tv American Revolution and the Arab Spring CSPAN November 19, 2016 11:25am-12:46pm EST
tv, all weekend, every weekend, on c-span3. wood gave adon talk to 30 egyptian leaders about the american revolution and the 1787 constitutional convention at a time when the egyptian experience was still unfolding. od described the challenges facing the leaders of the american revolution and how they devised a constitutional structure that eventually led to stable government. next, on american history tv, gordon wood delivers the substance of his arab spring lecture to the wisconsin historical society as part of their james madison lecture series. this talk, with questions from the audience, is just over one hour. >> thank you. it's a pleasure to us to welcome professor wood ear to madison.
it has been 40 years since he has been here. he was here in 1976. every 40 years, we are going to have him back. gordon wood is recognized as the premier historian of the early od, then peri revolutionary era. when i say that, i do not mean only active historians, i mean of all historians, for all time. he is recognized as at the top of his profession. it is truly an honor to have him here in madison. it's an honor to be associated with him. professor wood went to tufts and went to harvard for masters and phd and studied under bernard bailey. it is pretty difficult to top that. just marvelous.
professor wood is noted for his productivity and the quality of his work. i had lunch with him today and i asked him how many books he had published. he wasn't quite sure. i told him, i counted 26. he said, no that is far too , many. he has so many books, he doesn't know how many that he has. [laughter] ande has at least 26 books, three of them them stand out. "the creation of the american republic," a seminal book that tied everything together in a discussion of the american revolution. he believes that is his most important book. he won the bancroft prize for that. then, he came along with "the radicalism of the american revolution." that wonderful surprise. a pulitzer prize.
and then recently, "empire of liberty." many other volumes in between. the last five are documentary editions. three volumes on john adams and two volumes of pamphlets from the revolutionary era. professor wood is working on a book on john adams and thomas jefferson. it won't be long before that is published as well. what professor wood has done is he has taken all kinds of interpretations about the revolution and he has synthesized but also delved into the primary sources and has come
up with an interpretation of what the revolution was and almost as important, what that revolution -- how the revolution transformed the american people and made us a unique people that others might look to. and so, that is what he is going to be talking about today and i think you will enjoy it. let's welcome professor gordon wood. [applause] prof. wood: with an introduction like that, i have to reciprocate and tell you of that about what john is doing to historical research. what john and other editors do is long-lasting. we historians, who write books, those books are very ephemeral. they don't last very long. history is a quasi-science. new books supplant the older books.
what john is doing will last as long as the republic. given what is happening, that may not be very long. [laughter] i want to emphasize how important it is. i want to emphasize how important this is. for anyone who is introduction -- interested in political hall that political theory. debates that take place, contain every major issue. anything you can think about in politics is included in these debates.
are the richest debate recorded in the history of the world. documents. or maybe 17th-century english. here we have been -- and unbelievable collection. it's incredible. it's a know that it is all hours. and yet, i believe it is the greatest collection of discussions about politics that the world has. the greater ones did not get collected, so i want to pay tribute to all of the document editors for keeping these things live -- alive. but i want to talk about is entitled, a device to the egyptians from the founding fathers. three years ago in 2013, csis, a washington think tank, invited 30 egyptians two years after the arab spring -- they invited 30
probably the fairest election egypt had ever had and yet things were not working out in the streets. there was a good deal of fear. democracy was not working out for the egyptians. csis invited them to talk about the problems facing egypt -- could the arab spring survive? they thought it would be interesting to invite an american historian to tell these egyptians, how did we do it as if somehow lessens might be learned from the american revolution. that is why i was there. when i am going to talk to you about is i am going to give you the lecture that i gave those egyptians. before the arab spring, there
was an atlantic spring, a series of democratic revolutions that spread from the third quarter of the 18th century and went on for 75 years, climaxing with the revolutions of 1848, intense by the european state to overthrow the monarchy's. all of the revolutions failed and by the time needed to abraham lincoln, he realized, and this is the context for his speeches where he says the last best hope -- it looked like democracy was failing everywhere and abraham lincoln is saying, maybe the whole dream of democracy will fail. the american revolution was the first of these revolutions. it was no colonial rebellion like the algerians throwing off french rule in the 1960's. in america, he was an historical
event. in europe, richard price, the unitarian minister, in 1785, said, the american revolution is the second most important event in the history of the world. the first according to him was the birth of jesus christ. that was the excitement among a lot of radicals, including french radicals. the french revolution erupted 13 years later and because it was such a momentous of people, it dominated western consciousness. it followed the american revolution in that is the french have never forgiven us for. many leaders believe the american revolution was the
stimulus for their revolution. lafayette took the key from the bastille and sent it to washington as a mark of your contribution. of course, it hangs today in mount vernon. revelation was not just colonial but the overthrowing of monarchy. it is a little confusing to use 18th-century terms because we have a lot of monarchs in europe that we happen to like.
