tv Founding Era Music and Politics CSPAN January 24, 2016 4:50pm-6:01pm EST
tv, wood looks at the use of political music during the founding era of the united states. she explains that patriotic music created in this period was used for many purposes, including political manipulation, taunting of adversaries, and enjoyment . performers from southern methodist university's meadows school of the arts provided accompaniment to the talk. the one-hour event was sponsored by the smu center for presidential history. professor wood: this is my first visit to smu, my first visit to dallas. it's a beautiful campus and i hope i have a chance to come back sometime. tonight we will explore some of the uses of music in the politics of the early american republic. music mattered, even though the musical arts were not well developed your.
-- developed here. music in america oh was in a state of deplorable barbarism. it was used to rally support, but what americans used music to rally support for very specifically. it could be used to animate goodwill and hire many -- harmony, or it could also energize scorn. learned by here. songs also served as a kind of shorthand. because the melodies were easily recognized, a couple measures could evoke a whole set of political debate. also, songs could be performed collectively, quite a different
experience from listening to a speech. and through various modes, songs could evoke different kinds of emotion. such uses of music were not unique to the early republic, but could be found across many times and places. the discipline of musicology can help us discover them. music inists study many different ways, most fundamentally for our purposes tonight, historical musicology teaches us that sounds do not sound the same across historical eras and cultures. a key approach for us tonight is text.ember songs are not celebrationongs for
readwidely known to well americans. many members of the founding generation shared the then current belief that music had powerful effects on performers it had unusualat body, the the feelings, even the soul. natural philosophers speculated that hearing was most acute. disagree, but that was the belief at the time. not only was sounds the most but it also had a physical effect, so much so that medical doctors believed they could use particular sounds as there are fees for certain illness. as a scottish physician observed, music had exciting
effects on the blood. by collins,ced philadelphia's dr. benjamin rush stimulatedrtain note brain functions such as long-term memory. both the acts of listening and singing then mattered because music was a stimulus to which the human ear could not help but respond. the body andted generated particular feelings. with those preliminary ideas in mind, i invite you to listen to one of the most political -- most important political songs columbia."e, " "hail accompany the to present's march. please give your attention to the performers from the division of music and the meadows school of art. ♪
let its altar reach the skies firm, united let us be, rallying round our liberty, as a band of brothers joined, peace and safety we shall find. -- we shall find ♪ [applause] to avoid anyd: discomfort, i'm going to let you guys clap after every one. a few things to note. first concerns the lyrics. in the world according to "hail internal" there is no division. let us become a rallying round our liberty, as a
band of brothers joined, peace and safety we shall find." we can assume that the author intended the singers of the song to feel peaceful, harmonious, the good things that the lyrics spoke up. but this is not feel-good music for the 1790's reedy was weirdly political. it was pointedly political. it was written to praise john adams at a time when politically active citizens had divided into one of two factions, the adams,ist who supported and the jeffersonian democrats, who not surprisingly supported jefferson. the federalist supported and actively controlled government and so much to imitate in the politics and economy of great britain. they were also tended to be elitists. he jeffersonian democrats
preferred a relatively weak federal government except in territorial matters. they saw many things to avoiding great britain. and they believed white men without liberal education should be able not only to vote, but to hold elective office. 's" initialbia success was designed to celebrate a federalist administration at a key moment. a french insult became known to ze public, known as the x, y, affair. sang "hailists relish," with great because with the federalists -- with the jeffersonians in
trouble, they could see themselves as uncontested leaders. the second key concerns the performance itself -- a concert caliber performance with voices in multiple parts would not have been the norm in the 1790's. few positions could perform at this level in the early republic , and most who could were european trained professionals. jefferson had a point. most were untrained singers. even when it was sung at a formally organized celebration, it would have been sung with great enthusiasm and not much virtuosity. equally important, "hail performed in often a different spirit, not as celebration, but a goad or a taught. this song was readily adapted to of jar of ari or
shivery. it was like vigilante music. it indicated that someone had profoundly violated community norms in a way that would not be punished by the legal system. unlike lynching, it did not always entail violence. instead, rough music used music to warn, humiliate, and punish. 1790's, federalists and directedians also rough music to each other. they often saying hail columbia in this spirit. when the sun was still new, new theey federalists unleashed music on the jeffersonian congressman. when they arrived in trip, new he was taunted and
