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tv   Lectures in History Pilgrims and History Textbooks  CSPAN  November 25, 2018 12:00am-1:09am EST

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was a place where people were escaping to because mexico had made a major intervention into the history of abolition and freedom in north america. host: could this turn into a book? prof. baumgartner: it is being published as a book. hopefully it will be coming out in 2020. host: thank you very much for your time. we appreciate it. prof. baumgartner: thanks so much. it was great to be here. caller: you are watching american history tv. only on c-span3. >> next on lectures in history, abram van engen of washington university in st. louis teaches a class of how the pilgrims became part of the united states
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founding story in 19th century textbooks. he describes why they emphasized the pilgrims plymouth colony over earlier settlements such as jamestown in virginia. his class is about 70 minutes. >> the goal today is to think about how the pilgrims and the puritans who we have been talking about all course long became such a national part of our heritage, such a huge part
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of our history. what happened? how do we get from the fact of their coming to these annual remembrances like at thanksgiving? and to the important place of them in political speeches, reagan is calling us a city on the hill because the puritans called us a city on a hill because the pilgrims came here and so forth. how do we get from one place to the next? the way we get there is through the work of history. so what we're going to be looking at today is after the united states becomes an independent nation, what happens to the development of historical writing that is how does historical writing take off, how does it focus on certain national narrative, where do they develop and what happens to maintain them and really to disseminate them to a wide population, ok. we talked last time, we talked about collective memory, that nations have temporal depth, this idea of part of what makes a nation a nation is the idea of shared memories. part of those shared memories is forgetting other memories, forgetting other aspects of history in order to cohere around a kind of story. we talked about this whole part of collective memory and the relation to nationalism. here today we're going to see it at work. that's what this lecture today is about. all right, so just to review where we have come from and where we are going to next. we have talked about definitions and just to review this sort of duel part to it, the passive
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sense of american exceptionalism which is a kind of model, right. so this definition, the position assumes that the u.s. has in some way achieved what all others nations are seeking or that the u.s. is called to achieve and so to model what all others are seeking. but not to a certain sense to intervene. this is the passive model. the active model, this idea has been sent on a mission, right, the position assumes that our calling is to spread our blessings and those can be defined in any number of ways, but some of the ways they get defined as religious liberty, self-government, capitalism, free enterprise and part of the idea of this is to see when those ideas get attached to american exceptionalism. the idea is that our call is to spread these things to the world, in a more active sense. usually both of these senses, either of these senses can include a religious sense of
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chosenness, we are called, some divinity has called us to this decision and there is embedded a kind of religious sensibility of chosenness. what does it entail? well, on the one hand it entails a comparative assessment. if you say that the u.s. is unique, what you are saying, is i have looked at other countries, compared the u.s. to other countries and in x or y detail it's unique. there is a comparative assessment that comes in american exceptionalism. more particularly for our class and what we're talking about today, there is usually embedded a historical claim. there is implicitly or explicitly, claims about america's unique virtues or benefits usually entail claims about america's past, how we have to have these unique virtues or a distinct national purpose in the world. that's where collective memory comes to play such an important part. this is the part of american exceptionalism that we're spending our time on today. all right. so obviously the u.s. has this revolution, declares independence, makes it stick,
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treaty of paris, ratification of the constitution, now you got this situation. you have all of these colonies which were connected immediately to england, federally connected immediately to eh other, they're one nation. except that for a long time they have not really seen each other as one nation. now you have this problem which is how do you formulate a national identity for all of these different colonies? with all of these different cultures? and say, in fact, we're one nation? that is the work of cultural nationalism. it's called cultural nationalism because it takes cultural work to build up a national identity. it takes cultural embedding, text and speech and civic rights and rituals to create this identity.