you cannot think about monarchy in modern terms. republics, hosni mubarak in egypt, cuba, china, saddam hussein in iraq -- to use republic in opposition to monarchy is confusing but if we think of monarchies in terms of authoritarian governments, we have a clearer understanding of what it meant to be opposed to monarchy. the americans did not intend to just get rid of tyranny, they wanted to end it tyranny for all time, they wanted to set an example for the rest of the world. they had a key responsibility, a
responsibility to show the world what a new democratic future -- it is important to keep in mind that our experiment with democracy was not an immediate success. the united states was not a united country. there is over a decade between the declaration of independence and the constitution. americans think the declaration of independence -- they are separated by a decade and it was a very awesome decade. there was a real crisis in the 1780's. many thought that the country would fall apart. the republican experiment seemed
in peril. it was not an immediate success. the united states constitution which brought stability and unity was not something that anyone even imagined in 1776. there is not a single document where somebody's head, this is the government we ought to have. even those not happy never conceived of such a constitution. something had to happen in that decade to change people's minds. in 1776, they established 13 independent democracies.
women, blacks, black slaves did not vote. among the white population, three quarters of a bill white males could vote, and extraordinary proportion, higher than anywhere in the world at the time. even britain, only one out of six adult males could vote. the new united states has the most democratic policies in the world. the declaration of independence was a declaration of 13 independent states with their own constitution. they were writing the constitution before the declaration.
there was no national government. there was very little sense of nationhood. jefferson's opening line, that is just a hope, not a reality. when jefferson referred to my country, he meant virginia. the sense of not being united -- the united states was still a plural verb. that was true until the civil war -- "the united states are." him think about it. most people do not think about the meaning of that. united, but not really united. these states eventually came together in a loose union called the articles of confederation. they are not an early version of the constitution.
they are a different thing altogether. they are a treaty like the e.u. that is a parallel in modern times to what they are doing. they were not ratified for various reasons. there were not ratified until 1781, six months before the battle of yorktown. the battle of yorktown ended the british will to continue the revolution and was the ending of the war. the new state constitutions ever drafted in 1776 were terribly important, more important than the federal constitution that followed. the federal constitution was derived from the experiments worked out.
they were written documents and from that moment on, when people created new constitutions, everybody who wants a constitution wrote it down. that was not true earlier. if you are going to have a new constitution like in iraq, they wrote it down. that was a grand innovation. more important was the notion of separation of power. it does not mean just legislation, it is the prohibition on members simultaneously holding office in the legislature. by prohibiting that, you prohibit a rise of cabinet government, which has been more adopted by the world then our system so that when hillary
they thought that that was corruption, that the executive would corrupt the legislative. that barrier created our separation of power. in these constitutions, a great deal of power was given to popular state legislatures. most of them maintained governors. most of them had governors. the powers of these governors, the prerogatives were greatly reduced. they had no power of appointment to anybody in office. they had no power of veto. they were emasculated. jefferson's proposal said, he is no longer a governor. even the pardoning power which seems essentially magisterial
there was a debate between daniel leonard and john adams, who was defending the week party w --hig party -- whig party. leonard charged that the congresses would become tyrannical, abusing their power. john adams dismissed this. he said, it is impossible. the people cannot tyrannize themselves. he said that democratic despotism is a contradiction. 10 years later, he changed his tune. that was exactly what was happening. the legislatures were becoming despotic and it was a learning situation. james madison summed it up in an unpublished essay. this is the most important document between the declaration and the federal constitution,
america and popular politics. these state legislatures were being annually elected, which was an innovation in most states. the turnover in some states were 60%. 60% new people. the multiplicity -- he outlined three evils, mutability, multiplicity, and injustice. that is his main objection. multiplicity comes from the numerous legislatures, the turnover. more laws enacted in the decades since the declaration then the entire colonial period. more laws then in 100 years. and the laws were constantly changing.