threatened with a series of sounds, pitches and hooting, a piece of music long used to do tors, and the sound of rattling drums, as reported in the newspaper. jeffersonian congressman saw protesters singing "hail columbia" under his window. it may have sounded something like this. >> go back to france! >> we don't need you! >> you are an embarrassment and a disgrace! >> we don't need you. >> everything you do is wrong! ♪
[drumbeat] behold the chief who now commands, once more to serve his country stands the rock on which the storm will break, the rock on which the storm will break, but armed in virtue, firm, and true, his hopes are fixed on heav'n and you ♪ [applause] professor wood: i was delighted by how readily the musicians took to that. [laughter] professor wood: i hope you recognize the melody of "hail columbia." i selected this verse for the rough music performance because i thought it complemented the
effect. there may be a storm, but they will break apart on the rock that is adams. adams has his eyes fixed on you. this pointention at we do not always know which versus or versions of a song were song at a particular -- ses or versions of the song was sung at a particular point. early versions gave voice to federalist triumphalism. it is hard to imagine that staunch jeffersonians could have failed to ink -- to be encouraged or uplifted, never mind what the medical men might have said. and we should not be surprised that when a jeffersonian first to go over the president the and the senate in 1801, they did not " as over "hail columbia
well. they chose songs that gave voice to their own, equally partisan message. "jefferson and liberty was written to celebrate jefferson's inauguration. the contrast was pointed. the jeffersonian tone is far john tear. it is dancing music, and our march. openly hostile to the federalists. "jeffersonisten to and liberty." the gloomy night before us
lies, the reign of terror now is o'er; its gags, inquisitors and spies, its hordes of harpies are no more rejoice, columbia's sons, rejoice to tyrants never bend the knee but join with heart and soul and voice for jefferson and liberty ♪ [applause] in the firstd: verse, the jeffersonians describe the federalist as bigots who created an american reign of terror and in the second verse, the jeffersonians suggest that those fleeing tyranny abroad should be welcomed in the united states. anyone paying attention to politics at the time would have recognized this as a reference to the alien act, passed by the federalist congress in 1788. potentialact targeted enemies of the state.
the jeffersonians loath to these these, seeing it as an attack on their allies. this showed the jeffersonians were no mood to forgive the federalist. singing that song in 1801, jeffersonians would have felt triumphant and vengeful. musicct that this is combined with the self-satisfaction and rancor demonstrates the way that it reinforced political dislike and even hatred and the early republic. at their worst, these songs and the ways they were performed suggested a country so implacably divided any sane therver would surely forget union was doomed. now that we can see how music can be used to make viktor's smug and losers. as, it's time to take a closer
look at music at fourth of july celebrations, occasions intended to promote joy and not anger. stressed the caustic lyrics of "jefferson and liberty," but i -- to stress the chorus "rejoice, columbia's sons, rejoice to tyrants never bend the knee but join with heart and soul and voice for jefferson and liberty." toore we get there, i want identify the musical possibility that falls between the extremes of anger and joy. when the early republic celebrated the fourth of july, music usually featured at two key points. first, people sang in church where they gathered for prayer, alteration, or sermon, a
ceremonial reading of the declaration of independence. much later in the day, people saying familiar secular and political songs in the course of their public dinner. this is an image from the celebratinguirer celebration in washington, d.c. it is literally a dinner held in some public place. a public dinner invariably included some sort of speech and the making of toasts. each of the toasts might be followed by cheers, gun salutes, and songs, and i will assure you we do not have a musket secreted somewhere. take the musket as read. imagine, if you will, a group of 20 or 30 or 200 or 300 citizens gathered somewhere, maybe a small group, a poorly ventilated
dining room somewhere, after some steady application of knife and fork and glass, they welcome their test of honor, listen to the speech, and finally sent out to be toasting. after each toast, you might hear heel tax!" that men do not sit, drain your glass. [laughter] number ofwood: the toasts was never fewer than the number of states at the time or no less than 13. it is no surprise that the celebrations often lasted for many hours. one in lexington, kentucky apparently lasted until trick luck in the morning. the newspaper suggested the greatest sobriety was obtained throughout the night. i personally have my doubts. maybe the music was there simply to promote good fun and .njoyment maybe it was there to provide
