tv Alexander Hamilton and the Early Republic CSPAN October 11, 2015 12:00am-12:51am EDT
american revolution, state operated as separate countries, which often created problems. hamilton argued during the constitutional convention for a strong, central government to mediate between states. this class is about 50 minutes. elizabeth: i think one of the most exciting things about history and world history is the way we discover how they are big patterns, that in a sense rule our lives. they touch the lives of an individual, or in which an individual person makes a big difference to the pattern. we had been reading a book on -- valerie hansen, and the voyage of world history and we know that there are all kinds of big patterns and we know that it is the job of students and s toessional historian
figure out what the big pattern is, because of what happened in our lives, it is so chaotic and quick, we cannot figure out the overall trajectory. things we are looking at is the effect of the environment on us, whether it is all of the things that nature hurls at us, whether it is a hurricane, tornado, famine, or something like ebola. we also looked at things like mechanical things or technological inventions, those are also big patterns. for example, the ways in which farming, farming does not seem like technology, but the ways farming and the plow replaced hunting and gathering. that replacement led from the neolithic into the paleolithic wow, what is bigger than that?
and other technologies that have really affected our lives, such as the invention of the spinning wheel, steam engines, what do they do? they led to the replacement of manual labor with machine labor. as you know, that gave us the industrial revolution. those are giant patterns. those are patterns that are easier to see because they are outside ourselves, they are like objects we can see. and feel, and touch. sometimes the most important patterns and the one in here, the ones we do not see, but they profoundly affect our understanding of our lives. our basic assumptions. what i want to talk about today is the way in which a certain very old set of assumptions about how the world works. about violence, power, order and government, how those changed radically, and how we today go about assuming that certain things are the way they are, but
we know they have not. what is that big pattern and assumptions that had to change -- have been changed, and have been replaced by something else and how does that relate to the man on the $10 bill, alexander hamilton, who by the way is the most interesting man of the american revolution. i know this, i am actually publishing a novel on him, this fun and interesting guy. one big change in the last 2-3 centuries has been the replacement of certain ideas by others. the first of these assumptions is that power is something that once you get you hold onto it tightly. you do not share it. why would you share it? that is the old assumption. thatld assumption is whenever they can, other people will try to take your power from you, i know, this takes me to my first picture.
this is an old idea, that people who will steal your stuff first is your neighbors. back.oes way, way this is very old. this is not an actual cave painting, but this is an ancient idea and is tied to another idea. nations, groups of people, have no right to exist as a separate group of people with their own government. that is something that you win. you defend it yourself. no one will defend it for you print the first person -- people who will try to rob it from you are, who? your neighbors. whether that is the mongol invasion of poland, or aztecs conquering other nations, or almost allnquering of europe, with the exception of
mighty england. that is a pattern into has been there forever. now it is replaced with something really weird. i say weird because to replace it with something that is so unusual in world history that we take it for granted today that , we have to say, why don't we operate that way anymore? what has replaced that set of ideas? i think you will recognize these. all these assumptions are kind of deep in our bones. but the newer set of assumptions is that actually, every group of people has dignity and the right to self rule. has the right to their own borders. and we are the first people who will protect those you to defend those for you, your neighbors. for the most part. ukraine, we will not have about -- not talk about that right now. but for the most part, it is the people around you and they have solidarity with you.
they will protect you. and also the assumption that if you have a problem, the best way to deal with it is not by getting up and hitting the person next to you. don't do that. the best way is to talk it through, arbitrating, mediating, by in some way working out. that is very different from the caveman drawing. now that is a world, that is the world we live in. for example, the united nations, the idea is not perfect, but people come, people beg to come, they want to be represented by the united nations because they know that is the place where your sovereignty will be defended by a community of people, exemplified by things like the european union, which
has the flag that reminds me of the old american flag there, because they do not have 50 stars yet. wait until he gets 50 -- they get 50. i predict it will be something different than a circle. but the situation today, people really do not like each other, who might be building bombs, might not like iran, will come , to the united nations, on american soil and will have a , conversation. the conversation may not go as we like, but there is not an immediate resort to the first weapon, so you know that your neighbor will try to overrun you. instead you know, basically you , are safe as a nation. you have problems, but you are basically safe. you might say ok, so, how do we get there? in history, we often rely on what i would call proximate cause, the thing that happened right next to us. in fact, we want to pick a date, when does this start?