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there are three distinct ways that i'm going to look at here. three are right after the revolution and the beginning of the nation that we can think about. first is the idea of maps. we can know that we're one nation if we're pictured as one nation. and what you begin to see happen in the early republic and the early days of the new nation, you see maps show up everywhere. everybody keeps drawing the map of this nation with one set of political boundaries over and over and over. they hang it on the walls in taverns, put it on tea cups. if you're surrounded by this map of yourself in relation to all of these others, right, you'll be able to perceive yourself as one with all of these others. maps become one way of thinking about a national union and a national identity. and, of course, part of what we're talking about here, we raise this idea before of the imagined community, how do you
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imagine yourself in community with people you will never meet? people that you have never met, people that you know very little about and suddenly you're one people with them? maps are one way to imagine yourself as one people. the other thing that happens is rites. so you get the celebration of the fourth of july, for example, this begins to happen all over the place with civic speeches and so forth. in a certain sense, you practice yourself as one people. if everybody in all 13 colonies is practicing the fourth of july, they are in effect embedding the sense of themselves as one people united across the colonies, right, so maps is one way, rites is one way and the last way again, the way we're going to focus on again, history. you write the story of yourself as one people. you remember yourself as one people, right. so maps, rites and history are ways of embedding or creating a kind of cultural identity. and so unsurprisingly what you see happen is suddenly the rise of historical societies. most people don't think too much
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about historical societies and yet they played this really important role in the early republic. the first historical society was the massachusetts historical society, founded in 1791, still in boston today. for our purposes which is partly we're thinking about the rise of the city on a hill sermon, and how it went from winthrop to regan, this is the first society that printed it, it was never printed, it was never remarked upon, nobody knew that winthrop gave this sermon. there is no record of it. they find it in 1838, where do they find it? the second historical society, in the new york historical society. that's where it still is today. they find it there and they send a part of it to massachusetts which is the first place where it gets printed. now, what you see happening in that basic development there is something more broadly happening, which is that these
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are societies founded to preserve american history and pass it on. why are they founded right after the revolution and the constitution? because what they are saying is american history, first of all, is a thing and second of all, it's a thing we ought to preserve and third of all, it's so important a thing that all of the other nations of the world are going to want to know our history. let's go ahead and collect it, house it, keep it, publish it. that's why you begin to see these places abound. the other things that happens with these historical societies, we'll see a bit more of this in the lecture, there is a kind of sectionalism to them. that is to say, boston and new york are not the same places, right. and boston's material is not the same material as new york and so you see the sort of early celebration of pilgrims and the puritans and so forth in boston, what do you think they're celebrating in new york in the earliest days of this historical society, who are they celebrating? they have the big gala to open their doors, we want to hold it on the anniversary of what?
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yeah. hamilton gets remembered in terms of everybody is remembering the revolution for sure, but what are the new york founders go back to? the dutch. the first big gala to celebrate henry hudson and the coming of the dutch. you see how the regional societies have a flair to them. the puritans and the pilgrims, but we're the dutch, you know. and each place begins to kind of emphasize it's own history as part of the national story, right. we're going to come back to this term in a little bit, but what you get, what you begin to evolve here is what one historian calls sectional nationalism. my section is the essential
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section of the nation for the nation. if you want to know about american national history, you first have to know about my section of the nation, we're the most important part. so you get that sense of sectional nationalism. well, by the time that the american historical association is founded in 1834, 200 of these societies had been opened across the various states. and actually some of the biggest and strongest and most well supported ones were here in the midwest, so in wisconsin and iowa and such places, they really wanted to collect and know their histories. the state supports these things. so what's the significance of these things? one of the things i said they collect the history, but even in the idea that reagan is citing winthrop's sermon, what you begin to understand is these sort of unthought of, unknown places like historical societies are all embedded in the way we tell our nation's stories. think about this, regan cannot
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call america a city on a hill without in effect the sermon being found. how is the sermon being found? historical societies find it and keep it and print it, which is to say the language embodies far more than a set of beliefs or policy positions. it also contains a whole history of these libraries, these historical societies, these archives and so on. all sorts of individuals and institutions that have collected, preserved and passed on stories of our nation's past. here is the other important part to think about, though. archives, as much as they preserve, they also select. when these people went about founding archives, they thought this is important, this is not important. just to give you a sense of this, there is a really important early native american
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intellectual leader and preacher. jeremy, who founded the massachusetts historical society, dismisses this guy. he treats him with total disrespect, so his papers never end up in the massachusetts historical society. they're located later. other people come back and say, wait a second, this guy is important, we need to collect this guy's papers. in other words, preservation is selection. in renand's words, in remembering, there is forgetting. so they preserve and she select. and so in the choices that they
