tv The Counter Revolution of 1776 and Race to Revolution CSPAN August 6, 2017 8:00am-9:21am EDT
american history tv at c-span.org/history. horne talksald about his book. he argues the front of abolition in the colleagues helped sparked the fight for independence in the u.s.. he looks at the experiences of slaves and x slaves in the u.s. and cuba. this was recorded at eso won books geared it is about an hour and 20 minutes. host: thank you very much. it is great to be back in my former home, southern california .
i'm going to be back to speak about these two books as just suggested, but i also feel compelled to make an apology to begin with. when the former west german leader went to poland about for decades ago, he was overcome of the germans had done. i feel compelled to apologize to the indigenous people who formally occupied california. i feel compelled to apologize the people of african dissent who were murdered and enslaved, all of the people that were subjected to atrocities and degradations. at the end of the day, those who still believe that the process
which led to this genocide and enslavement was a step forward for humanity that created the united states of america. it is not surprising that given it was people feel justifiable and worthwhile to have a genocide and enslavement enslaved this country, it is not surprising we have a great deal of this sentiment. in this a body politic. i am apologizing on behalf of black scholars who could have written a book like this decades ago. apologize on behalf of the many millions gone that have suffered
not the least because of atrocities emitted by the night states of america. let me move on to talk about this book. to --s a book that speaks seeks to tell a new story about the origin of the united dates of america. it speaks to cultures of creation myths. it tends to argue that the creation of the united states of america was not a great leap forward for humanity. that there were countless europeans in particular who benefited from the creation of the united states of america, but given the fact that after the creation of the united states of america in 1776, -- i'm speaking of
great britain as a result of the formation of the united states, and moves ousted toward abolition of slavery, -- the united states moves into the leader of slave trade. as i suggest another book, that is back on the shelf about the african slave trade to brazil, one of the many reasons why you thanso many -- in brazil any other country outside of nigeria was the manic energy of the slave traders that descended upon africa and manifold and andcuffed -- manacled
handcuffed every african insight . theory of this book is that the rebel leading to the declaration of independence, that they rebelled against british rule because they felt and suspected that written was moving britain was toward abolition of slavery, which would jeopardize the fortune of founding fathers including george washington, thomas jefferson, patrick henry, et al.madison, a thank you. -- the shortces of thesis of the book is you have
somerset's case in england which involved an effort to send and enslaved african man back to north america after he escaped to freedom. the judge ruled, which is ed in the movie -- anybody see that? the judge ruled in this case slavery would not -- in england. take an oracle to , that would form a precedent that would be applied to the colonies, jeopardizing many fortunes.
,s i will suggest and explain there was good reason for the so-called rebels to believe that aserset's case would be used a precedent in north america and jeopardize many fortunes a stone slave trade. against british rule pursuant to the declaration 4, independence july 4 1776. the longer explanation would go back to another revolution, the glorious revolution in england in 1688. the rising merchant class rose monarchyt the monike -- and clipped the wings of the king. this led to the erosion of the
monopoly of the royal african company which their 2-4 had been in charge of the african slave trade. what ensues is what i call free aade in africa, there is deregulation of the african slave trade. merchants are allowed to enter the african slave trade, which profusion. iny descend on west africa droves dragging africans particularly to the caribbean. more valuablewas than the north american mainland, not least because the caribbean had many sugar
plantations. it was seen as something of a miracle drug, believe it or not. and jamaica, anti-gut, bear -- antigua, barbados -- the deregulation of slave trade and onset of the era of free trade in africans leads to predictable results. one result is immense profitability. you may note that the african slave trade was one of the most profitable enterprises in the history of humankind, which is the reason it lasted for hundreds of years and why it has been so difficult to erase the aftermath that still haunts us in 2014.
that is to say that some of the profits of these voices could you invest one, dollar and get $1700 back. i'm sure you have lived in the united states long enough to know that there are those who would sell their firstborn child for a $1700 profit, let alone africans that they knew nothing about and did not know. with the onset of free trade in of slaved deregulation trade, you had a tremendous increase in the number of africans brought across the atlantic, late 1600s, early 1700s. this also leads to what the , waltern historians rodney, talk about in terms of the origins or take off of the system we know as capitalism.