a reasonable one is 1945, the founding of the united nations. you see a poster here that was world war ii era, it was talking about the preamble of the charter of the united nations, on the right and bigger print. it says, we the peoples of the united nations determine to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors have resolved that the parties to any all seekhall first of a solution. world history is not like a light switch in a classroom. there are no on or off switches. , the big patterns start somewhere further back, a moment in which a new template is laid.
that trend picks up. there are things that war against the trend, but if a trend is powerful like farming, or industrial revolution, even though some people are still hunting and gathering, that trend will ultimately prevail or become a dominant reality. if we want to know where that starts in world history. oddly enough, we need to go back to the american revolution. this is not because the united states was the first post colonial nation, which it was, or the first modern democracy, which it was or the first , federal republic, which it was, those are remarkable things. they had precedents. we did not invent any of this stuff. it is important to remember that. but one of the things and probably the most remarkable thing the u.s. did, the most remarkable thing i personally think. and i have studied and taught
classes from jamestown, to yesterday, but if i look out at the most remarkable thing that the united states did it , established a precedent for creating a durable peace between neighbors. the idea that neighboring states could not go to war with each other, could take down barriers, could even have a common citizenship, and low and behold a common currency and they could do all those rings. -- things. the focus of this topic is on the constitution, the story of the american constitution how it , created this precedents of sovereign states coming together, cooperating, building prosperity as a result and how that is the story of how it took the life of its staunchest defender, alexander hamilton.
so, this question about the united states, we always say "the" united states, but that is a modern thing. in the 18th and 19th century, if you would talk about the u.s. that sounds weird to our ears. when did "these" become "the" united states? how did you get one country out of these various state -- states? it is important to remember, and as we talk about the the unitedn, that states has had two lives. the first life was from roughly 1776 until 1788.
more aof a decade or , confederation. then the u.s. changed its government and it became a federation. a federal republic and that is the key distinction, because when the country started, we say the country, but actually the states all felt different, yes, they spoke the same language, sort of. but they felt very different and they were very different. i have to say something about words. we use words now in ways people do not use them before. -- did not before. for example, the idea of a country, when you talk about a country, you are talking about your state. if you were talking about the larger apparatus of the u.s., you might use a different word, like empire. they used it because they didn't have another word for it.
they could not figure out a way to describe a coalition of countries. one word they would sometimes was the word congress. now we think of congress as these people from one country, they get together and have a parliament. no, that was not the original meaning, congress was separate states, separate nations, separate countries. the congress of westphalia, that was a congress of independent nation states. for example, when george washington, great hero of the american revolution, when he retired the first time, he retired a lot of times. they kept pulling him back, poor fellow. when he retired the first time he went to virginia and they had , a big banquet and they said that they wanted to thank him for his great sacrifices on
behalf of his country, meaning virginia, and on behalf of the empire, meaning this united states conglomeration. even thomas jefferson, when you -- he wrote about virginia, he said my country. so the u.s. and the 13 states were initially part of a big british empire, only half of the british colonies went into revolution, there were others. but you think, why didn't canada or quebec, or newfoundland, the west indies, why did they not join? they didn't. what happened when these countries, states got together, there were 14 of them come a vermont broke off from new york, no one acknowledged it. what happened is that they were, they felt different from each other. for example, i like to point out
minnesota and jamaica, both british colonies, but they did not feel like they were part of one country. there was no automatic one country among these colonies, any more than today we would say that jamaicans and minnesotans are part of one country. or that californians and canadians are part of one natural country. so, what happened is essentially after the countries formed, they began to operate as different countries. "the" that country, -- country, but really they operated as separate entities. they had their own money. this is a dollar bill from georgia. a four dollar bill. they had their own militias, treasuries, tariffs, they had their own citizens. they had their own separate countries, but there was a problem. the confederation was so loose,
this continental congress, they could not get people to show up for meetings. this was worse than a section on friday morning. i know that some of you are there on friday morning, you will know, it was very hard to get people to show up. in fact, when they got the peace treaty from great britain, they -- congress could not get a quorum to approve it. why, congress meant nothing. it was a security guarantee, and once it's function was gone, there was no real reason to hold together as a country. but there were reasons, this continental congress, it needed to have more power than it did. you see, the moment in which this empire broke apart into 13 states, this post colonial moment. it would have been perfectly fine come of little states getting along on their own maybe , if it had happened in 1950,
after the u.n. was formed because these little states, no , matter if they had a great army, it would not matter. mightwould be neighbors, be even the united states to pull out their army and navy to defend sovereignty. when kuwait was invaded in the 1990, u.n. unanimously said we all have to rush to the aid of kuwait. that was a moment they could be protected. that was not 1787, and it was not 1776. there were a lot of problems. most of them had to do with the way the colonies treated each other. we know that usually what happens in a post colonial moment, let's say there is a big empire that falls apart into pieces. the united states and looking at this map, we see the 13 colonies this space here, , vermont and new york does not exist. but nobody is acknowledging. look at this.