in this flood of legislation with new people every year, all narrowminded -- most important was the injustice. he is concerned about minorities being oppressed by majorities. the principal is the same, how do you protect minorities in a democratic polity? what the legislatures were doing were passing all kinds of legislation and the printing of paper money which creates inflation so that people were
getting paid back -- they might lend 100 pounds and they were getting back pieces of paper issued by the state which said $100 but they were not worth $100. many of the american elites, the aristocracy, and this includes slaveholders, they are learning a lot of their money not from what they sold, although, the southern planters were making money from rice and put tobacco wasn't quite what it used to be but many of them were acting as bankers, lending money. as you know, the english aristocracy lived off of rent and that was true until the 1920's if you watch downton abbey.
the lord is still charging rent to succeed. that was not possible in america because there was very little 10 entry. -- tenantry. so the gentry are living off this interest paid from loans but that interest is been inflated so they have a vested interest in preventing this kind of paper money. all of these problems, said madison, and this is true for any minority -- brought into question the fundamental principle of republican government that the majority that rose are the safest guardians of the public good and minority rights. that was a major problem.
i cannot think of a more major problem. how do you curb majorities without doing violence to majority rule? that is still problem -- a problem. the theory going back to aristotle would be, if you have too much democracy -- some authoritarian ruler. give the authoritarian ruler more power. in 18th-century terms, you would have to say that these governments needed monetary. there is a lot of suggestions buried in the unpublished letters of new englanders saying, we have got to go the
way of the father of the [indiscernible] washington -- some thought that washington himself should become the king or a dictator. he dismissed those suggestions. as you know, we came close to a military coup d'etat headed off me by a brilliant speech by washington to the military officers who were plotting to march of the continental congress. madison did not want to go in
that direction. what he wanted -- i want a republican remedy for republican ales. how do you do that? the creation had become a solution. by the 1780's there was a consensus that the articles of confederation were not working out, confederation congress lacked the power to tax and regulate. the reason for that is because congress was a substitute for the crown. the crown could do a lot of things, wages war, appoint offices, and so on. what i cannot do, it cannot tax or regulate trade in that is why the congress which was supposed
to be a substitute for the crown was deprived of those powers. now people are thinking, this system is not working. by 1786, the entire political nation -- i don't think anybody objected to this -- was ready to add those two powers to the articles of confederation so there is a consensus building up. rhode island was very cantankerous, turning down things. they came around to accept the idea of giving a 5% duty tariff duty -- tax power. everyone is ready for those kinds of reforms. what happened is that madison and his followers, takes advantage of this consensus and hijacks this reform movement to create something entirely different. his virginia plan is much more
than a couple of articles added to the articles of confederation. he scraps the articles and asserts a powerful government that is a treaty -- a government that reaches directly to the people. that -- so he is going to solve two problems at once. he is going to take advantage of that consensus to create this new kind of government. he says this was caused by so many -- and these are the terms he uses -- code words for narrowminded people who are creating this kind of excessive democracy -- the parochial, illiberal, liberal arts --they are narrow and uneducated.
these are the kinds of people who are doing all this bad stuff. william mckinley, from pennsylvania, he is exactly the kind of person that madison dislikes. he had taken advantage of the revolution, now a politician in pennsylvania. he comes from the western part of the state and he is a fan of the farmers who want paper money and he is much hated by the elites. he is asked by the legislature -- there is a meeting that is going to take place to presumably reform the article. that is the way it is phrased. the legislature acts -- asks -- [indiscernible]
he says, that these other guys do it. the pennsylvania delegation was made up of seven people who lived in philadelphia. nobody from the rest of the state. one of the representatives wasn't even a resident, was not a citizen. robert morris says, why don't you come along? because he is the man actually
wrote the constitution. why don't you come to this meeting? governor morris spoke for the pennsylvania delegation through the old convention. finley had no idea that that was going to happen. they did not tell him in advance. it was a loaded convention. made up of what you might call nationalists. they are the nationalists. they embrace our group of people. it is a loaded convention. the only supporters were lancing and yates. as soon as they grasped the implication -- they see the virginia plan introduced.