lighthearted entertainment or hilarity. maybe it was good drunk fun. doodle"sions of "yankee seem to suggest that americans celebrated july 4 pretty lightly. the song originated with british mockery, but patriots adopted it as the room. in the process, patriots turned the song's humor back on the british, but also back on themselves. thus many lyrics where yankee doodle disparaged the brits were entertainingly body. let's hear an example that is supposed to allude to the sexual irregularities. with captaino camp gooden -- and then we saw the
horses in the pudding keep it up, yankee doodle dandy -- mind the music, keep in step, and with the girls be handy ♪ professor wood: another version suggested that it was not about cheap laughs. it adopted a perspective more theously suitable to nation. here is a more clearly patriotic version of "yankee doodle." yankee doodle --
[indistinct lyrics] america is a dandy place is people are all brothers and when we get a pump to imply -- a pumpkin high, we share it with the others ♪ [applause] professor wood: of course even with patriotic lyrics, "yankee doodle" could be understood as basically unserious. as other historians have suggested, this would be an
understanding. the year to your survival of the nation was still a matter of some wonder. july 4 was a serious civic event. they were described as occasions of good order and harmony. most conviviality and mirth. demonstrated the harmony and enthusiasm of public sentiment. here is another excerpt from the same july 4 celebration, which again suggests some of this language. throughout the operations of the day, there was a perfect concert, among all of the classes and groups of citizens, harmony that heightened the effect -- the language of harmony, repeatedly.
so, it's time to ask some questions. given the steady drum of partisan wrath during the rest of the year, why the focus on harmony on the fourth of july? is it protesting too much? was it an accident that events goodned to cultivate political feelings also featured music and used language of harmony and, in this case, comfort? and how did americans come to believe, as i argue they did, that singing songs of partisan origin was appropriate to a day aat was supposed to produce collective sense of patriotism? members of the founding generation turned to music not just because they understood it to have a powerful effect, but also because they thought the effects were generally positive. where scientists were focused chilled the on the mechanisms of the human organa -- organism. realized that a powerful
tool like music would be great for political manipulation. william smith, son-in-law to itn adams, suggested that would be useful for "captivating was more his cynicism the exception that the rule at this point in american history. support of musical education largely chose to ignore smith's line of thinking. doctors constructed musical remedies for ailments, music teacher andrew law asserted music's principal prerogative is to influence and direct the heart. another speaker told his was tors that music assist the transport of souls. a third asserted that music prepares the soul for worship.
and the timely named ichabod skinner, positive the harmonies of music were exactly characteristic of the effect on the state of mind. when concerns about emotional manipulation through music appeared, their wrists rush to put them out. thomas hastings address the problem. insisted singers could mold the audience's feelings through song only when they come of themselves had a vivid apprehension of the sentiment. a music critic of grade, asserting as fact the claim that if a singer wished to warm the heart of his auditors, it must acquire teeth of its own. this did not entirely silence theorists who were concerned with manipulation, but it helped. thus there was widespread acceptance that music could
bring genuine pleasure and benefit, not just to trained musicians, but the uninstructed singer. claims of music's benevolent power were not just to be -- just the claim of music teachers. the most eminent political figures of the day agreed. musicdams maintained could evoke every tender, generous, noble passion and sentiment. his wife abigail compared the human mind to a musical notesment where if any produces atune, it discord that disrupts the harmony of the whole machine. other shared the view that you it held peculiar power. thomas jefferson is well-known for his claim that "music was the favorite passion of my soul or co-george washington could not sing or play, but he knew enough about music from power to
play with it. he fashioned a compliment out of the commonplace that music had the power to rouse the soul to action. the founding generation also turned music into a vehicle for musical celebration because of the metaphorical association between music and harmony. anmony represented not just association of instruments, but a complex of beliefs, that music was especially uplifting, that harmony was the ground state of the entire universe, that harmony was the work of a benevolent, divine that it was based on consent. late 1780's, astute political observers who were accustomed to insisting the federal union's best chance for success lay in making its
components are harmonized. today, most of us are probably familiar with nonmusical ways of expressing the basic idea with , onehrase e pluribus unum from the many. we see a draft composed of for each state and on the right we see an image that represents the nation as a temple. each of the pillars of which is an individual states. one out of many. made the sames general point. americans can there -- compared the union of states to a building or a ship. they compared the nation to a family with many members or a body with many limbs. musical harmony depended on the interaction of multiple voices, harmony depended on difference and not on erasure or homogenization.