this is land the british gave the united states after the revolution. they were so bighearted, they said take the whole enchilada. what happens, neighbors start a fight over it. that is what neighbors do. massachusetts, connecticut, new york, georgia down there in the mix. spain -- there are foreigners too. by the way florida was spanish, , it had been british, then it was spanish this was not a that wanted to come with the united states in 1776. that was when it was still a british colony. so that was a problem. and this had always been a problem going back to greek city states. i hope you're a member world history 100 here. that the greek city states, whenever they had persia ready to attack them, they could get together and attack the baghdad. -- bad guys.
go away persia and what happens, then your worst enemy is your neighbor, the spartans. it is always your neighbor. they start to look at each other after the revolution. there are trade wars. stage, cuteing a big down on trade with new jersey and other states. they said, you will have to pay a tax, we want our farmers to sell goods. we don't want your farmers to sell our people goods people -- goods. they also had internal problems. this picture showing shays rebellion, one of the most notable. there were others, conflicts within the colonies themselves. now we will call them countries. you have to understand, in this time, even true today there were , really only two functions of government. if your government does not do these two things, it has no right to exist. although today, the u.n. could protect you.
the basic functions of government were to keep internal control and keep away predators. , internal control, keep out the bad guys. if you cannot do that, you will not exist. you will be over. and shays rebellion was a situation in massachusetts. massachusetts had no army or navy, they had a militia. they called on the militia, nobody came. i can't remember the numbers, something like 5000 people were supposed to be in the militia. 22 showed up, or something. that is not the exact number. now, you say, what about the continental army? that does not exist under the confederation. in fact, after the revolutionary war, the continental congress disbanded the army, george washington went home. the army went down, they sold their last naval ship in 1784 to
a private buyer. no navy, no coast guard, no army. these states were supposed to defend themselves. they could not these states , could not keep internal order. the congress situation, a few states were helping out, but they cannot do this function of government. nor will they be able, and a real showdown to defend themselves from the really big powers the world, the countries that mattered. i like this picture because this shows something that was very common. this is the story of poland. i know some of you heard me talk about poland, because it is an interesting country from a historical point of view. in the 1780's and 1790's, poland's neighbors began to slowly gobble away at poland.
you see catherine the great of russia, you have a frederick the great of prussia, you have russian advisors, what are they doing? they are looking at the map say and, i like that part trade -- part. we will start to gobble it up. why, because poland cannot keep internal order and they could not defend itself from outside predators. they had a sort of democracy at the time, but what happens in this particular graph, what you're seeing in different shades of blue is the gradual elimination of poland which did not exist between 1795 and 1919. why, because they cannot guarantee their own sovereignty as nobody owes a country a living. it is very different today. what happened, poland gradually disappeared.
and the problem for the u.s. was that even their independence -- they defeated the british empire, we could do that again. in fact, the united states won the revolution because of our wonderful allies, that is the french. there were more frenchmen at the last climactic battle of the american revolution and french ships them there were colonial. the united states had to rely on a foreign power. they went through a revolution they had problems, france fell , apart for a long time, so the u.s. was having trouble struggling with maintaining internal control. and outside the fence -- defense. so the problem was you have this
beautiful, potentially beautiful experiment, but it could fall apart. what it would show is that power cannot be shared, people cannot be trusted, and your neighbors will always steal your stuff. they wanted to find a way to create something. where you could create enough unity and power that the states could remain different from each other, they could remain sovereign, have control over their destinies, feel like alabama, like alaska, like delaware, they could be .hemselves and have autonomy at the same time they would have something over them that could protect them, and when necessary make the bad guys behave whether internally or externally. that brings us to the man of the hour, or at least this hour, which is to say, i like
-- say alexander hamilton. , hamilton is so interesting for lots of reasons, he was very different from other great founders of the american republic. there are many. he does not do this alone at all. but he is one of the most important and some historians argue that perhaps he is the key figure in helping us realize the need for a central government and actually executing it, making it happen. he was one of the key leaders and probably the first. let me tell you a little bit about hamilton. he was from this place he grew , up in saint croix, a tiny island part of the british empire. he was a british citizen, but he was not a local boy, he was an outsider. this is something that affected him.
