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tv   [untitled]    June 24, 2012 1:30pm-2:00pm EDT

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ultimately meant that he had to abolish slavery. that the abolitionist discreet war to end slavery really converged with lincoln's chief aim which was a war to preserve the union. you can't have one without the other. in order to presume the union, you have to end slavery. in order to end slavery, you have to preserve the union. you need blacks on your side to preserve the union. we'll elaborate on that today and especially next week. but douglass made that very clear. was there another question? now to go back to lincoln's inaugural address, now what you might not know is lincoln drafted it. he labored over and when he arrives in washington he circulates the draft to some d advisers. and -- and in the draft he
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circulates, he opposes congressional efforts to amend the constitution. and in his draft he says i'm for the old ship. in his draft he knew the congress was debating this new 13th amendment. they haven't they hadn't passed it. he vows to reclaim the federal forces captured rather than simply preserve those that remain in federal hands. and then his draft, it's a much firmer ending. his draft ends by saying with you and not with me is the solemn question. shall it be peace or the sword? your choice. he circulates this draft to william stewart in particular who thinks it is way too strong. plus some other republican
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advisers, orville browning, frances blair. based on their recommendations, he changes it. now he supports the 13th amendment. now he vows only to protect federal courts under control. now he has this memorable -- truly brilliant, softer ending. misty cords of memory to every living heart all over this broad land will yet swell the chorus of the union when again touched as surely they will be by the better angels of our nature. the language actually comes primarily from william seward who suggest this is for the ending. the mystic chords which -- it didn't have the musical ear lincoln appropriates them as --
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mystic chords but in a clunky phrase. lincoln as a literary person develops it into the last stanza. so the southern response to the inaugural, southerners interpret it as a declaration of war. here's one quote from south carolina. racializes lincoln saying he's an orangutan, to battle. which is a signal of our freedom. a virginia editor says it inaugurates civil war. many southerners characterize lincoln's vice president hannibal hamlin as a mulato. so some of them would joke around, we'd like to assassinate lincoln, but if we do, that means milato is president. we don't want that. they hated it because he calls slavery evil. remember to southerners the very idea that one calls slavery evil is a threat to southern honor and southerners understand the
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laws depend on morality. higher law proliferates because northerners believe in slavery's evil. when lincoln brilliantly summarizes the central debate of the war, one side believes slavery is right, not to be extended. the other side believes it is evil. no one disagrees. they are just outraged that he would call slavery evil. they are outraged he says it's treason. from a southern perspective, he's thumbing his nose at the supreme court, particularly the dred scott decision. he says the candid citizen must confess if the policy of the government upon vital questions is to be fixed by the decisions
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of the supreme court the people may have ceased to be their own rulers. having resigned their government into the hands of that tribunal. in the past it passed the idea that the supreme court can overturn acts of legislature. this summarizes the confederate view of secession. this is from vice president alexander stevens. our new government rests upon to cob contradict this.
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what's the northern response? most republicans and democrats liked it. it's profoundly subtle. in a sense it has something for everyone. that's a brilliant document in many respects. both progressive and conservative as i have suggested. although abolitionists hated it. because of lincoln's conciliatory posture to slave owning southerners. frederick douglas says it is little better than our worst fears. you have read some of the response. he refers to lincoln as double-tongued. because he's elected on a platform to confine slavery where it is. where the public mind shall believe in its extinction. in his essay, douglas is quoting lincoln and endorsing the amendment to guarantee slavery.
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for douglass and other abolitionists, it's courting the favor of rebels. >> douglass agrees that confederates are rebels. that's the determine that was used. in fact, lincoln never dignifies the confederates referring to them as such. he calls them rebels. the closest is saying throughout the war's so-called confederacy. so-called confederates. to use the term confederates or confederacy legitmates the secession of the government. douglass is saying you're courting the favor of these rebels. as close as frederick douglass ever comes to abandoning his faith and national ideals articulated in the declaration of independence is immediately after reading lincoln's inaugural address. he plans a trip to haiti. he travels to see if in fact
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what he read about and if it is he's going to move there immediately and encourage others to do the same. with lincoln as president there is no way the nation can come close to achieving national ideals. now he doesn't go to haiti. doesn't go on this trip. anyone know why? of course not. harper's weekly. this is from the perspective of confederates. so lincoln right after he gives the inaugural address goes to the white house. the first item of business is this memo from major robert anderson. the commander of fort sumner with a dispatch saying supplies are going to last only another week or two. my men are going to starve to death or have to surrender unless you send us supplies.