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make, they shape not only what we do say about america's past, but what we can say about america's past because if you want to tell the story, you got to go find the texts and the records. well, all you got available are the texts and the records that have been preserved, right. so this is the kind of significance of these historical societies and archives. well, it's one thing to save everything, the one thing to preserve everything. how does the public get to know everything. what you see is early on what these folks are doing, look, what we're going to do is collect all of the records, keep all the stuff and later historians can tell the story. in other words they divided these two things, these two jobs up. you know what, somebody else can put it all together into a grand narrative as long as they've got the stuff, we're going to keep the stuff. well, that begins to happen. so there is a new interest in history that gradually rises. so in each decade from 1790 to 1830, historical works including historical fiction accounted for a quarter or more of america's best sellers climbing to a peak of more than 85% in the 1820's. 1820's is when you see the real true burst of interest in american history. in addition to that, you have these new state laws. so the state laws are not only that people have to go to school, but that when they go to school, they have to study
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american history. so there is already this kind of push on the state level to study history. because of the state laws, because of the burgeoning population, you have tons more students. a handy statistic, in new york alone, the number grew from 176,000 in 1816 to 508,000 to 1833, that's 17 years later, yeah, 17. that's enormous growth of just pure number of students. and not surprisingly then, the market for new american history textbooks suddenly boomed. gross sales of american produced textbooks from 1820 to 1855 increased from $750,000 to $5.5 million outperforming the nearest genre of book by over 5-1. that is textbooks are what is selling in early america. of course, that includes more than just history textbooks, but history textbooks are a big part of this genre. if you write a textbook, you got to decide where you're
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going to start. where does the story of america begin? remember, this is the question we asked on the first day of class. where do you begin the story of america? what's the origin of america? we looked at a variety of different answers to that question that a person could come up with, right. you could start with native americans, columbus, jamestown, mayflower, the declaration, the revolution. remember, that each of these answers has an implication about what you mean by america. each of these answers, if you start with native americans as the beginning of america, you've got a much broader sense of diversity of all of the people who ever lived here unbounded by any certain political geography or boundaries. columbus means that america as we know it today begins with europeans encountering native americans or the discovery from the european point of view of america. the jamestown answer emphasizes
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english roots to however we define america and the declaration, of course, is the nation. then we ask this question about how come the pilgrims and puritans are on this list at all? we heard this story many times, we hear it every thanksgiving and yet when we come to think about this as an origin of america, it doesn't make a lot of sense. they're not the first people here. they're not the first europeans here, they're not the first english people here, they're not the first english settlement here. what makes them a kind of origin? well, one of the reasons why they become this sort of influential and important origin is because they can be used to give america a sort of noble identity or a noble cause, so we hear that the pilgrims
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came for freedom or forgot or for self-government or all three of those things. because they came for those reasons, that's what america stands for ever since, right. and because that kind of language could be given to the pilgrims much more easily than it could be given to say jamestown, then jamestown gets moved aside or erased or ignored so that we can start with the pilgrims and be committed to these things as our essential identity. and so what you see often happening is that you get this kind of contrast built in, right. well, when the pilgrims came, it was unlike when the spanish came. what the spanish did was totally horrible. what the pilgrims did was they came for this, that's what defined america. yeah, people came to virginia, those are people who were sort of bad settlers, right. and that's not what america stands for. that's not the true origin of america. that happened, but the real origin came just a little bit later, right. so you get this way of talking about american history so that identity and origin are mixed up in purpose. does that make sense? all right, the other reason we get to talk about the pilgrims
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in origin of america is people that wrote the textbooks happen to be mostly from new england. this gets back to the kind of sectionalism built into national history, right. by 1860, new england was only 10% of the u.s. population, but it was roughly half of all textbook writers, right. that dominance gave them a key role in shaping the story of america that would come out. and this is going back all the way to the puritans themselves. the puritans themselves would frequently write history and write history of themselves and of new england, so this was a long tradition in new england of writing histories, from the 17th century well into the 20th century, new england dominated american historical writing.
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why do we talk about the pilgrims and the puritans so much? because the people that wrote history came from new england in the 19th century. that's one sort of reason. all right, so then you get these massive commemorations of the pilgrims and we looked at these slides before. i'm going to go very quickly through these. this is just to remind you, these sorts of images, these sorts of poems begin to emerge en masse in the 19th century. you have the landing of the pilgrim fathers in new england and the last stand, the holy grail, the ground where they trod, they left unstained what they found, freedom to worship god. you get this sense in which the coming of the pilgrims began something totally new in the world. what that newness had to do with was religion, religious liberties, civil liberty, all the way you can put together freedom and god began with the pilgrims and the puritans in new england, this thing totally new.