when he was in government, they would say, he is not one of us, he is an immigrant. he was one of the first real immigrants in power, but there was another thing about him that made him slightly different but , he was also sort of socially outsider. it is a tragic story. his parents were not married. they were not married not because they did not love each other, but as it turned out, she -- his mother had been previously married, his mother, and they did not like when you got divorced. you were never allowed to marry again. by the way, the guy could marry again, but the woman cannot. i know, things have changed. what happened is alexander's parents met and fell in love and had children and all the children were illegitimate from a legal point of view.
they were -- or and that was a deep, social stain at that time. so when he left the west indies, that is the reason he got out of town. the other thing, his father abandoned the family,, two illegitimate sons and his mother , died. and alexander in his mother caught the same flu and they had one bed. they were in bed sleeping each -- next to each other, and his mother died next to him. this is the man who is on a $10 bill. so he comes to columbia college, this is the earliest representation of him as a boy. his father was scottish, his mother was french protestant. like other students, he was on scholarship, he had no money.
it meant he had to be a good student. i hope you are all minding your grades if you're all scholarship students. as he rode here, coming to the united states, there was this revolution and he gravitated, he understood instinctively that laws are sometimes wrong. why should he be legitimate, he got none of his mother's property, she did have a legitimate son who got everything. he understood that laws are sometimes wrong. as he wrote when he was 17 years old, he wrote that the sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for a month old parchment or musty records they , are written with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature and can never be erased. there are probably no 17-year-olds in this audience, so i want you to wake up tomorrow morning and get up
earlier and harder so you can be one of these people who has such a profound effect early on. he joined the revolution and became an artillery officer in the revolution. he worked his way to make ground up. he did not come from top levels, other people who were aristocrats were given officerships automatically. he is so smart, so alive, that at the age of 22 years old, george washington sees what he is doing in the artillery and he is like, wow, this guy is something else. he takes hamilton out of the army and says i want you to be my principal aide and hamilton becomes the principal aide to george washington. as a result of this the other , thing that is interesting is that he is in a position to know
how really wrong things can go. if you do not have a central authority. as the situation in the military term, situation normal, all messed up, because this is television i will not say, that is a military notion that things go wrong so fast. this is a picture of valley forge, lafayette with washington, hamilton is not in this picture. it was not the british army who starved american troops in valley forge it was the , continental congress that starved american troops because the states were so jealous of each other that they hogged militias and money for themselves. when the war was over, hamilton realized, because he has been e, when you are in aide
you see the whole thing and he realized their needs to be coordination. when the war was over, there were a number of people and , hamilton began writing about the idea that we needed to do something more. actually went to a convention in annapolis, maryland. it was supposed to be a gathering of all of the states, five out of 13 show up. .ello, five out of 13 show up they were supposed to work out navigation rights on the potomac. of all of the things they could fight over, even things like who's right is it to abrogate potomac, maryland or virginia. at that gathering he got reacquainted with james madison, madison and hamilton really hit it off. they found they thought alike.
if you know history, you know that james madison, he was the father of the constitution. he was that, but it was actually hamilton who wrote the letter, because at that meeting they said, these articles of confederation are not working, so let's have a meeting and we will call all the states to revise the articles of confederation, get something better so we will not be invaded again, we do not start fighting with each other. hamilton wrote the letter and madison was the chief organizer who went to george washington and said, you need to be there. get out of retirement. and they met at the constitutional convention in philadelphia in 1787 to figure out, isn't there some way that neighboring states cannot fight with each other? what they were trying to reconcile here was a fundamental conundrum of human government.