the slave say that trade formed the backbone of capitalism. when you brought africans across the atlantic to work for free, tremendous wealth was created. inmendous wealth not only the direct sale of africans, but the rows of industry, ship -- as we insurance detail shortly, the africans oftentimes revolted and you needed insurance policies to compensate for the losses. -- and evenance after the africans arrived, particularly in the carolinas, particularly south carolina, and . person or of black life the authorities in south carolina found that they had to
build infrastructure, roads and bridges so if the africans revolted they could get militia revolt. repress the when you build roads and bridges, it's not only useful for repressing revolts, but also good for business. footnote, i see a number of reparations activist in this room, obviously what i'm talking about in this book provides further rationale for the movement to garner reparations for the decades and centuries of unfree labor and the only question we should be devising is whether the reparation should go and what it should be used for. the rationale for reparations is ironclad. to recapitulate, 1688 you have a
which leadsolution to free trade of africans, which creates wealth and the takeoff of capitalism. another consequence, and that is -- as you know and may readily infer, people don't hee being manacled, handcuffed, and dragged across the ocean to work for free. so, they are rebelling like crazy, particularly in the caribbean where the numbers and ratios are to their favor. caribbean, thehe africans are outnumbering the europeans something like 20 to one. this creates favorable conditions for revolt. i talk about this in regard to lead to thech often slave masters to make the great
threat. -- thank you.to it leads to a phenomenon in jamaica, the marin phenomena. africans are escaping jurisdiction of the british and setting up their own systems of administration and rule. and there is a fear in the 1730's that jamaica would escape the administration of london. in hispaniola, the haitian revolution occurred where africans escaped jurisdiction of the french and set up their own system administration. as many of you may know, then liquidated a good deal of the slaveowning class. wouldwas a fear that this
ensue in jamaica as early as 1730, which was not beyond the realm of possibility, because as you probably know, it was in the century, i'll17th proximally 1660 five, that the spanish were ousted from jamaica by the british because the africans had decided it was time for the spanish to go. and theysh gay men decided it was time for the british to go -- the british came in and they decided it was time for the british to go. those of you who are familiar with south african history, the trek" is familiar
to some of you, you can ask on question answer. this did not dissuade slaveowners from the possibility of liquidation preceded by revolt. 1739ay know, a proximally you had the bloodiest revolt in north american mainland history where africans rose up, killed a wasdozen europeans and it -- were marching to spanish florida, because you probably controlleda had been by the spanish from the early 1500s until about 1820 when the united states takes over and turns it into the sunshine state as it is today. bringing up the question of spain things up in important part of the story, because the spanish have begun to arm africans as early as the 1500s.
they had embarked upon an administration of slavery that diverged from that of the british. when they span is -- spanish began to arm africans -- you may ask yourself, why would they on the africans? alitalia what london believed, i don't subscribe to the thesis, but i will repeat it. london felt that the spanish had to arm the africans because of religious reasons, a religious cold war taking place between artist and london and catholic madrid and to a degree, catholic paris. londoners felt that because the spanish were admitting so many , theyto the priesthood had no choice but to arm africa. this was putting competitive
rusher on britain to do the same, particularly when britain the spanish over control of native american land on the northern coast of south america in the city known as not leastah because the spanish and armed africans who chased the redcoats from the shores of northern coastal south america at a time when the settlers in north america, those who go on to found the united states of america, were very reluctant on behalf of the british and south america, because they had to engage in the business of liquidating native americans and ousting them from their land, they felt their time was better spent doing that then fighting for more colonial conquest for london.
ire ofs inflaming the london that the colonists were not reliable politically weird i should also mention another point with regard to rivalry between spain and britain, which helps lead to the foundation of the united states of america. that is that as you probably know, the country known as ireland was a reddish possession. a could be called -- was british possession. it could be called one of the early conquests. they had a bone to pick with london as well. some of the leaders of the spanish military were irish, because they defected to the other side. they would rather fight the english than fight the spanish.