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and so of course you get all of these paintings that celebrate them. we looked at these paintings before and what we saw in the sort of religious dimension, the light, the heavenly light glowing on the mayflower compact or a more civil liberty version where it's mostly with each other, the compact, the idea of self-government in the mayflower or this sort of noble hero. a cultural sense of origins and the of course the famous, the landing of the fathers, the fathers, our fathers are the begins of our people, right. and, of course, all the way through 1914, the first thanksgiving and images of a kind of peaceful settlement, right, to be contrasted with others. you also get these pilgrim societies. what these new england societies and pilgrim societies do,
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basically, if civic rights with one way to build a national origin, civil rights can be one way to spread a regional identity. you get new england societies developing in new york and charleston and all over the place. what they are are basically everyone from new england gets together, especially if you're wealthy and male, and you get together and celebrate the fact that you're from new england. how are you going to celebrate the fact that you're from new england? well, you are basically going to remember the pilgrims. that's how you celebrate the fact that you're from new england. they would have these elaborate feasts in december to celebrate the pilgrim landing and the mayflower compact and so on and so forth. every december they would get together and celebrate anew their pilgrim origins. here is one certificate of membership in the pilgrim society. you get this sort of contrast, the wilderness, the developed town, the native american before, the civilization after coming with pilgrims. so commemorations become all important. just to make sure that we're, it's not overemphasized. there are a lot of commemorations going on. think about what is commemorated in the
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1820's. 1825, bunker hill, 1826, declaration of independence. july 4, 1826 who died? >> john adams and thomas jefferson. >> not incredibly famous, yeah, yeah, july 4, 1826, on the 50th anniversary of the declaration of independence, john adams and thomas jefferson, old arch rivals, second and third president, both die. and you have all of these speeches celebrating, of course, the revolution, the declaration, right. so commemoration through the 1820's is a big booming business. there are speeches and memorials and commemorations all the time. this is again the building of a public history, right. memorials and monuments are super important. it's how a people make their identity and remembers it in all of these civic rituals and all of these ways to building a cultural identity.
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one of those commemorations happens in 1820 because, of course, it's 200 years since the landing of the pilgrims. so one thing to keep in mind is up until 1820, the pilgrims were celebrated but mostly in new england. that is, if you're from charleston, you're like, the pilgrims who? why is this important to me? and in 1820, partly through the work of this guy daniel webster, the pilgrims start to become nationalized. they start to become a national origin story. this speech that he gives in 1820 is one of the ways that begins to happen. so daniel webster, anyone remember who daniel webster is? you guys cover daniel webster before? daniel webster? so this guy was super important, major orator, senator. his infamy, he signs off in 1850
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on the fugitive slave law. doing that he becomes a great tatar of new england, that leads to uncle tom's cabin in 1851. that is sort of where it ends, he died in 1852 shortly after tatar of new england, that leads that. in 1820, he is very much on the rise, he is an important senator, house speaker, lawyer. super important on various supreme court cases throughout this period. he is known as sort of the great orator of the north. you have the big commemoration ceremony, you ask the best speaker to speak and of course, he does his job. what he does is basically he rewrites the history of america through the pilgrims and what he does is he imagines the spread of their virtues, what they gave us, et cetera, transmitted from heir to heir to heir to heir
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from the atlantic to the pacific. he does both of these things in the speech. so he closes his speech by imagining the voice transmitted through millions of the sons of the pilgrims till it loses itself in the murmurs of the pacific seas. he gives an incredible oration. it was like his face was shining like the moses. my whole head was going to explode with the rush of excitement. john adams reads the speech, says it's the best speech he has ever read. it's going to be read 500 years from now. it should be read at the end of every year, reread. sent to all of the schools. it does get sent to all of the schools. the pilgrims are the origin of america because as he says in this speech, the moment they arrive, democracy arrives with them. the moment they arrived, christian institutions came with them. you see this sense of an origin
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as a pure origin, with the moment of arrival is the key step, the key beginning in the whole history of america. he of course sketches that forward all the way to the present day. what you see after that is the spread of all of this stuff through education. and education is this important way of how do you get ideas from someone like justice speaker and a speech like websters to a much broader population of the public? one of ways you do that is through education and through textbooks. and one of the first sort of histories of america, even though it's this sort of pilgrim-centered history of america is webster's. what you begin to see happen is webster's speech is sent around to schools, mainly in new england, but school children read it, they memorize sections of it was, they recite it, this is how they come to know their history, right.