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lincoln is faced with a profound choice. fort sumter is in the heart of the confederacy off charleston, south carolina. in a sense he has three options. he can try to shoot his way in. send gun boats and arms. if he does that he's going to be accused of starting the war. he'll outrage southerners. he could give up fort sumter and say, take it. we don't need it. take it. he'll divide the north. northerners will be outraged he's not defending federal property. or he can do what he did which is to send a boat with provisions only. no guns, no arms. notify the south carolina governor in advance. just to let you know we are seeing food because the men are starving. this is not an act of
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belligerence. they are starving to death. they are in a federal fort. that way it's on them for starting the war. it's a brilliant war. south carolinans refused to allow this aid of food to reach ft. sumner. on april 12th at 4:30 a.m. they begin bombing fort sumter for 33 hours until the surrender. there is a perspective from the fort itself by "harper's weekly." they had sketch artists, the precursors of photo journalists on site. they draw the sketch. send it to head quarters.
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they would engrave or cut an engraving from the sketch. lincoln calls for 75,000 troops for 90 days. northerners and southerners both thought the war would last no more than three months. both sides thought the war would end quickly. southerners felt because of their long tradition of marshal ideas of fighting which was one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the south. duels were common. southerners thought it would take ten northerners to defeat one southerner. northerners felt because of their manpower, their industrial base they would just destroy the south in three months. very few people thought the war would last more than six months. lincoln, the desire for revenge and the unity among most northerners is such that he could have raised 400,000
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troops. it unites northern whites as never before. douglas acknowledges it. the government has aroused. the dead north is alive. abolitionists, one of the t fascinating aspects of abolitionists is when lincoln gives his inaugural self-described abolitionists are still tiny minority. they are still despised. what transforms abolitionists into respected prescient critics of the american scene is fort sumter. they are respected as never before. now there are more people attending abolitionist meetings than ever before. the war proves them right. the greatest reason for why abolitionists were excoriated is no longer on the table. they threaten to divide the country. they threaten to incite
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disunion. the fort sumner because of lincoln calling for troops leads to the sect secession between april and early may. in fact, lincoln suspend habias corpus and attempts to prevent maryland from seceding. from the outset the reason why douglass stays and doesn't go to haiti is he understands as do other abolitionists that this military war is a golden opportunity to end slavery from the beginning, from ft. sumter. this point if not the most respected, one of the most respected abolitionists and probably the most famous. because of his brilliance as an
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orator and writer. here's how douglass says to end the war. you end slavery immediately, you arm blacks, 10,000 black soldiers could be raised in the next 30 days. they are -- would be thrilled to fight. in fact, he says by preventing whites from being soldiers which lincoln's call for 75,000 troops does. he says you're only fighting with your hands. by ending slavery, arming blacks, you can tap into this black power and quickly and easily vanquish the confederacy. yeah. >> one thing i noticed from kind of the douglass reading from this week and how it contrasted from the other reading we did. he's taking on more of a national identity. >> yes.