you may have heard about the referendum a few weeks ago where to scottish or threatening bolt from the united kingdom. the only became part of the united kingdom in the midst of our story. the scottish two were seen clinically unreliable by london. this was helping to put more pressure on london to arm africans, not only because of the perceived political unreliability of the irish and scottish, but also because spain is putting competitive pressure on britain to do the same so that the british can fight the spanish more competitively. africans isn't obviously something that was welcome. wereorth american settlers
strongly opposed to it, they felt that africans should not be armed, they should be marched at gunpoint into the fields to pick tobacco to create wealth for the slave owners. you begin to see the deeper ning -- deepening rift. what happens, of course is what i consider to be one of the turning point in the history of people of african descent is a -- a conflictd to that led to our ancestors being subjected to more atrocities. in 70'saking of the war 1776.
ans spoke spanish and worth -- and were catholic. there were commonalities between them. so, britain is trying to illuminate the spanish threat in florida and the french threat in canada. the fingerprints of spanish cuban africans were on both of those and there is evidence to suggest that africans in new york city were collaborating againstnch in quebec the british in new york. so, with the seven years war,
the british are largely successful in an eroding, if not eliminating the threat from and the british oust the french from quebec. we all know they're still remains a sizable french-speaking population and there is a history yet to be written about the collaboration between the africans and what is now the united states of america the french speaking population in quebec. by eliminating the dual threat in canada and lorna, britain creates more -- in canada and florida, britain creates more problems for itself. the british go to the settlers and say, we eliminated these
threats on your behalf, see need to pay more taxes. as you know, the descendents of many of these patriots, they say the taxaxes -- unless money is going to the 1%, is something that is akin to the mark of the devil. they didn't want to pay more taxes. issurepens the f between the crown and london and the settlers. 1776, many settlers feel because of the growth of abolition, the move to abolish slavery, in london, that the british might decide to cut a deal with the africans to squash the settlers. that's it they believed and that
is what they thought. you have to ask yourself, when people decide to revolt against so youuted authority, wanted to do that in north america, that is considered to be against the law. people who do that know they can be jailed or worse. you have to ask yourself what owners -- these slave many of them are filthy rich, what would make them revolt against constituted authority and become traitors to the crown? it has to be tremendous, extraordinary here it it was the prospect of slavery being abolished, thereby jeopardizing fortunes, or worse case scenario, london cutting a deal with the africans to squash the settlers. certainly if you look at the case of colonial virginia, virginia was the california of the 13 colonies.
it was the richest, for example. and the colonial governor who was under threat by the settlers in fact talked about and try to do what abraham lincoln did circa 1863. during the u.s. civil war when descendents of the slave owners rose up against washington, d .c. --the united states of america and try to overthrow that government, lincoln himself in order to preserve the united states of america, he had to free the slaves and save the union, not out of benevolence, although, some would like us to believe that -- [applause] of pragmatism, so to speak.
and likewise lord dunbar was also moved toward pragmatism, unleashing africans against the inflamed thehich settlers to break the law, become traitors to the crown, rise up as one and overthrow british rule and establish the united states of america. i have seen on the shelf the book "comrades to the crown" which in many ways is a sequel. i talk about the africans than a line -- then align with the british against the united states of america. that august 1814, the 200th anniversary, you had set washington,
d.c. a fire and in league with africans who got in early form of reparations, plundered the white house sending james madison and his spouse fleeing into the street. one step ahead of the africans in redcoats pursuing them. and it is very curious that event in united states history was curiously under marked with regard to the 200th anniversary. i find that curious why doesn't get more discussion. [laughter] you maymore sober note find that the anniversary was the official -- abolition of the
slave trade. the queen spoke, but here in the united states of america or you have all of these people of african descent, you would thought there would be some sort of official ceremony involving high-level authorities marking slaved of the african trade. should we infer that people were not happy about the end of the slave trade? i don't know. in terms ofbout how how --to understand, part of the united to america. and in order to understand how slavery was abolished, how to understand how jim crow was abolished, and in order to understand how to make progress in the future, you have to understand international events, what is happening in the world.