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so this is one of the sort of important moments transmitting his version of america to a broader population. what we're going to talk about for a little while now is this sense of the importance of education in this period. one of the things that happens, this is really important to think about, ok. the founding fathers, people like daniel webster, those folks, what they often said, even archrivals like john adams and thomas jefferson agreed on this, is that liberty and learning go hand in hand. you will not be able to maintain liberty in a republic if the people themselves are uninformed. and so this is the idea they keep talking about called an informed citizenry, you have to have an informed citizenry. if you don't have an informed citizenry, the only experiment is going to collapse.
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let me give you a vivid example of that. there is a guy named ebenezer hazard, great name. he goes around the southeast collecting records here, there, everywhere, right. and what he is doing is he is working with jeremy belknap to collect the state archives. he writes a letter in 1778 to the continental congress, we got no archives here, no place to collect the papers, no place to house them or keep them. if you help me out, i'll do that work. they consider his letter and grants him $1,000 which is a lot of money in those days to go do this. it also says to all of the state representatives along the way, help this guy out, make copies of records, copies are hand copies, ebenezer hazard is going to make these things and copying them out by hand. let's think about that. it's 1778.
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it's basically in the midst of the war itself, the continental congress is like, we need to give a federal grant for historical archives to keep these papers. that's one of the things they are thinking about. when the massachusetts historical society is founded, it is chartered as a public utility like your gas. they are thinking about the stuff of public utility, at the central benefits, as absolutely necessary for the maintenance of liberty. liberty and learning went hand-in-hand for these people. student: was in the continental congress getting revenue? prof. van engen: that's a good question. we don't know of the $1000 ever got from the continental congress to ebenezer hazard. where is the money coming from? is theyimportant part take the letter and they say this is important, we need to work this. so here is webster's to that
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point effect. he says, we confidently trust by the diffusion of a general knowledge and the good and virtuous sentiments, the political fabric may be secure against violence, overflow, and licentiousness. that meant basically everybody doing what they want. one thing to consider is that webster is a whig. he doesn't exactly trust the mass population. see this mentality of saying, we have to have learned leaders but we have to have an informed citizenry and we cannot let everyone do whatever they want. that is a sure way to end this thing in disaster. one of the questions to think about is to what extent that still applies.
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to what extent do you think a kind of informed citizenry is necessary for the maintenance of liberty or democracy or the rest of it? i don't want to spend too much time thinking about this. in a certain sense, it is a broad question. it is the kind of question leaders often think about and there are a lot of different ways to go. if there's a general sense of what you talked about, i would love to hear the immediate thoughts you had in relation to this question. can democracy survive without an informed citizenry? what is the information that is needed? should the education include history? what kind of history? immediate thoughts you have, gut reactions. student: we kind of talked about how with democracy, the government having the consent of the governed.