they begin to think about, what does this mean? and they walk out, leaving the new york delegation alone with alexander hamilton. but the time they leave, new york never votes on anything. when you read the final letter that washington writes, he names all of the states that have supported this report and he says, new hampshire, massachusetts, connecticut -- rhode island is not come to the convention. he has to name and as the single person. so, it is a loaded convention in some medicine and his colleagues are out to do more then just reform the articles. the virginia and proposes a to house legislature with both houses have proportional representation. he wants both houses to be like the house of representatives.
not simply because he comes from the biggest state in the union but more importantly, he was to keep the state out of the system altogether. he sees that the states have a representation in the government. they are so strong -- the loyalty is so strong that the federal government will never be able to stand up against them. that is why he was proportional representation. he also wants negative power given to the congress which is a bicameral legislature. a veto power of state bills. think about that. in states would have to send bills to washington.
they have to decide, should we veto? it is totally impractical. it is june before they say, we cannot do that -- that would be an endless problem, having to send every piece of legislation passed by the legislature to the capital. what you have instead is article one section 10 of the constitution which, if you look at your constitution says, the states cannot assert things. they cannot pass tariffs. they cannot pass ex post facto laws. they cannot violate contract or print money. states cannot assert things. can you imagine?
illinois would be -- illinois would love to print money. it is a good thing that the state cannot print money. by chartering banks, which printed the paper money, because, by the hundreds of thousands of dollars, the paper money was the generating force behind the extension of the american economy, particularly in the north. it made it possible for the economy to grow. they got around that prohibition. the paper money was so much needed that counterfeiting became a major sport and people accepted counterfeit money. as long as anybody -- because paper money is so much needed -- as somebody will accept it. so, he -- he has these two things that he wants.
absolute necessary is the veto power. in the proportional representation. now, he loses both of these. he loses the veto by article one, section 10. proportional representation, he fights for. the climax comes in the middle of july where you have what everyone knows, the connecticut compromise, which gives two senators, regardless of their size, and now we have, from our democratic point of view, the
absurdity have wyoming with 600,000 people with two senators in california with 37 million people. there is no changing that. that is the one thing that cannot be amended. that was not a compromise for madison. he met with his virginia colleagues to caucus. virginia is the most dominant state in the union by far. no state has ever dominated our country in these years -- by far the biggest state in population, wealth, territory. as virginia went, so did the nation. it is not surprising that four
out of the first five presidents were from virginia. virginia was the dominant state. if the virginia delegation walked out, that would have been the end of the convention. some pay comcast -- so they caucused. madison never got over that. the loss of the veto and proportional representation, both defeats. the question -- many were stunned when they saw the constitution published. this is not what we wanted. hundreds of thousands of people are shocked who would never have thought that this was going to come out of the convention. they thought it was going to be an enhanced articles of confederation. this is immediately -- this is
where the anti-federalist -- that is what is given to them. that is not what they wanted at all. the question that was raised by madison himself. he could not say anything to jefferson because they took a bow of secrecy. jefferson is, of course, in paris. madison was to let jefferson know what has happened. he is a little bit anxious because he knows that jefferson isn't as sympathetic to the antidemocratic constitution as he is. so he says to jefferson, he actually raises this question
that any political scientist would, what is different about the federal constitution that will keep it from doing the same kinds of evil things, vicious things, that the state legislature did? you could say, they are in for two years. senators are in for six. that is the question that he raises. madison was to think through everything. he wants to explain -- he has a long letter -- you can look it up -- which explains the thinking that went into the constitution. he is kind of a knee-jerk liberal. all he can see is a president
who looks at a polish king. polish kings served for life. when they came died, the aristocracy would elect a new on -- that is how jefferson seasoned the president. other stuff that washington would serve until he died. at any rate, he says, how is this going to work? he says, one thing, small matter, at the end of his -- he says "desirable thing." the representation means a better class of person will end .p in the federal conference it is very small for a population of 4 million. north carolina was 232. north carolina was given five congressmen in the congress. it has 200 32 members in in the
state legislature. assumes those are the five graduates that have been educated. you had to go north. but they would be liberal minded. we will get the purest and because of this narrowing of representation. he believed the expanded sphere would prevent anyone interest from congealing with others to create bad legislation.