alliance inde facto the run-up to the abolition of slavery between abolitionists britain and the slave appalachian in north america. it is fair to say that written -- slave abolition in north america. it is there to say that britain rule north america. part of the takeaway is if you want to understand jim crow, the system of apartheid that sold weakened.ame to be weeken such as the supreme court decision found that jim crow was unconstitutional, but what happened was the international
situation had changed. the methods was under pressure -- the united states was under pressure. states charged moscow with -- this created jim crow. if you want to survive the consequences we know a's, particularly in light of these rather unfortunate elections that took place this past tuesday, we have to pay attention to the internal context within the four corners of the united states of america, but also what is going on in the world and how we can gain leverage in international community in order to pressure u.s. authorities.
i should mention one factoid, in surveying the press on wednesday after the elections, what caught my eye was that the appearance brown, the slain teenager in ferguson, missouri, left in the streets like a dog after being shot down brutally and callously by the police authority -- that the parents of michael brown were on their way to geneva to raise up the question of lee's killings with the united nations -- question of police killings with the united nations. [applause] prof. horne: i am from st. louis, i don't know who is briefing the parents, but they have a very good briefer. it was a wise move consistent
with our history, the history of struggling here in the united states, but trying to gain leverage in international heelnity to bring to these reactionaries in washington, d.c.. i'm going to move from this book to this book. this is a book that deals with the relationship between cuba and the united states in the context of slavery and jim crow until the onset of the cuban .evolution part of the thesis is if you want to understand the cuban -- let me back up for second.
spain ruled cuba from the early 1500s until they were defeated by the united states, who then moved into cuba and tried to implant the kind of ferocious and militant jim crow that they obtained on the north american mainland. however the system of "race relations" that had obtained on the island of cuba was not altogether akin to the system in a north america. i have already made reference to the arming of africans, the fact that a so-called free negro population was much more of the social structure of cuba. but when the u.s. authorities moved in, they tried to make cuba along the lines of the north american mainland, like florida, which they had taken over from spain circa 1820. to make a long story short, part of the argument of this book is
that in order to understand the cuban revolution and why the u.s. authorities were kicked out of cuba, you have to understand the revulsion toward the militant ferocious form of jim crow the u.s. authorities had attempted to implant upon the island of cuba, which did not go down very well. it would be like you all trying to eat grass and your system is not able to digest it adequately and it goes out. well, the cubans threw out the yankees because they cannot digest very well that ferocious jim crow. this book starts in the middle of 18th-century. i already made reference to the fact that as part of the competitive competition between catholic spain and protestant britain, that the spanish had been trying to stir up the africans on madrid's behalf.
and that is one of the explanations for the massive slave revolt in new york circa 1741. but you should also note that spain and france collaborated with the rebels against british rule that helps to establish the united states. you cannot begin to understand how the rebels defeated one of the most powerful militaries on the planet in 1776 without understanding the external assistant that the rebels received from spain and france, which makes curious all of this blather in the 20th century. for example, during the cold war period, the u.s. saying that cubans under castro should not be receiving assistance from moscow, or that the angolans were fighting u.s. backed terrorists in the 1980's, receiving assistance from the cubans. but had they had the principle and
18th-century, the u.s. should not have been receiving assistance from the spanish and french. that assistance was decisive in terms of the establishment of the united states. but as was their tendency, the successful rebels against british rule repaid the spanish by then beginning to denude them of their colony. a lot of historians have made a good living like telling a sentimental story about how the u.s. helped to aid mexico circa 1810 and succeeding years helped -- oust the spanish from mexico. that was supposed to exemplify this progressive anticolonial trend in the united states. what was happening is that the united states wanted to oust spain from mexico so they could descend on mexico, which they did, ripping off california,
where we are now sitting away from mexico. you can say the rest was from latin america in terms of this supposedly disinterested progressive assistance from the u.s. government to the rebels of mexico to deal with latin america. what is interesting about u.s. relations with cuba is the fact that after the establishment of the united states, the u.s. slave traders replaced the spanish in terms of supplying africans to cuba. not only that, but many of the u.s. diplomats, what we would call ambassadors, are seemingly more involved in slave trading than they are in doing the nation's business. in particular attention to a close relative of a presently sainted thomas jefferson.