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part of that consent is education on what people are voting on. at the bare minimum, there needs to the education about how people can participate in a democracy. from the development of the american democracy. that is what we were talking about. civics, or like school house rock. how does a bill become a law? there were two big points. we don't have democracy everywhere in the world. there is something going on here working. we need to be able to recognize what that is, why it is working. what are the signs? we talked about the constitution
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a lot. more than the bill of rights. document wrong, the bill of rights is great, but the constitution is more than the bill of rights. there are a lot of things that protect individual liberty and freedom. we talked about checks and balances, separation of powers. bicameral legislation. all of these things become crucial to america. prof. van engen: again, everyone should read the constitution. figure out how this is supposed to be put together. student: there is this thing when you don't talk about history, it repeats itself. especially given the timing, the american revolution, nobody ever thought they would win. the fact that that was so important to them they wanted to preserve certain aspects of their history, i think shows they did not want what to happen
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with tierney, all the stuff, , all that stuff, they did not want it repeating itself. we still have that to this day. people read the news on their phone. that is what they based their decisions off. i think there is this idea that we have to keep history alive. but it is kept alive in a different way. prof. van engen: thinking about the way people inform themselves today, we are very aware of misinformation. the idea that you could be looking at a fake article or fake whatever. i'm not going to say fake news because there is real news. that is really done by real experts and so forth. but anyway, this idea that information and misinformation do go hand in hand. this is true back then, too. how do you trust a source? maybe one of the things people need to be educated in is how do i know when to trust a source? how do i know when to trust what
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i am hearing? yes. that kind of scrutiny. student: if you want to be an informed person, you must take responsibility to be informed. to read many books, many articles. sit-down with a cup of coffee and just start reading. don't complain about it. don't make excuses. don't wheedle your way out of reading. if you do, readings are useless. put in the effort. rather than just all talk. prof. van engen: one of the things your point is raising, the balance between individual responsibility to be an informed citizen, and the kind of structures we can have in place so as to inform people as they are growing up and becoming citizens. what kind of sense him -- systems instructions are in
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place? to just think about this simply, in the era we are talking about, it becomes state law to go to school. you have to go to school. they are thinking, what are those basic things everybody has to know? as you begin to pass laws that sent people to school, you have to think about what they ought to be learning in those schools. these are the kinds of questions they are shaping at this particular moment. student: we were talking about the idea of what deserves to be taught. that american history. of course we should know american history more than world history, although i'm not sure a lot of people really understand american history. you just expect other people to know. i don't know anything about the structure of parliament. this is something i feel like i am expected to know. part of the reason we want an informed citizenry is for voting and electing people into office. his notike
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understanding we have to have is we are deciding what to do what to do with this country, we should know that country's history. just our own history. prof. van engen: right. you get a lot of articles about our misinformation, our lack of knowledge in the middle east, interventions that have been made in the middle east. understanding the kind of are there, and the various expectations they have. thinking through what you are saying, one of the ways to think about civics -- one thing we could say, everyone should understand american civics, american government. how it works and so forth. you can also say, everyone ought to be able to think about civics in general. the varieties in ways governments work. that might allow you to have some scrutiny of the american civics system. i want to use that example to think about -- we talked about perry miller a bit. the influential role he had.
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historian of the puritans of the mid-20th century. i want to use his sense of this tension to talk about, what are the tensions underlying some of these questions? what should be taught? one of the goals of education in american society is often a sense of diffusion. that is, making accessible, bringing knowledge out to people. communicating to people. train people. education aims at the diffusion of information, making citizens. a profoundly democratic conviction the school should be so conducted as automatically to produce exactly what america wants. if america wants more workers, school should be a place to train those people to be workers. a sense that schools produce what america needs or wants. this diffusion. he said this is in tension with the sense of what education is basically about, discovery.
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that is the sense that education exists not just to pass things on or produce what society says it needs to produce, but find out what we did not know. in doing so, education has often faced a task of the stilling -- of the stowing reputation upon unrepeatable ideas. they cannot just replicate society, they change it. a gets back to the question of, it is one thing to say every student should learn american civics to participate in civil society. it is another to say, every american should learn to set american civil society next to others to scrutinize the best way government should be run. the first is a sense of diffusion. we need to train up citizens. the second is the sense of discovery. we need to figure out the best possible system of government. nothing is free from scrutiny, however much we might honor it.
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i think that is one of these senses. about ahis matters moment we're talking about, the early 1800s, the increase of schooling, education, the rise of textbooks, and the general sense of what those textbooks are going to include. what are they going to educate people in? how are they going to produce the informed citizenry we need? which brings us to emma willard. who has heard of her? anyone from new york? troy, new york? it's a shame. this is great. i expected that. i want to introduce you to and the -- emma willard. she was a teacher, proponent of women's education, and textbook writer. the textbooks she wrote sold over one million copies, a good payday.
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even though she founded the school in troy, new york, near albany, called the emma willard school. it still exists, a very good school. what she became known for was her textbooks. washistory of united states reprinted 53 times and translated into german and spanish. she was so well known that when she died in 1870, her death was baltimore, charleston, chicago, philadelphia, san francisco, and several other cities and towns. everyone knew her. education,or female she wrote a plan for female education which she presented to the new york state legislature. that is what is galvanized and eventually led to the school she founded in troy. she also sent that plan all over. in bogota, colombia, they
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founded a seminary called the seminary school. it was on her model. all over the place. she was active in trying to get one established in athens, greece. she was internationally famous, too. i have been to the emma willard school because i win their -- went there to read her papers and letters. there's a great archive there. when you walk into the library at the school, this is a single copy of all the different editions of the book she wrote. they are all by her in this cabinet. what is her argument for female education? i want to lay out the argument and then show how it relates to these common concerns of the era. her argument was basically that female education would not only make the nation great, it would make the nation last. she called unpatriotic countrymen to follow her advice and establish a broad system of women's education in the consideration of national glory.