it would come together and promote their vicious legislation. now we have so many interest groups because the expanded sphere will neutralize one another. later political theorists called it an interest group theory. what he is saying is these interest groups will neutralize and allow them to promote the public good. he feels like nothing comes from reading books. and you pick out something that jives with your experience. david made a point that
contesting the conventional wisdom, they had to be smarter. he was terribly eccentric, taking on conventional wisdom all the time. we expand the society and the interest groups will not, he makes the point that madison but he experiences it firsthand. has of these insights he the federalistn 10 and federalist 51. instead comes from his 1780 5, 17 86 experience to d establish the church of england
was dominating religious life in virginia. madison came to realize the separation of church and state that jefferson wanted in his to religious liberty, they both said we are not going to go halfway with this. we are going to go beyond lock to rio religious liberty. there may be no place still that has true religious liberty. that was unique for the 18th century, very liberal. toleration is one thing. jefferson thought it would come.
he is the intellectual. is going to convince people this is the rational thing to do. what really enables us to get through is the multiplicity of sex and the jealousy of accommodation with each other. you have the presbyterian and the quakers all pressuring the legislature to adapt the bill. they are assured they would be the established church. the length thing each of them wants to be was to be in charge. they come to the realization that none of them can make it.
that is a basic insight madison reaches, only because of them experience of the multiplicity of sex. he sees people become more reasonable. and he believes in separation of church and state. i would say is a parenthetical remark, i was in a conference monticello to discuss the separation of church and state with scholars from all over the world. we are all discussing jefferson's argument. they didn't always agree with but to muslims founded in comprehensible.
not have to mean -- what was was theinary flourishing of religious life in america. the first amendment did not apply to the states. and they kept their established churches. the states more or less went the way of virginia. having separation of church and state. without state control or state interference. what i said had no effect whatsoever.
within four months they had moved in a direction in a military coup. and the president was arrested and thrown in jail. the muslim brotherhood was outlawed. that is the solution the egyptians reached. we were excited about the arab spring. he had been an ally for a long time. that was a solution they have reached.
but then being disappointed related to the connecticut compromise. lead to his disinterest in advancing the constitution because he was diminished in his role related to the federalist papers while hamilton offered as many as 50? >> he's a practical man, he's a politician first. he doesn't sit in a closet and right stuff. he says i will have to do my best to get this thing through. it's just hamilton is such an extraordinary engine of energy. j only did five. who could keep up with hamilton.
he could read a paragraph quickly. it's not surprising he wrote many more than madison did. it wasn't exactly what he wanted. he said this thing is going to fail. she had a vested interest in these two measures. there has been a new book out, as if she was jefferson'sut reading of his performance to
a little less anti-democratic. there is certainly evidence he changed things. there's a lot more to be found out about this whole business. he is very much more anti-democratic than jefferson. in response to his letter where he talks about the evil majorities, he comes back as if he hadn't read that. he said the one thing i believe in that i need his majority rule. and madison has to adjust.
he is totally surprised by hamilton's program. >> can you explain how madison went from being one of the arctic -- one of the architects of the constitution to working with jefferson on the kentucky and virginia resolution? i call it the madison problem. he thinks the states are the problem and the federal government is the solution. it's a major problem. is best explained in his reaction. his conception is judicial.
she does not have in mind the kind of fiscal military state, european type state that hamilton wants to build. england had come out of the 17th and had emerged as the most powerful nation in the world. one third of the population of structure a financial creating a bank of england stock market and the hopes of financial reforms had enabled its state to tax people. many of them fail in the french couldn't do this.
hamilton wants to copy that. expanding on what they had done. his model has been labeled what is a fiscal move. we have a bureaucracy, a standing army, we would be powerful. the united states was a major power. taken on a european state if it had to. that's what hamilton wanted. when he sees the implications of hamilton's program he is stunned.
hamilton doesn't understand this. we wrote these papers together. he was surprised by the opposition. if he understood madison didn't have the same vision, and i think that vision is an umpire. i think that explains the problem or the solution to the patterson problem. >> one more question -- >> we have two questions. quirks my question would be what egyptiansjection to when -- >> my hearings not all that great.