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>> did that happen only after secession? >> so douglass becomes sort of national spokesperson for the abolitionists and for the north really during the civil war. he's already a household name on the eve of the civil war, but the civil war makes douglas far more famous than even he had been before. and, in fact, in the wake of the war, after the war becomes an elder statesman. he becomes a republican insider. he's very closely involved. through every newspaper he devotes the paper to coverage of the war, his views and other views. takes on those of lincoln, other republicans. his speeches are now to more people than ever before. he's a national mouthpiece. that's a great way to summarize
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it. he calls for refuelling the fugitive sight law. after all, why dig any identify this. to belligerence, to insurrect n insurrectionaries? and by ending slavery, 4 million slaves will know exactly who their friends are and who their enemies. blacks constitute a third of the south in terms of population. they know the landscape, the rivers. they can be indispensable sources of aid. the fifth reason is if you right up front make this an abolition war england in particular, there is no way to recognize the confederacy. england is leading the western
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world in seeking to perpetuate this wave of emancipation. and although england is losing money because immediately after the war the union creates a blockade around the south preventing southerners from sending cotton to england to be turned into finished goods and cloth so the textile workers and owners in england are suffering profoundly. if the war is an abolition war england won't recognize the confederacy. until then, it's up for grabs. other thoughts on douglass' response to lincoln and douglass' view of the war? you had a number of pieces from douglass. yeah? >> i'm just interested in england's motivation in not
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recognizing the confederacy. if the union is preventing england from getting goods that it needs it seems england would see more in the union than the confederacy. >> that's a great question. from an economic standpoint, the union is more of an enemy than it is a friend to england. when it emancipated slavery in the west indies and the emancipation more generally is when people made a decision that went against the pocketbook. when england passed its emancipation act they knew it was costing immense amounts of money. they specifically made the decision in which their moral vision outstripped their economic desire. >> they were proud of that. they also felt there would be a level playing field economically.
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but they were proud of that. and as i mentioned before, by 1860, most of the new world had abolished slavery. slavery, it's the west's first big business. england was sensitive to the fact that the moral claims and their desire to realize them will trump economic incentives. now that was debated. england ultimately comes close to recognizing the confederacy. according to james macpherson had lincoln not issued his preliminary emancipation proclamation right after antietam, they would have recognized the confederacy. had england recognized the confederacy that would have meant a confederate victory.
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because now england could break the blockade more importantly. now the confederacy could receive guns from the powerhouse of england. yeah. >> i was going to say, aside from the moral reasons for england not being involved in the war, like on the practical level, it -- like the opportunity never came up where it made sense because the union navy was much stronger than -- it was not like the confederacy had a navy that was equal to the confederacy of the union and so it would have just been the british navy against the union navy, which to be fair, the british navy was strong, but they're in enemy territory. >> right. >> moreover, it's kind of like in the american revolution where french involvement didn't come until there was a turning point in the war, where the colonists had already demonstrated enough victories to kind of be like a sure thing. and i feel like the confederacy never got together, was always
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kind of a tug-of-war between the union and confederacy. >> right. i think that's a good point. there's a relatively new book that argues the union blockade was not that effective. and so had england recognized the confederacy, it would have just blown apart that blockade. and the cotton could have easily been shipped to england. yeah. >> i think what douglass recognizes is that the union actually needed the ideal of fighting for slavery to become more efficient in its war practices. >> that's right. that's very good. >> up until that point, up until ending the fugitive slave law, up until emancipation, there was always the question of compromise. >> yes. >> i think douglass declares how this creates inefficiency, weak-heardedness. >> yes. >> there's always the lingering question of, if the south will
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compromise, we will give up certain elements. and douglas saw what many northerners weren't willing to accept which is that the south viewed the north as enemies while the north had not yet given up the south as sort of brotherly states. >> that's right. >> with the addition of, like, the slavery ideal, we're fighting to end slavery, the war can end if the south compromises. the south has to give in. >> that's right that and i think this -- i think that that put the war into an entirely new terms. >> yes. >> and the only way that the war was going to end in the north's favor was if they fought wholeheartedly against an enemy and not just for reuniting with compromise. >> that's a great point. i mean, douglass -- those are great points. douglass recognized what many people did until near the end of the war, which was to win the war and to prevev the union, you had to completely vanquish the south, and it had to lead to an
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unconditional surrender. because southerners, all they have to do is hang on. they can suffer as many military defeats as you want, but as long as they remain a confederacy, as long as they don't surrender unconditionally, no matter how destroyed their territory is, they can remain a separate nation. and slavery was the centerpiece of that nation. yeah. >> we see this whole -- >> hang on a second. >> we see this whole -- this england, the importance of england, making moral point about ending slavery with jon stewart mill when he talk about america. he basically argues, he's a liberal, he supports people's rights, you know, sometimes insurrection revolution can be okay. he makes a distinction where he says -- on 142, he says,
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secession may be laudable and so may any kind of iner is ruction but may also be an enormous crime. it's the one or the other according to the object and the provocation. and basically then argues that the rebels, the confederates, they're basically -- though they're trying to fight for their independence, they're enemies of mankind. on the page before, he says they're not in rebellion for civil slavery. they're in rebellion for the right of burning human creatures alive and argues there is this moral distinction, like there's some people who are good for fighting back and some people who are not. in this case, like these people are just straight-up evil. >> that's very good. >> and we need to get -- we can't support them. >> that's a great point. that's a very good point. in fact, let's jump to the -- to the england's dilemma. caught -- the people who suffered the most in england were the working-class textile -- the millworkers.