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she was basically saying, if you leave women only the genteel arts, homemaking or whatever, you are leaving half the population as uninformed citizens. we need a fully informed citizenry, including women. what this argument reveals and we need to think more about, is first of all, there were a lot of people still in the 18 teens and 1820's, whether the american republic was going to last. all they had was the republics of history. all of those had not lasted. mostly what they were thinking about was, how do we make this last as long as possible? what emma willard said is you make it last longer by educating the women. by making a fully informed citizenry.
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lots of people saw education as absolutely essential to make the republic last. she is influential in the model of female education she developed that spread throughout the nation. her pupils would sound schools throughout the country. -- would found schools throughout the country. i do not want to dwell on that, i want to talk about her sense of history. one of the famous things she does is she brings to textbooks visualization. think about the textbooks you had in high school or whatever. you remember, they have giant maps. they have colored parts for this kind of colonization. colored parts for that kind of group living there or there. basically this sense of developing history through maps, she starts that. what she basically wants to say
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is by the visuals, students can grasp so much more of american history so much more quickly. she is so committed to this idea of grasping the visual history of america, she tries to figure out how can i make a single image that will be the whole history of america up until the present day? this is the image she comes up with, a tree. a couple of things to notice about this tree. first of all, left and right, it is the same kind of imagery you got in the membership of the plymouth society. so-called native wilderness beforehand. englishtown, settlement after. this sense of chronological development she wants to tell. what does each branch of this tree then do for her? what it does is it establishes a turning point. you will see, i will show you on the next slide, a lot of this
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tree maps onto her table of contents. what she wants to say is if you know the turning points of history, you're 90% there. the rest is filler. basically, if you know the key moments, everything else that happens in between, it is fine. what are the key moments? it is hard to read, i'm going to read it to you. columbus's discovery, 1492. this is gilbert's patent. this beginning of exploration. and then here, 1620, pilgrims landing. what is missing from the tree? what is not there? we're not going to talk about the south. this is not a turning point in history. even though it is the first permanent english settlement in america, for her, it is not a
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turning point. in is not a thing every pupil has to remember, the beginning of jamestown. instead, they have to remember the pilgrims landing, plymouth, the mayflower. what you get in her text but cash textbook is a bunch of accounts of discoveries including the spanish and the portuguese and the english and others. jamestown is wrapped up with the finding of america. you found america. you begin america with the pilgrims. that is how you can build into history of all these turning points that allow you to move chronologically but assert origins at different moments. i told you before i was going to give away my example. 1643. does anybody remember now what
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at -- what did that confederacy is? so important that everybody remembered it? this turning point in history? the 1643 confederacy? what happened in 1643? we talked about two weeks ago. who united? who came together? student: wasn't it like some of the new england colonies to fight against the native americans? prof. van engen: yes. four new england colonies come together, uniting for common defense. this becomes one of the key turning points because it is a moment of union between the colonies prefiguring a much broader union of colonies, coming in 1776. people are celebrating 1643 in the 19th century. today, we do not remember it at all. this is how we think about
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public memory, cultural memory changing over time. it does not remain static. collective remembering is dynamic. some things are remembered in forgotten inn and another. here you see the table of contents. i want to try your attention here. since it draws out the not just of the importance of the confederation, but importance to emma willard of textual history. these are important texts that get written over time. why is 1620 an important epoch? afterg of the pilgrims found on the mayflower, the first written political compact of america. if you call something first, you -- sincesense a race
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erase anything else before. by simply calling something the first. also, what is essential is she says it is the written compact. this prefigures a written social compact that is going to come later to frame the nation. this is how the stories of the nation are being written. what to be's origins -- do these origins allow her to do? each is a break. movingws her to say i am chronologically through american history, but these are the moments to dwell on. columbus is a section to himself. is this era of discovery. jamestown is in the era of discovery but not the first article compact of america. that starts with the pilgrims. what did she say about these pilgrims? when did they come, this is what
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she writes. in no part of the history of the u.s., perhaps of the world, is the eye of the philanthropist resting with more interest than on the account of the devoted band now spoken of as the pilgrims. they possess a higher caste of moral elevation of any of those who thought the new world was in evidence. keep in mind how often we see this. this idea of moral elevation. they came here unlike anybody else. everybody else came for gold. these people came for god. that's the basic contrast. the hope of gain was a motive of former settlers. the love of god was theirs. we do hold the germ of that love of liberty. think about this. , that idea liberty seats that grow.