>> what are your suggestions to the egyptians? your suggestions? what did they think of my suggestions? are your suggestions? >> my suggestions are what i just told you. i kind of forgot what you say that your suggestions, can you reaffirm your point? you are lucky, you americans. we had all that experience. we had been electing legislatures for years.
essentially we had the english bill of rights. we had that experience. trial and elections. even then they weren't comparable to what we were doing. we had in norma's experience and advantage. they had a meeting of the state general so nobody alive had any experience. in that sense they were blessed. they had no experience. the only election in egypt's history is the one that elected dorsey. that was the fairest election
they ever had. it was a fair election, but that was the majority not treating the minority well. there were a lot of secular minded people that was frightened by that, and there was fighting in the streets and insecurity. that is what they left behind. it was an impossible situation. the arab spring was so hopeful in the west. we dumped mubarak -- it is actually kind of embarrassing. a lot of political figures embarrassed with the quickness in which obama administration dumped mubarak, and now we have a second mubarak, and we are not complaining about it. but it was -- i don't know what
i thought my little talk in the american revolution was going to do, but they thought it would be an interesting contrast. the people, the 30 egyptians that represented the country, they were fairly sophisticated and they spoke english, and they were at each other's throats. the two people from the muslim brotherhood were very quiet and rarely spoke, which suggests something. they were uneasy. their president was the one being talked about. their man, and they did not come to his defense. they were the most quiet of the 30 odd people who were there. i don't know how they felt about each other, but there was a point where the dean of the
business school, a lunch partner was a very sophisticated man, very hopeful for the arab spring, but i don't know what he thinks now. one more here. >> so you have all these brilliant men get together, they write the constitution about how government works, and they miss the bill of rights. how did that happen? i would like your thoughts and how they went about fixing it as they did. seems like they should have had that in mind. gordon wood: madison has a very sophisticated argument. it was included by george mason in the last few days. after four months of meeting, a groan goes through all of them, do we have to have a bill of rights? that is why he refuses to sign it. and they vote on it, and every delegation turned it down. they said it was about limited government power.
congress can do this, this and this. what is the use of the bill of rights when you have delegated power? it isn't necessary to have abilify -- bill of rights. that is the sophisticated argument madison used to jefferson. but jefferson, thinking again in his ideological ways, he says my all of my french friends, i am embarrassed we don't have a bill of rights because they expect it. they were applauding separation of rights. so in light of the world expecting us to have this, he is apologizing in embarrassment. so he sent it to all maryland er, madison wasn't going to raise the issue. but the marylander publishes the letter. now there are antifederalists everywhere.
mr. jefferson wants a bill of rights and madison is caught. he says finally, he will get into the house of representatives. you have to go back to the state of virginia. it is amazing the ratification got through virginia, because without virginia, there is no constitution. it got through only by a few votes, but henry is still dominant. madison wants to go into the senate. henry said because the legislator elects the senate, you are out of the senate. somehow this is my government, you know. so he runs for house seat. what henry does is redistrict his district in a way that cuts out some of the voters, orange county voters, and puts up this young war hero against him, james munro. madison for the first time in his life, he hates to have to do it, he has to give a speech.
gives you an idea of the difference of politics. he does not want to have to electioneer. that is demeaning. it is the first time he has ever done this, and he promises them that if i am elected, i will get a bill of rights in -- to amend the constitution. and he takes the lead and his federalist friends say forget it, mr. madison, don't sign the constitution before it is on its feet. he said, i promised my constituents. without his efforts, it wouldn've been no bill of rights.