is, how can you reconcile the idea that all states, all countries, can do what they want, they are perfectly sovereign, with the idea that they needed someone to tell them what to do? how can you be master of your own destiny and have someone , tell you what to do? that is what they needed, there is no model for government for this, the kind of model, the oldest model was that of papal authority. the pope. at one point the pope said, columbus discovered the new one, -- world, i know, let's give have to spain, at half to portugal. that was the old load of authority. no one wanted that anymore. the other model, that was like the british empire, in this case
meaning the kings authority over scotland and wales and ireland, etc. problems, first of all, nobody liked george iii, nobody is interested in him or what that would teach us. so that was part of the problem. the other part, in this case, when you have authority, that authority tends to actually be from one of the countries. -- countries that is an coalition together. he is english. so you ask the irish and welsh how they feel about the empire, they felt less than and americans did not want that. they wanted new hampshire, virginia, massachusetts, connecticut, pennsylvania and others to all have the same rights, so they came up with a model that has persisted today. i will take a little license
here and show you a graphic. they needed an umpire, something that was not in empire, but something that would coordinate between the state, call people out when they were wrong but , also get out of the way and let the game resume and let everybody be equal. essentially what happened is the -- they revised the constitution, rewrote the whole thing -- by the way, nobody was happy about that. if they did not attend the meeting, they said, that is not what you're supposed to be doing. and also, they did it behind closed doors. this is a big no-no. they were like what are you guys , cooking up in there? so there was a lot of controversy. this was the beginning of partisanship in the government. the key votes in all this, the biggest states. they had the most money.
what did they need a little places for, what do they need delaware for? the big states, new york, virginia, the wealthiest of them all because of slavery. because of tobacco and cotton. massachusetts was a big state with great ships, they did not need this thing. what happens is that the big states, virginia by the way, they have george washington. if george washington says it is good, we will agree. but there were people who are passionately opposed, james monroe, patrick henry, give me liberty or give me death. that man opposed the constitution and was bitter about it. massachusetts got it through, but the other big state was new york. new york is huge it was one of . the most important states. alexander hamilton not from any
state, he realized that people better stop being provincial and get together and understand that we all need each other. he lived in new york. he very much identified with new york and he married a new yorker and he was the principal , organizer of the federalist papers. and in the federalist papers they spelled out all the reasons why new yorkers should vote for this thing and make it true that there would be a united states, not simply "these" united states. the word they used, it is in my research, but it is there, hamilton says between conflicts that we need an umpire. and -- an umpire would decide between the states. and madison said what better umpires than those in congress.
hamilton is on the far right, he wrote twice as many essays as anyone else. he wrote maybe 50, madison road -- madison wrote 25. they are all there. hamilton is the primary organizer of this and the idea is that what would happen is an umpire would coordinate the states, nobody could oppress one another, because there would be something, a body above them that would not rob them of their identity, but make them work together. next, hamilton, and it turns out george washington really like s hamilton. they have really worked together throughout the revolution. when it comes time to say, ok, we have the document. it is like getting a new piece of technology, taking out that instruction manual, i do not know how to put this desk together.
there is this u.s. constitution, hamilton who is a good organizer, he is empowered by washington, who makes him secretary of the treasury, he puts him in charge of the budget. he puts him in charge of creating the mechanisms of the government. this is when hamilton becomes personally very controversial. he says, we will do it. we will create a central government. one of the things he does, he pushes through congress the bank of the united states. a government needs a bank, , we need taxes, no one likes that, that makes you unpopular. that is what shays rebellion was about. now he has to be the bad guy. he now has 400 50 employees because you have to have a lot of tax collectors, accountants, etc.. thomas jefferson has three.
he is secretary of state. hamilton becomes the lightning rod for all of the people who said, i told you so. this will not work. and i do not like it. so he becomes controversial, but he pushes, he perseveres. he gets things through congress. this is a representation of independence hall. if you go to philadelphia and i hope you will, this is on the left and on the right is a place that many people do not go. they just want to see where the declaration of independence was it signed, but on the right is congress. that is where the rubber meets the road. tois here where hamilton had push through various measures. this is the first u.s. congress it looks like a high school , classroom, this is smaller than our classroom and that is where representatives of the states met.
upstairs, the senate chambers and you can go there today. ,by the way i was so charmed, i , went there for the first time two years ago. in the stairwell there is a portrait of, get this, beautiful, huge portrait of louis the 16th of france and of marie antoinette, both of whom lost their heads. i thought, how poignant it was, i thought it was very honorable that they acknowledged the gift of france. however, this was not always a happy place. i made it sound like, oh, they worked together. actually, they did not. as of the third election approached, this is what happened.
these two guys that started wailing on each other, they were from different political parties. political parties began to emerge. you think that congress looks bad now, i am telling you, this looks like sunday school compared to how they u.s. congress operated. this was not always a free for all, but there was a potential for violent conflict between neighbors still lurks under the surface. what happens, this need for an umpire, they created it, but could they get it to work? the real test was the election of 1800 in which two former friends, jefferson and adams were such buddies, the shared a house. it was like a big pajama party. they were both in paris at the same time. they were really great friends, but they became enemies in this election, because they were from different parties. nobody thought parties would actually arrive. they thought, that cannot happen to us.