it was suggested a better constitution would no uncertain means of preserving the harmony of the union. harmony appeared in the federalist papers supporting the ratification of the constitution. these essays repeatedly insisted the proposed central government would harmonize the different states. in federalist letter number six, alexander camera -- alexander hamilton argued that there could harmony without the conduct of independent sovereignties in the same everwood. insisted that harmony
would be restored when they resolve discord. in 1791, henry lee insisted that a proper fiscal plan would promote the harmony of the community and banish discord. the following year, george washington wrote to alexander hamilton about the need to adopt such healing measures as will the store harmony to the discordant members of the union. your later, abigail adams suggested the differing sentiments between president adams and vice president jefferson would never prevent them from acting in perfect harmony in public affairs. abigail's prediction proved wrong, but she was far from alone. after ousting adams from the presidency in 1801, jefferson wrote about the need to harmonize the various tempers and the republic. he professed himself personally eager to harmonize my fellow citizens in his first inaugural
address. michael fortune suggested it was citizen of every good to harmonize -- and he suggested he had done his part i writing a song. a very literal usage. a bookseller's advertisement promoting fortune. indicated how widely that sentiment spread through the republic. it suggested that the song would impress with the combined influence of music and poetry on the human feelings those sentiments of concorde and union on the minds of freeman, without which, the musings of liberty maybe cam -- may become poisonous. offered a 30% discount to wholesalers throughout the united states. represents aise
way to deal with the reality of political disagreements. for both men, harmony did not could not mean unanimity. instead it meant something more like the healthy resolution of dissent. madison expressed the hope that harmonious resolution would resolve discord. madison wrote once more about the founding principles which .armonized deferring interest an madisonian solution to the diverse states and interest did not depend upon homogenization. madison suggested that within of thenciples constitution the differences among the states and citizens would produce political harmony. so he suggested in federalist number 10 long ago, and he continued to believe in 1836.
more fullyrstand what these men understood by harmony, we need to look beyond constitutional politics. the appeal of harmony in this time stemmed as well from religious, metaphysical, insane typically about the nature of a created universe. for example, americans of european descent basically agreed that harmony was the result of the divine will -- the one eminent american composer of the time, william billings, described god as the author of harmony itself. political figures and musical taste makers retained this association of harmony with divinity. even deists and skeptics reach for harmony to characterize properties of the natural world. vermont launched a blistering attack on organized
religion and you suggested man would not go amiss in calling god by the name of harmony. in ourinued, if we form imagination a compendious idea of the harmony of the universe, it is the state of calling god by the name of harmony. americans also explored neoplatonic notions. the music of the spheres. in lay terms, this was understood as the natural universe had order and that was mathematically perfect and harmonious. the music of the spheres did not connote audible music. popular usage made much of the association. thus when the article was reprinted in many newspapers, it was suggested that christians may be made to hear the music of
the spears. americans also adopted the music of the spheres for their own institutions using astronomical ideas to suggest the structure and perfection of the federal republic. thomas jefferson's many correspondences suggested the true destination of cabinet used satellites to the lumen and a their primary illuminate their primary planets. not everyone was conversant with celestial planets or music from power. but merely attending a celebration could be an education in itself. july 4 orders regularly drew
from these wells. of ordinance -- that is can fire -- are demonstrated of -- demonstrative of joy. another observed that parades arehost and songs meaningless unless the soul was penetrated. larly, this toast -- 24 united states revolving like the solar spheres constitutionally in their orbit. educationally to recognize the harmony of the universe did not guarantee all would do so. they do, however indicate the orders chosen to solemnize the where men of local eminence shared with founders the belief that music and sound were not
useful metaphors, but means of communication. we are in a position to understand the effect that the organizers of the july 4 celebrations hoped to excite. now we need to turn our attention back to the political context. columbia"hail encouraged federalists to go further. so, too, did another song "adams and liberty" set to a familiar english labor -- melody. let's take a listen to "adams and liberty. liberty."nd
