underprivileged are most likely to lose out. But I think the healthcare debate and, really,
argument, I think, is even more indicative, you know, of what we’re talking about. I mean, the Affordable Care Act led to 11
percent more black and Latino people becoming insured, which is a dramatic sort of development
within black America, within Latino America. And so, more—it eliminated these massive
disparities—or, I mean, eliminated—reduced these disparities between racial groups that
are uninsured. And so, you know, to think about a new healthcare
bill that’s going to reduce the number of people who—I’m sorry, increase the number
of people who are uninsured, I mean, many of those people are probably going to be black
or Latino, and then, therefore, we’re going to have an increase in these disparities. And then what racist ideas will say is, “Well,
it’s those black people’s fault. It’s those Latinos’ fault. You know, they should be working harder. There’s something wrong with them.” And so, they’ll create racist ideas to justify
those disparities. And I should also say that, you know, I think
one of the most consequential manifestations in this country that black life does not matter
is the disparity between how long black people live. I mean, white people are more like three-and-a-half—have
a lifespan of three-and-a-half years in this country. And I think, you know, many of these things
sort of result in that, including people having access to healthcare. AMY GOODMAN: You’re writing a new book on
how to be an anti-racist, which will be released next year. Can you give us a little preview? IBRAM X. KENDI: So, you asked about the—Amy,
ask the question again? I’m sorry. AMY GOODMAN: I was just saying, you’re writing
a new book, How to Be an Anti-Racist. IBRAM X. KENDI: Oh, yes. AMY GOODMAN: Give us a preview. IBRAM X. KENDI: Sure. So, I mention in the prologue of Stamped from
the Beginning that, you know, before I could chronicle anyone else’s racist ideas, I
first had to come to grips with my own. And so, really, in How to Be an Anti-Racist,
I want to sort of chronicle my journey, my personal journey, of really, you know, being
raised and consuming many racist ideas to seeking to become somebody who is an anti-racist. And so I begin the book with a speech that
I gave in high school, in which I uttered all of these racist ideas, all of these things
stating that there’s something wrong with black people. And I take readers through my own personal
journey, while simultaneously revealing many of the concepts of what it means to be an
anti-racist. AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Ibram X. Kendi, can
you tell us the origins of your name? IBRAM X. KENDI: Sure. So, Ibram is—was given to me by my parents. It means “exalted father.” It’s a derivative of Abraham. Came up in a Christian church—I mean, a
Christian family. My parents were part of the black theology
movement in the early ’70s. And my last name, Kendi, my wife and I, when
we wed in 2003, we decided to choose a name together. And so, Kendi is a Meru, in Kenya, name that
means “loved one.” AMY GOODMAN: And you unveiled this at your
wedding to your family and friends? IBRAM X. KENDI: Yes. Yes. AMY GOODMAN: Well, Ibram X. Kendi, I want
to thank for you being with us, professor of history and international relations and
founding director of the Anti-Racist Research and Policy Center at American University. He’s just leaving the University of Florida
at [Gainesville]. He’s the author of Stamped from the Beginning:
The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which is winner of the 2016 National
Book Award. This is Democracy Now! When we come back, we look at a lawsuit in
Washington against the Washington, D.C., police for their treatment of protesters at the inauguration
of President Trump. Stay with us.