i am speaking of nicholas tryst, who was a one-man show of dragging africans across the atlantic to cuba. in the 1820's, 18 the u.s. slave 30's, 1840's, traders are in the forefront of the african slave trade to cuba. not only that, you know that texas was an independent country. it seceded from mexico in 1936. not least because mexico had moved to abolition. mexico had a president of african descent 180 years before the election of barack obama. mexico had moved toward abolition. this was not pleasing to the so-called patriots in texas, so they seceded. in many ways it was a precursor to the creation of the so-called america,te states of which seceded as you know in 1861 in order to perpetuate
slavery. they set up this independent loan star republic in 1836 to 1845. the hallmark of independent texas was slave trading particularly from the city of galveston, which you may know is not only the home of jack johnson, the heavyweight champion of the world circa 1910, etc. i'll be talking about tomorrow in relation to the mexican revolution, but also barry white. >> [laughter] professor horne: who of course lived in los angeles for quite a while. and is known to many of you. but texas is a slave traded republic. the loan star flag can be found off the coast of brazil. it can be found off the coast of africa during this period. what happens is that texas is under so much pressure, not only by our folk in north america, but by the british that
they decide to join the united states because they don't feel they can survive an independent slave trading republic. they decided they had to join the united states to protect themselves from abolitionist london and our fury and anger. in any case, with regard to cuba you should know that with regard to our folk, people like frederick douglas, martin delaney, are on the forefront of objecting to u.s. involvement in the slave trade to cuba, objecting to the fact that in terms of the coffee plantations, sugar plantations and tobacco plantations on the island of cuba, that were disproportionately controlled by u.s. citizens. martin delaney, one of our greatest intellectual leaders, wrote what i consider to be perhaps still the leading novel in the canon of african-american literature
of late, which has at the center of story not only black abolitionists fighting slavery in cuba, but also puts forth a prescient story about how cuba would be the hope of the america does. americas. for those of you that are following what is going on with regard to west africa and ebola and that cuban authorities have outstripped many larger nations in terms of sending scores if not hundreds of epidemiologists, physicians, nurses, medics to be on the front lines in terms of combating the ebola epidemic, outshining many larger nations, not least the western european nations who were largely responsible for the
weakness public health system in of the public health system in west africa because of their cruel and brutal exploitation for decades if not centuries. if you look at west africa or angola, in the 1970's and 1980's , there were cuban troops who came to angola to fight the apartheid authorities, defeating them decisively in 1988. yes, yes. >> [applause] professor horne: which set the stage not only for ousting the apartheid authorities which created the the conditions for independence. namibia -- i recommend
namibia highly as a place to visit or even repatriate for that matter. but also because of the assistance of the cuban military it made the apartheid authorities in south africa more susceptible to listening to sweet reason and negotiating more credibly with the forces led by nelson mandela because there was a story floating in the ether that is the apartheid authorities did not negotiate reasonably and credibly, and the cuban military may have to march to pretoria and oust forcibly the apartheid ruler. and of course, the prospect of that happening made them much more susceptible to sweet reason and led to the first democratic elections in south africa in the spring of 1994, the election of nelson mandela, which is why in 2013 one mandela had his funeral
in south africa, one of the few heads of state who was asked to speak amongst all present was president raul castro of cuba. >> [applause] professor horne: in any case, you should also know during the u.s. civil war, spanish cuba, or cuba wereh who ruled in a quandary. on one hand they suspected that whoever won, the north or the south during the double war, that the winners would want cuba because there had been a lust for taking cuba for decades previously. an effort to make cuba of state of the united states of america. that is one idea circulating in the minds of spanish rulers in
cuba. another thing circulating was they should be in camaraderie with the slave owners in the south in order to defeat the north. but as i said, if the south had they would be after cuba ousting the spanish. at the end of the day they decided to open the report to the confederate state of america. after the defeat of the confederates, there was tremendous pressure on cuba to abolish slavery, and a bloody war interrupted to that end, leading to the rise of a figure who may be known to many, antonio masao. he was considered to be a hero amongst black americans. you have many black americans today who carry the name. come on now. >> [laughter]
prof. horne: this eventuated in years of war, and as so often happens -- as the cubans and spanish are slugging it out, tiring out both sides, the united states decides to intervene in the war of 1898 and knocks out both sides and takes over the island of cuba, and as noted tried to implant a system of jim crow. as ferocious as the system that operates on the mainland. this leads to the so-called race war in cuba circa 1912. thousands of africans are massacred on the island of cuba. part of the story that i tell in this book that i think is a contribution to the historiography is that i highlight the role of the u.s. authority in terms of the so-called race war.