ye sons of columbia, who bravely have fought, for those rights, which unstained from your sires had descended, may you long taste the blessings your valour has brought, and your sons reap the soil which their fathers defended. 'mid the regin of mild peace, may your nation increase, with the glory of rome, and the wisdom of greece; and ne'er shall the sons of columbia be slaves, while the earth bears a plant, or the sea rolls its waves ♪ [applause] in 1798, 7099, 1800, jeffersonians would no
more have been reconciled by then annd liberty," arch federalist could have been reconciled by "jefferson and liberty." americans on both sides of the partisan divide discovered that they could celebrate together on the nation's anniversary songs without coming to blows. or at least some americans figured this out. in the course of my research, i was struck to realized how often the anti-federalist was programmed alongside the arch columbia" andil not just for satire. that is indeed the very question that sent me down this path of exploring poetry, national philosophy and music. a great deal is owed to jefferson himself in the messages he crafts in his inaugural address.
he asserts we are all federalists. he did not mean the partisan furor had been a big misunderstanding, but he did mean all people who accepted the president -- the president of dissent couldr rule together. thus he spoke of harmonizing interests and urged listeners and readers to let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and life itself are dreary things. following jefferson's lead and drawing on decades of writing and harmonizing the internally divided nation, jeffersonians learned to proclaim their own version of national harmony using federalist funds. jeffersonians began to use "hail columbia" to all the branches of the federal government.
for example, at a celebration in 1808 attended by the republicans citizens of boston, "hail columbia" followed the toast to independence day. a toast to james madison was followed by the presidents march easily recognized as the tune ." athail columbia gatherings, it became possible to sing it and not in day satirical way. a celebration by the tammany society in new york city -- the tammany society was founded in the 1780's and in the 1790's and early 1800s, it became a bastion of jeffersonian democratic projects. much later, it became associated with the democratic party machine. tammy society had an annual
anniversary dinner and their celebrations mimicked in many ways the struggle -- the structure of july 4 celebrations. toast at this event indicates that the tammany men had not abandoned their partisanship. several toasts warned the men against political enemies. >> gentlemen, may we be aware of the stratagems of our enemies and darted against pretended friends. america is a dandy place, the people are all brothers, when one gets a slice of him can guys, he shares it with the others. so long fore fought the drum and fiddle. [applause] prof. wood: the tammany society's toast included a
as this example suggests, and set of strictly avoiding me federalist song or attaching it to their enemies, the jeffersonian democrats retuned it to express their own approval. song toating a familiar a new purpose or crafting new wascs to an old melody itself nothing new for americans at the turn of the 19th century. in the previous century, americans had appropriated not only yankee doodle but more dubiously, god save the king. made something british into something american. the transformation moved beyond the songs origins. the duality made sense since many patrons understood there is a special kind of englishmen promiseg the historic
of liberty after england dropped the torch. if there was more at work, this also matters. euro american about the cosmic harmony that undergirded the known universe made it seem natural to use songs to suggest the harmony of the nation. similarly, euro-american speculation about the operation and music on the nervous system that hearingble and singing songs about america's peace and freedom could generate analogous feelings. that in mind, let's consider a second version of jefferson and liberty. like the first, it was written to celebrate jefferson's presidency. theke the version with harpies, this second version presented a different vision of the status quo. libertyjefferson and used a more praise filled and peaceful language, quite like
♪ [applause] prof. wood: the second verse you just heard deserves attention. the praise of washington represents a kind of reconciliation. mid-1790's, george washington's reputation became tarnished in the view of jeffersonian democrats. they loathed his foreign-policy which they believed brought the new republic back into great orbit and represented the whiskey rebellion in 1790 four. they despised the notion there was no legitimate way for citizens to gather together and articulate collectively their