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a nation grows or matures into what it was planted as or began as. those correct use of the national equality of man which are fully developed in the american constitution. this is the origin. the pilgrims. you can see the way she is establishing that. she is very famous for introducing maps into american history. this is her introductory map. what is noteworthy is it is not called the first map of american history. the first map is next, the second one. the introductory map is a bunch of native americans. you can see the way in which this kind of history makes them into the backdrop against which the story began. they are part of the setting. this is just the setting. the introduction.
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what the world looks like before it begins. you can see the way in which this kind of history maps very well into the beginning of genesis. anyone know how genesis begins? anyone here? hovered over the void and god said, let there be light. there is a sense of a void or a vacant light or emptiness waiting for order. that is how a lot of these histories are written. chaos,oductory map and turbulent waters in a certain sense, these tribes moving all over the place. there is no sense that the native americans possess any part of the land or that you would be infecting them -- evicting them or taking over.
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this is just a void and movement. this is an important map thinking about how these histories incorporate native americans as a kind of setting or backdrop. the first map begins here. it begins with a written text. a patent. it is an inset on the map. this is where you get the coming of the pilgrims, the second map. you get the mayflower compact up there. gradually more and more settlement on the east coast. the pilgrims landed at plymouth. notice here. between the maps, we have already looked at how she erases jamestown. more or less. she talked about them but only in the sense that they are not a founding. that means they are not going to appear on any map. there.hey are not
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1620, they are already there. what does she say? she paints on the map, a dutch -- negroesnee grows from africa purchased by jamestown. as far as appears on any map, it is associated with slavery. you can't not talk about slavery. but if you say the pilgrims came here for freedom, you can first of all ignore the fact pilgrims and puritans in new england had slaves, which they did. saysecond of all, you can the whole slavery business is not part of the essential identity of america. that happened down south. the real origin is up here with this morally elevated crew of people who came. these histories are creating the kind of national story doing
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important cultural work of creating a national identity. i was just listening to lectures about the american revolution , which i do when i run. i am very nerdy that way. they were talking about jefferson's draft. the declaration of independence versus what eventually happens. --s very famous illumination mination, he charges the king with having forced them the slade trade. there are people in congress who feel tender about that. especially folks from georgia don't really want that in the declaration of independence. they take that stuff out. what jefferson said is it is not just southerners who wanted that removed. it was northerners. why? they are the sea merchants making so much money on the slave trade. when we think about it as a southern institution, we are feeding -- we forgetting it was
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a northern institution as well. in particular through these merchants and vessels. it existed in puritan new england. these maps go on and on. you get to this point. you can see, let me give you a sense -- there are a lot of maps. i want to give you a sense of the gradual ordering. to go back to genesis, what you have is void and then order. now look at these maps. here's the introductory map. the first map. the second map. a series of other maps. this gradual development of order out of chaos. in the sense of the history. 1789, the constitution. one of the notable features is, where is the western boundary? whoops. you get this sense of a map not
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yet done being written. you also get a sense that built into these puritan roots, a maturation that needs to continue. that needs to continue expanding. that expansion is natural to what it is. when you come with the kind of morally elevated purpose of freedom, liberty, etc., a natural thing for it to do is expand. you see that built into webster's speech. in a way, the rhetoric takes over the speaker. the whigs were not necessarily expansionist. the annexation of texas, there were a lot of new englanders opposed to it. in part because they thought it would give too much power to the slave powers. expansionism was not just a given in this culture. there are a lot of people opposed to or questioning the
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idea of american expansion. and yet when they turned to this rhetoric of pilgrim origin, why they came, webster could not help himself but see it spreading to the pacific.
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