because they are basically .uling cuba in a real sense when you have africans massacred and so in cuba, it seems to me , that the blood is on the hands of uncle sam. in any case, a turning point in the history of cuba comes with the russian revolution october 1917, which leads to the right -- rise of a communist party on the island of cuba. interestingly enough, this communist party is relatively strong, led mostly by africans, which is a major concern to the u.s. authorities because they suspected correctly that these africans in havana would want to extend assistance to africans across the florida straits like -- languishing under a brutal system of jim crow. you may also know that in cuba there was quite a bit of , solidarity with our folks on this side of the florida straits.
if you recall the scots bro -- the black youth nine in alabama that were slated for execution because of false allegations of sexual molestation of two american women. an international movement erupted to save them from the gallows. in fact, this movement also helps to establish the constitutional principles still in operation with regard to representation of black people in the jury. which was basically not occurring before the scottsboro there was tremendous . solidarity in cuba on behalf of of the scottsboro 9 up to and including cubans dying in protest on behalf of the scottsboro 9. there is a story i tell in this book. this is something you can talk about in question and answer as
i conclude, about how black americans were perceiving cuba. and how they're trying to understand cuba particularly in terms of race relations in cuba, which are not the same as the mainland. that becomes an issue throughout the decades. in any case, i conclude this book by talking about the fact that an afro cuban by the name of francisco rodriguez plays a role in cuban history because he is a lawyer for the naacp when jim crow is under assault in florida. he is the chief attorney. you may know you had a bus boycott in tallahassee that was
in many ways was more significant than the better-known bus boycott in montgomery alabama, which leads to a section of the 10 freeway named after rosa parks. francisco rodriguez was the chief attorney. and this was in many ways an long-termthe solidarity between cubans and black americans, afro cubans and african-americans. i think what has happened since january 1, 1959 is a lot of that history has been forgotten because of the cruel and illegal blockade embargo of cuba, which the united nations just condemned a few days ago by a vote of 188 to 2. i think the u.s. and israel or the only countries that voted in favor of this blockade, interestingly enough. it is important for us to remove
the mental blockade, which i think will be a prelude to removing the actual blockade. one of the stories i tell in this book in regard to the african slave trade, at a time we africans were commodities, traded like furniture or cattle, that you could be an afro floridian one day an afro-cuban an afror day, perhaps brazilian a day after that. perhaps unbeknownst to many of us, we had relatives in cuba. but it is going to be difficult to find our relatives as long as there is a blockade. it seems to me that we, as ever, should be in the vanguard of trying to eliminate this cruel and illegal blockade, if only for reasons of self-interest so we can rediscover our relatives on the other side of the florida straits. thank you very much for your
media situation in cuba. professor horne: you're referring to assat shakur, who was incarcerated by the u.s. authorities and was able to escape their clutches. like many before or since was able to find refuge on the island of cuba where she still resides. a couple points. one is that part of the success of our effort, our struggles is the ability to have a rare base. i am going to talk tomorrow about mexico as a rear base for people with african-american descent. just as we did with underground railroad to canada, one of our rear bases in the days of slavery there was a similar , underground railroad to mexico. when we had this relationship
with the british, we had a rear base in bermuda and in the bahamas. in my book "negro comrades of i talk about what happens in november 1841 when these africans are being transported from virginia to the kmart of the slave trade, which was new orleans. they revolted off the shores of the bahamas and overthrew their captors, sailed into the bahamas. when they arrived in the bahamas, abolitionist britain freed them all to the consternation of the u.s. authorities. because bahamas our rear base. likewise cuba 1959 particularly became our rear base. the black panthers found refuge in cuba for years. similarly our sister assata shakur.