opposition to the washington administration. when washington died, ardent jeffersonians mourned the former revolutionary euro, far more new the first, but the jeffersonian liberty found a way conveniently, alighting adams altogether. the lyric uses a similar tone of for both, suggesting that only the future was secure but so too was the past. a nation that imagined itself as quite possibly on the brink of internal revolution and literal civil war could now imagine it health in quite another guys as it sang the song. in addition, the washington lyric taps into the idea of sound. columbia, a personification of the nation weeps with the news that washington has died but
heaven resounds with the news jefferson lives. in the musical logic of today, sounds of joy produced feelings of joy. "god save great washington" made a similar appeal. and with arejoiced cheerful voice welcomed this day. called to rejoice together and cheerfully, americans would experience patriotism and harmony as they sang. so would singers feel like a band of brothers united in peace and safety. equally would columbia's sons rejoice. or so the organizers of the july 4 celebration could imagine. thanks to their consumption of euro-american print culture, leaders were primed to
understand harmony as a token of goodness in the world and ready to imagine music as a uniquely forceful means of communication. they thus had reason to believe their supporters would feel the political harmony so boldly proclaimed in song. to guns andistening singing a few songs a couple of times year did not cure the ones of party or section. to thosely available who chose to foment division and rancor. however, an opportunity to come together and here and saying patriotic songs provided an important foil to discourse and despair. here and now, we no longer occupy the founders world. we do not hear with the same ears or sing with the same voices. thinkf us probably don't
of the solar system is producing the music of the spheres and we live in a highly visual culture. even our national anthem has lost the language of sound that was so powerful in the 19th century. the star-spangled banner describes the bombardment of fort mchenry in terms of the rockets red glare. it is the site of the flag rather than sounds or singing that inspires the besieged of baltimore. familiarn we hear the melodies of the early republic, we should remember that america's cultural distance from our own day. all the, we should take lyrics from these songs seriously, not so that we can just readily linked to political event of the day, but the ones that make no clinical reference and might seem to be poetic filler. the lyrics that stress the importance of sound, singing with heart and soul.
as our performers prepared to give one last song, let me make a final point to help you tune your ears to the early republic. recall my saying that washington himself did not consider himself much of a musician but he knew how others felt about music and knew that the they, he could sue ferocity of wild beast or bring the dead to life. in poetry, music could make trees and stones move. himself did not claim these literally, but given music's effect on both the nervous system and the soul, we must understand that claims about the effects of music and the power of music and singing merepeople were not poetical devices either.
claims in the context of patriotic celebrations speaks to a core position of the founding vast andn, that this complicated republic would thrive and survive only to the extent it managed to find harmony in its diversity. political citizens paid attention only to a small portion of america's diversity. the task is far more complicated, but as urgent as ever. with that in mind, i call on our musicians to give us one final song. ♪ [indiscernible]
>> i would like if we could to give a few minutes and ask questions of dr. wood. i have people who will help bring microphones to you. we will take a few minutes for your questions and then we will be dismissed. does anyone have any questions for dr. wood? prof. wood: i am asking for tickets to hamilton for christmas. butve not seen it myself every early republic scholar i am of friend with or acquainted with or facebook with thinks that it is phenomenal. is perfect? it no. we live in the real world.
but they are beside themselves with interest. when i had a chance to go -- when i have a chance to go see it, we will talk. i never thought about music while doing this through work. did this continue? maybe i just don't see it. is it still around? prof. wood: that's an excellent question. this is associated with a time 1820's.l the mid- up until then, july 4 is still celebrated but some of the dvi enthusiasm of the earlier time starts to fade away and people get more cynical. but temperance advocates say it's about drinking your heads off and it becomes a partisan celebration, so it loses the
sense that it was intended to be an integrated event for the community. so in some ways, yes, in some ways, no. service, thatch continues for a long time and after that, i stopped a attention. it's the truth. in terms of the way i'm talking about the music, the alternating of toast and songs, the salute that continues also. , thergument i'm making conviction that singing this stuff could have good consequences -- i think that is relatively short-lived.