he called it a noxious project that nonetheless, i promised my constituents. he is the real father of the bill of rights. the rest of his colleagues are rolling their eyes saying, what is going on with this guy? so he deserves to be called it. he is called the father of the constitution even though he lost two of the major things he wanted, but he's really the father of the bill of rights. thank you, thank you. [applause] gordon wood: thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] announcer: this weekend, tonight at 8:00, lectures and history. >> the only difference between a jews andhunting down american moms in america changing the blacks, one was encouraged by the national government and one is tolerated by the national government. >> jill on world war ii and its impact on civil rights. america -- a field on the black panthers founded 50
years ago a. schu we knew in and joe we field. and joe we field. >> the security of our business and to see it is kept intact. archaeologist dean snow on his findings while excavating the battlefield saratoga in new york and inspiration to his book "7077: tipping point at saratoga." >> what of the world was the little lady doing? she was five feet tall and 60 years old and she was about an casualty. what is going on here? announcer: on american artifacts -- in an area where the wings are cut down. they give you more wing and more engines and you would hop up and down the field. when you were ready for the big day, you would talk to your
constructor -- instructor and he would pat you on the shoulder and say -- and get at an airplane and make their first real solo flight. the pilot takes us on a tour of the aviation museum, home of one the largest private collections of what were -- .orld war i and world war ii for complete american history tv schedule, go to c-span.org. >> all weekend long, american history tv is joining our comcast partners to showcase the history of pittsburgh, pennsylvania. to learn more about the cities, citiestour.-span.org/ will continue with the history of pittsburgh. pittsburgh, pennsylvania. this town was frontier town. with the four that was settled that wasench -- fort
settled by the french in the landia with saying this is great britain wants and the french and indian war, the seven-year war, who would control the confluence and that major net's with a history of taking down off a boat and in the process discovering america. the idea it would be a country from sea to sea. the idea of them looking over their shoulder and seeing -- say we built this country? at first it was glass and then iron and then steel and in the process, we built this country. and if you were to ask what does make pittsburgh pittsburgh, i would answer is resilience. back of the day like a lot of
cities, we burnt to the ground during the 1920's and 1930's and we created disparity between people like my grandfather who worked in the mills and people who owned them. we were able to overcome all of that and build a city that became the third largest corporate center in the united states in the 1970's. york, chicago, pittsburgh. and then in 1979, we died. from ano come back economic collapse. during the 1980's, steel died. familymy friends and left. we lost more people than new orleans left after katrina and they never came back. even our city government operating with the debt that was greater than new york city's when it went bankrupt. just like in all of those other times and challenges we had, we know how to do 2 things in pittsburgh. one is to work hard.
the others to innovate. we ended up with some forward thinking people who said back in the 1970's, let's create a robotic center. am first phd in robotics working to make an industry that can help on advancing manufacturing to be able to maintain some the manufacturing here. planted as we are going through that depression has taken hold. have taken us into a brand-new economy, economy that is based on engineering and technology and we stand here today with a city again. >> this weekend, where featuring the history of pittsburgh, pennsylvania with our comcast partners. learn more about pittsburgh another stop in our cities tour /citiestour.n.org you are watching american
history tv all weekend. webpage to special help you follow the supreme court. c-span.org and select supreme court or the right-hand top of the page. what is on our page, you will see quite true of the most current oral arguments. see allew all link to covered by c-span3 you can find recent appearance by many of the supreme court justices or watch a justices in his or her including one on one interviews in the past few months with a justices kagan, thomas and ginsburg. there is a calendar, a list of all current injustices with links to see their appearances on c-span, as well as many other supreme court videos on demand. follow the supreme court on c-span.org. >> of weekend on lectures in
history, gettysburg college teaches at jillitus class on world war ii and it -- and his impact on civil rights. here's a preview. professor titus: as we talked about, one of the biggest debates today is over chronology. when did the movement began? was it emancipation? the new deal? ii, smacked into between the 1930's, the new dili years and the 1950's. this period plays out really key role in the way that historians understand the modern black freedom struggle. it is clear the war years brought a lot again for civil rights. also proved profound disappointment for those hoping for lasting transformation in american race relations. in the most simple terms
follows, -- in the most simple terms, the war change some things but not everything. we want to use our time today to talk about some of the ways the black americans experience world war ii or responded to it and the impact of the war years in shaping the postwar civil rights movement. we will look at some of the games and the limited -- gains and limitations. we will talk about some of the ways veterans continue to fight for civil rights on the home front after vj day. announcer: watching the entire lecture tonight at 8:00 and midnight eastern. american history tv only on c-span3. >> president woodrow wilson nominated boston attorney louis brandeis to the supreme court in 1915. in june of that year, he became the first jewish person to serve
dutch to sit on the nation's highest court. 19 13 she served until up next on american 1939. history tv, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of his nomination, melvin urofsky, the author of his life, talks about the justice' legal career and life. the supreme court historical society hosts this event, it is about an hour. [applause] >> justice kagan wears many hats this evening. we are very grateful to her for being the host of the evening for us and delighted that justice ginsburg is here as well. the society depends on the support of the justice and they have been most generous. otherwise, we would be unable to