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they were literally starving to death. i mean even before the civil war, you couldn't call them free in the way most political theorists define freedom and that individual freedom is the freedom of mobility. the mill workers didn't have a choice of getting a job elsewhere. they were truly exploited and with a blockade and with the secession of cotton being imported, textiles -- the factories either shut down or they had work stoppages. and it reached a point by mid-1862 in which throughout england, their massive drives for food, for money, that will prevent the deaths, literally the deaths of the millworkers. this is from the front page of "illustrated london news." it's somehow blurry. the time has gone by for any nice measurement of the extent to which destitution prevails in the cotton district. that was no exaggeration. absolute destitution. here's another full page from
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"illustrated london news" showing a soup and food drive. the thousands of people who are making food just to prevent these mill workers from starving to death. now, mill, in a sense, represents the -- john stewart mill represents the mill workers' voice. the cotton spinners, in england, were among in many respects the heroes of the civil war because although they were being exploited, they refused to encourage england to recognize the confederacy. why? because although they were exploited working-class mill workers, they understood that slavery -- they believed that slavery threatened their own dignity and identity as free laborers. that they were proud of being
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free laborers even though they weren't making that much, that slavery threatened that. they were the staunchest supporters of the union, of the opportunity to end slavery. mill in his essay in a sense is voicing that view. workers, they're starving to death because of the union blockade. and mill spoke for them. workers refused to recognize the confederacy, break the union blockade, and they truly should be seen as among the great heroes of the war collectively. marx, carl marx who wrote a column for horace greeley's "new york tribune" in the 1850s and followed the war passionately because he saw the war as a step in his vision of communism and believed that the war reflected the unity of the working classes internationally, and here he's essentially says as much.
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he says the misery that the stoppage of the factories and the labor time motivated by the blockade of the slave states produced among the workers in the northern manufacturing districts is incredible. so on the one hand, they're facing total misery. working class is conscious that the government is only waiting for their cry from the pressure. now, marks is off base, in my view, in thinking that social change always occurs from the margins. that if the working classes just actually come together, that's going to produce a revolution. historically, it's a dialectic between what goes on in the margins and what goes on in the seats of power. but he's right in noting that they're refusing to call for the working -- the working classes in england are refusing to call for a recognition of the confederacy, and, in fact, they're supporting the united states.
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so this is a brilliant proof of the indestructible excellence of english classes. mill and marks understood what was going on. yeah? microphone. >> i was just going to say that it seems like the working class in england recognized maybe deeper motives that haven't been that much discussed in southern government, which is that as much as they discuss states' rights and democracy, there were elements of an oligarchy about the type of government they set up. and it's interesting that marks actually describes the civil war as partially a social war, and a struggle between class systems. >> yes, yes, yes. >> and i think you see that when jefferson davis talks about how hierarchies of white race in the north and racializes germans and irish, i think you see that there was almost -- there was a battle for equality that was going on, not just


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