if you knowcurious where the tune -- where the term yankee doodle derived from? prof. wood: no. [laughter] i'm thinking i can go look it up on wikipedia as fast as you can. i do know the macaroni is a reference to what we might call a dandy culture. who was fashionable and who were his hair powdered in an , he might bele called a macaroni. that languageay gets adopted for political purposes, so the closing and the togs, i guess i would have go look up the yankee doodle bit.
>> when you mention the co-opting of god save the king and other british tunes, you can you talk about objections or criticism of that that push back and say we don't want to go back in that direction? mean the ideau that using that song is not appropriate? i haven't encountered that. i think the timing is instructive. the first one that i found -- it is tricky. on the one hand, the economy is kind of in a tank. had not brought milk and honey in free beer to everybody, so there's a certain amount of discomfort, but is no one one
unifying figure, the hero of the revolution and the un-contacted -- uncontested one no one can touch because he walked away from politics after bringing the nation into being after being commander of the continental army. reasons, the song would have been relatively un-contested. havee extent you already some americans confirmed that the new republic is going to be too british-like, too influenced by british ideas, not necessarily hereditary iris. -- aristocracy, but i am better than you because of my natural whatever, then the idea of ling a song from the british monarchy might have been troublesome. i'm just trying to speculate how that might work out. get attached very
much through washington the president. we are still thinking about washington as a war hero and those who turned away from power and went back to the farm, i think you have less overt comment about it but this is a vastly complicated policy. i'm sure everything imaginable gets said, but i have not found it. it is a good thing to look for. >> lets thank again both dr. wood and our positions for being with us. -- and our musicians for being with us. thank you all. happy holidays and i hope we will see you in january. >> you are watching american history tv -- 48 hours of programming on american history
every weekend on c-span three. follow us on twitter for information on our schedule and to keep up with the latest history news. >> as i have been watching the campaign that year, it's a lot more interesting to look at the republicans than the democratic side. that may have something to do with why there is more interest in these candidates and their books. >> tonight, a nonfiction book "ritic for the "washington post discusses books written by the 2016 presidential candidates. >> everyone does have interesting stories in their lives and politicians, who are so single-minded in this pursuit could haved ideology particularly interesting ones. but when they put out these memoirs, they are sanitized. they are vetted.
therefore minimum controversy. >> that's tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q&a." "reel america" brings you films that provide context for today's issues. ♪ ♪ >> president johnson addresses a joint session of congress to push a voting rights bill aimed at ending discrimination. end tod put an complicated literacy tests and other hampering tech x.
the president referred to the event in selma as american tragedy. werein canada, there marches through the streets of towns and cities. in harlem, more than 15,000, more than half of them white, filed through the streets. the events in selma have been brought to a climb at -- a climax by an attack. many feel he suffered martyrdom. the next day, four men were held for his murder. demonstrators write his epitaph with this tribute. selma sprang overnight from adam secure southern town from the front pages of world newspapers. front and center for the negro drive to vote and it was here that martin luther king led his campaign. only a few more
than 300 had been registered at the polls. when one group set out to march at the capitol on montgomery, the procession was broken up violently by state troopers and share of studies. then dr. king led another contingent through the crowd. this time, there is no violence. whiteegroes and 400 ministers and civil rights workers reached the end of the bridge where a court and of troopers stand. they are ordered to turn back. dr. king confers with the police and the marchers hold their ground. he requests they be allowed to pray.
there are few minutes of mounting tension. they were -- the request to pray is granted and they'd kneel in the streets. king turneday dr. his marchers at the best of the white house. in arrangement that had been made and it and to avoid a confrontation that could only end in bloodshed. the troops and deputies sent -- standby as the prayers are said and the marchers go back to selma. this alabama town will go down in history books as a turning point in a time of the civil rights drive. people can understand the plea that no american can have freedom and justice unless there is freedom and justice for all.