Top 10 Presidents of the United States of America (USA)



they were some of America's most influential heads of state and government welcome to watchmojo.com and today we're counting down our picks for the top 10 u.s. presidents because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept for this list we considered presidential accomplishments that had a lasting positive impact as well as the leaders ability to inspire we excluded presidents after george w bush because we felt there's been insufficient time to evaluate their long-term effectiveness number 10 James Monroe this founding father believed in unity rather than divisive miss as president he attempted to decrease political tensions by disregarding party associations during his nominations thereby launching the era of good feelings while he expanded the American territory with the Treaty of 1818 and the purchase of Florida it's the Monroe Doctrine freeing of the Western Hemisphere from European domination that's most in twined with his legacy number 9 John Fitzgerald Kennedy this Pulitzer Prize winning president may not have served a full term but JFK still earns high ranks among the public ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country known for his inspirational speeches Kennedy made history for publicly condemning racism along with his civil rights initiatives he fought communism helped resolve the Cuban Missile Crisis and supported the creation of the Navy SEALs also notable was his commitment to the space race and sending a man to the moon we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things not because they are easy but because they are hard number 8 Andrew Jackson while he supported slavery and forced Indian Removal Jackson was also extremely important because of his democratic reforms as a strong advocate for liberty he had the masses in mind when he moved to break up the second bank of the US which he felt only worked to the advantage of the elite Old Hickory also paid off the national debt instituted the modern strong presidency and helped resolve the nullification crisis number seven Dwight D Eisenhower though he served as a five-star general during World War two Eisenhower's foreign presidential efforts mostly focused on peace we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence whether sought or unsought by the military-industrial complex the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists he brokered a truce in the Korean War and supported the diplomatic use of nuclear weapons he also signed the federal aid Highway Act which permitted the eventual construction of the interstate highway system enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and increased the country's commitment to Space Research which ultimately gave birth to NASA number six James K pulk Hulk accomplished a great deal in just one term he negotiated the Oregon treaty with the UK and expanded the United States borders to the Pacific following the mexican-american war this acquisition of territories like California Texas and more set the stage for long term growth of the American economy Hulk was also involved in the establishment of the Department of the Interior the Smithsonian Institution and the u.s. Naval Academy number 5 Theodore Roosevelt Teddy's a progressive icon due to his sweeping Square Deal reforms efforts to end the russo-japanese war and macho but charming personality he became president following William McKinley's assassination but Roosevelt was elected for a second term based on his own merits he quickly endeared himself to Americans by advocating policies for the middle class the Nobel Peace Prize winner also asserted the u.s. as a world power with the Panama Canal and the Great White Fleet number four Thomas Jefferson this founding father wrote the Declaration of Independence 'as first draft as president he helped increase the country's power and protect trade by purchasing Louisiana from France his vision of a nation from the Atlantic to the Pacific led him to commission the first American expedition to cross the western US the Lewis and Clark expedition despite the fact that he owned slaves Jefferson is considered a symbol of Liberty for publicly opposing the practice number three George Washington before becoming president Washington fought for freedom by successfully leading the American Revolution against the British Empire then as one of the founding fathers he brought people together by championing liberty and nationalism America's first president was also instrumental in drafting the Constitution and setting precedents for office including the appointment of a cabinet and limiting his own power by stepping down after two terms number 2 Franklin Delano Roosevelt this is pre-eminently the time to speak the truth so crew frankly and boldly thanks to the New Deal's relief recovery and reform programs FDR helped bring the u.s. out of the Great Depression and into a period of rapid growth these programs appealed to and attracted many minorities and served as the origins of America's current social security program Roosevelt also led his people through the Second World War by working with Britain's Winston Churchill and the Soviet Union's Joseph Stalin yesterday December 7th 1941 a date which will live in infamy number 1 Abraham Lincoln he went from being a poor self-taught country lawyer to the man that led the nation during the Civil War after proclaiming the Emancipation Proclamation Honest Abe cemented the abolition of slavery with the Thirteenth Amendment the inspirational order also helped ensure the Union government didn't fall apart strengthen the country's finances and set the foundation for the first transcontinental railroad with the Pacific Railway acts do you agree with our list who is your top American president for more informative top 10s be sure to subscribe to watchmojo.com

Top 6 US Presidents by IQ Score! Donald Trump a Genius?.