we are all friends and neighbors. friends and neighbors. so what happened is that it did work. this was the first peaceful transfer of power in all of world history from one group and control of the executive branch of government to another. this idea that you would give to the people you action -- absolutely hated, the power to run the government, this was unprecedented and it was because of the role that is umpire was playing. that was the president that as president that endured -- precedent that endured. did not always work.
but what about the civil war? it didn't work then, but then they came back and made it work. in 1957, in little rock, arkansas, when nine students were denied admission to a high school because they were african-american, well, if the states were sovereign, that was the end of the sovereign station. but there was an umpire and the , president sent to 101 airborne to escort them into school. this was the federal umpire at work. let's get back to the man of the hour. i know what you're thinking, who kills him? aarontting president, burr. indicted. it was aaron burr who killed him, why?
because burr grew to hate him for a number of reasons, but probably the most important what , happened in the election of 1800. the u.s. constitution had not figured out all of the tricks of the operating manual. one of the problems of that was, people on a ticket let's say , barack obama and joseph biden on one ticket and you have a republican ticket. at this time, if you ran together you both could get the , same number of electoral votes, if you got the same number then who is president and vice president? it is weird, the tickets did not operate like today. hamilton knew this, but there were others who did not. aaron burr was one of those people, who said do not worry about it. i know thomas jefferson is meant to be president. it is a different matter when it went to the house of
representatives. who dominates? the opposition party. their party, the federalists with john adams, they had to decide between thomas jefferson and their second favorite person to hate, aaron burr. the chances were good that they would have selected thomas jefferson. a person who came to the aid of aaron burr was alexander hamilton, who wrote letter after letter saying you have to elect jefferson because he is a man of honor. i cannot stand him, but he has principles. i do not agree with him on 100 things, but he is a man of honor. he loves this country. aaron burr is an opportunist. so what happened was these federalist voted 34 times. aaron burr sat on his hands the whole time, he never said, i
understand jefferson is the one that you wanted, no. so,lly on the 35th vote or congress decided by one vote to elect thomas jefferson. when they did that, they showed the power, the purpose, the promise of a federal umpire, what better umpire could be desired than people in congress deciding the fate of the country. in making this decision, they probably preserved the union. by the way john adams at this , time that there would be a civil war, in fact many people backing up slightly, they had , totally tortured alexander hamilton for a decade. he was unfaithful to his wife, they leaked the news to the press. this was his wife, allies hamilton.- eliza and men who probably did that dirty deed was james monroe, a leader president. the situation in partisanship
was a so bad that the oldest son of alexander hamilton was killed in a duel. but in any case, alexander hamilton was so afraid, and adams wrote that a civil war was expected and what they thought might happen in 1900 is what happened in france. everybody's heads coming off. instead, the umpire made the decision, alexander hamilton was challenged to a duel by aaron burr. he goes to the dual, he does not fire his gun. he does not want to take his life, but aaron burr wanted his. so, essentially what alexander hamilton does is help preserve the spirit of democracy, he helps to establish the united states, he helps to prove why and umpire is important. that is no small, schmidt for the -- accomplishment for the
orphaned, brat of scottish peddlers. this is a pattern from which we all benefit. i leave you with my traditional parting shot, how can he bother -- a father with seven young children not defend them in a dual. you'll have to read my next book. [applause] >> join us each saturday evening at 8:00 p.m. and midnight eastern for classroom lectures from across the country on different topics and arrows of american history. lectures are also available as podcasts. visit our website, www.c-span.org, or download them from itunes. announcer: up next on american history tv, pamela smith hill, the editor of "pioneer girl: the
annotated autobiography", discusses the life of laura ingalls wilder. wilder is the author of the "little house" series. that later became a television show in the 1970's. pamela smith hill compares and contrasts the tv show to the real life of laura ingalls wilder. the herbert hoover presidential library and museum hosted this event, it is a little over one hour. >> some of you may be wondering why a presidential library devoted to herbert hoover is interested in laura ingalls wilder. like john f. kennedy's library that housed the papers of the writer, ernest hemingway, we are the only presidential library to house the literary papers of a major writer. the papers came to us through the estate of her daughter, rose wilder