welcome to winter net life online the place of empowerment of money advice work and lifestyle with the recent book being released putting in question president Donald Trump's mine state whether he is a genius or mad today we look at the six top US presidents based on IQ score the United States of America has had many clever and not so clever memorable not so memorable presidents but which in the most clever as rated by their IQ score here we look at just the top six US presidents as rated from six to one just on their score of intelligence so number six Woodrow Wilson Woodrow Wilson was the 28th president and leader of the progressive movement of the United States of America he had an IQ score of 152 Wilson was the President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910 before serving as the governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913 after he was elected president Wilson began pushing for antitrust laws legislation which culminated in the signing of the Federal Trade Commission Act in September 1914 he is perhaps best remembered for his speech fourteen points which he presented to Congress towards the end of World War one the speech articulated Wilson's long-term war objectives for forever peace in the future one of the most famous being the establishment and his input for the League of Nations a preliminary version of today's United Nations number five Bill Clinton William Jefferson Bill Clinton was the 42nd president serving from 1993 to 2001 he has an IQ of 156 after graduating from Georgetown when in a road scholarship to Oxford University and earning a law degree from Yale in 1973 Clinton was elected governor of Arkansas in 1978 he went on to win the presidency with Al Gore as his running mate in 1992 and his perhaps best remembered for his work with Tony Blair in brokering peace in Northern Ireland and the Balkans although known him Phillip infamously by the scandal that has dogged him for years as remember he did not have sexual relations with that woman number four Donald J Trump with the recent release of the book claiming the White House is in chaos and Donald Trump is either mad or a genius he recently took to Twitter saying that he was a genius as he couldn't have accomplished everything without being genius borderline idiosyncrasy Donald Trump is very well known for The Apprentice USA in his exploits on Twitter and his business empire his effective an unorthodox leadership style which led him to the US presidency he is also known for the big powerhouse of businesses throughout the 1980s in the 1990s to present day with his now powerful and influential family but let's look at his IQ now there has been much debate to his IQ score as you can see online as well live in many questions but in here his facts surrounding Donald Trump graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science in economics and anthropology Mensa doesn't accept Sat scores from after 1994 however mr. Trump was a student at Wharton when it was possible to derive inaccurate IQ known as SATs course given the usual requirements for admission to a top school like Wharton mr. Trump would have had an IQ of 156 number three John F Kennedy JFK John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States of America serving less than three years before he was assassinated in 1963 he had no queue of 158 Kennedy graduated from Harvard in 1940 and joined the Navy shortly thereafter suffering injuries while serving in combat in World War two he was elected president in 1960 he gave one of the most memorable inauguration addresses in recent memory saying ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country he is perhaps best remembered for his successful fiscal programs which greatly expanded the US economy creating it to one of the powerhouses in modern time his push also for civil rights legislation that would enhance equal rights led him to great great legacies he is one of the most loved and cherished presidents not only in the United States but also worldwide known as the worldwide presidents with his no-nonsense approach to any aggressor number two Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson was an American founding father and served as the country's third president between 1801 and 1800 he had no queue of 160 according to Simonton x' estimates Jefferson graduated from the College of William and Mary before going on to study law he wasn't he was a notably bad public speaker according to White House records he reluctantly ran for president after gradually assuming leadership of the Republican Party as a staunch Federalist an advocate of states rights jefferson strongly opposed a strong centralized government one of his first policy initiatives after becoming president was to eliminate the highly unpopular tax on whiskey number one John Adams John Adams was the second president from 1797 to 1801 after serving as the nation's first vice president under George Washington he had an IQ of 173 again according to Simonton estimates Adams studied law at Harvard and was an early supporter of the movement for u.s. independence from the British Empire ambitious and intellectual he frequently complained to his wife that the office of vice-president was insignificant he is perhaps best remembered for his skills in diplomacy helping to negotiate a peace treaty during the Revolutionary War and avoid in a war with France during his presidency thank you for listening and watching I hope you enjoyed the top six presidents by IQ score I also do product reviews money advice and saving tips general life hacks please like and subscribe and look out for more

Just In Time for Independence Day! Politicians Prepare Attack on Summer Beer Gardens



hey summer is here in the USA and one of the newly popular options in Boston and other Massachusetts cities is for folks to gather at temporary outdoor beer gardens and you know it and I know it yes indeed don't be surprised when I tell you that certain politicians and certain business interests in this former cradle of American liberty want to use the force of government to bring this rising option to its virtual knees alright just in time to celebrate Independence Day comes this news of the kind of cronyism that King George himself might have admired according to the beylin litigant writing for Reason magazine a gang of Massachusetts politicians are eager to crack the government baton over the rise of beer gardens and what are beer gardens beer gardens have quickly reshaped and improved Boston's summer drinking scene since debuting in the city in 2017 maybe come says writer Geoff bernstone an indisputable fixture in city life last year American craft beer dubbed Boston America's beer garden Capital Limited explains that there are nine beer gardens in the city and there are more just outside of Boston the draw of a beer garden is obvious drinking outside is the best thing about both drinking and being outdoors beer gardens are fun a typical pop-up beer garden might run several nights each week and feature games music food trucks and of course beer there are great use of underutilized space beer gardens typically pop up in a vacant lot or a strip of public park many are family friendly kids and pets are often welcome others have embraced high culture treehouse Brewing the top rated brewery in Massachusetts is featuring musicians from the themed Berklee College of Music at its beer garden and that sounds pretty great even for a guy like me who doesn't drink beer but you know if people are peacefully having fun and making money at it politicians are likely going to hit it and thus we have this the bill and act relative to one day alcoholic beverage licenses would curtail and perhaps derail the ability of many breweries to operate beer gardens in the state in fact the licensing bill was written by Bob was the president and CEO of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association yes King George I'll have my mercantilism super-sized please the Restaurant Association is particularly opposed to the comparatively low cost of beer garden licenses which run under $100 per day and by the ease with which breweries currently may skirt a frivolous cap on the number of such licenses that can be issued to a business breweries and others can skirt that provision by simply having different employees apply for the permits boston.com reported this week and so here's what the wonderful statute will no no person farm corporation association or other combination of persons directly or indirectly or through any agent employee stockholder officer or other person or any subsidiary whatsoever shall be granted in the aggregate more than fourteen such licenses in the Commonwealth in a calendar year or participated decisions regarding such licenses or receive any percentage of fee derived from gross revenues in exchange for management assistance or participated any other action designed to affect common results of more than 14 licenses under this section in a calendar year I added the s there because evidently Massachusetts s budget couldn't afford that and of course get this one of the co-sponsors of the bill a Massachusetts senator named Nick Collins added this bitterness to the brew he is actually saying about this needless authoritarian piece of legislation state senator Nick Collins who co-sponsored the bill to kill beer gardens says he introduced it to quote jumpstart a conversation about beer gardens long-term sustainability end quote well senator Collins you might want to keep in mind that such fatuous rhetoric doesn't hide the towering mercantilism you're proposing the kind of mercantilism that King George would have admired and fact that long-term sustainability you discuss isn't the concern of parasitic politicians and it's very easy to see how beer gardens are sustaining themselves you can find out whether they're profiting or losing money in addition to that senator there's this fictitious notion about a conversation center legislation is about as far from a conversation as extortion is from a handshake legislation is force it's a threat of government violence against people if the people don't act the way the government wants them to and by the way you and the other politicians are paid through force of taxation as well you know this is like if a mobster were to approach a business owner and tell that business owner to behave as the mobster desires that senator would also not be a conversation and there's one final point as we approach independence state senator from Massachusetts the so-called cradle of Liberty you see senator one of the cars on the long train of abuses that Thomas Jefferson discussed in the Declaration of Independence had to do with what were called kangaroo courts that was where they were taking people especially from Massachusetts who were black marketeers trying to skirt the terrible mercantilist laws like the Tea Act the Intolerable Acts and the Stamp Act and they were trying them outside of the Boston area and the reason they were doing that was because there's something called jury nullification jury nullification is the final wall against arbitrary government tyranny where people on a jury can find someone not guilty if they believe that the law is wrong so the British were trying people in Nova Scotia and Thomas Jefferson actually referred to this inside the Declaration of Independence it was a direct response to mercantilist legislation the kind of legislation that you are pushing and yet I don't think you'll be thinking about that as perhaps you toast Independence Day well you better not do it at a beard because goodness knows it seems like you don't like them I think Thomas Jefferson would have hey thanks so much for watching everybody don't forget to Like and subscribe and happy Independence Day as it approaches for MRC TV i'm gardner goldsmith you you