she has found a rear base in cuba and was able to escape the clutches of the u.s. authorities. and i think that going forward in the 21st century as our struggle escalates and intensifies against these rapacious rulers who are now occupying the halls of congress and washington, d.c., that many of us will find the need to have a rear base. and if history is any guide, cuba will continue to serve as that rear base. i am very happy that you mentioned sister assata shakur. because i think in some ways she symbolizes and exemplifies not only the struggle that we all , cherish, but also how it is possible to escape the clutches of these u.s. authorities, to escape the jurisdiction of the u.s. authorities.
just like the marines did in maroons did in jamaica. >> dr. horne, appreciate all the information you are sharing with us this evening. can you expand on the cente guerrero, a general who defeated the spaniards, gave mexico their independence. and became president someone who , should be widely known not only here but in mexico. if you could expound a little bit on that. professor horne: i don't want to preempt what i am going to say tomorrow, but -- >> [laughter] professor horne: plus i don't want to repeat your very illuminating words, but suffice it to say it is difficult to explain sometimes that the system of white supremacy here in north america was not necessarily the
same as the system that obtained in other parts of the americas. in many ways the system here was worse. the reason i say that is because, a couple points. one that when ian smith, the ruler of the runaway republic, southern rhodesia, declared independence of the white minority regime, he argued he was walking in the footsteps of the rebels in 1576.led he had a point because the rebels of british rule in 1776 were trying to escape the logic of the abolition of slavery. ian smith was trying to escape the logic of decolonization of africa, one man, one vote. to use the term of that time.
in many ways, the establishment of the united states of america, contrary to the opinions of some of our friends on the left, was a great leap backwards. it was a particularly great leap backwards for the indigenous population and african population. you should also know in terms of the rather easy argument oftentimes put forward, that the kinds of liberties and rights established in the united states outweighs the atrocities. what do you do realize is that when the united states was formed and they fought this war against britain, this was basically a war zone. how do you attract migrants to a war zone? you have to make more enticements and emoluments they would have at home. there you have the acceleration
of what is called bourgeois democratic life to show how the limitations of those so-called bourgeois democratic rights -- the right to vote, you know that was limited in any case. that secondly you know it has been so difficult to extend it to the rest of us. even this past we are still tuesday, trying to get the legitimate right to vote. voter suppression is a hallmark of the united states in 2014. i daresay one of the top items on the agenda of this incoming republican congress will be ever more devious and devilish ways to circumscribe the right to vote. so, it is much too easy to suggest that the so-called bourgeois democratic rights made the atrocities worthwhile. that is a callous argument. it is not the argument they
would make to the socialist camp. they say it was a disaster. if you argue otherwise, you are callous and maybe even lose your job. that is the argument used in regards to rationalizing what happened on these shores. another point, if it was such a step forward why is it that , canada, that did not revolt against british rule, has a better standard of living and is a more suitable place to live, particularly for working class people. they have the single-payer health-care system, which i keep hearing it is the health care system that we should have in the united states. you may have heard two days after the election of tuesday, the supreme court has reached out to adjudicate once again the affordable care act. don't be surprised if it is left
sprawling in the dust. so, if canada -- we have a control group as the social scientists say. canada did not have a revolt against british rule. it is a better place to live. the united states had a revolt against british rule and it has been a living hell for people of color in particular. but what about australia? australia, which has a history similar to that of the united states, the forcible implantation of white supremacy, for example there is a thriving , historiography that criticizes the origins of australia. even historians on the left and the united states america, they are drinking the kool-aid. they are talking about the united states as this great leap forward, a complete bourgeois democratic revolution. you might as well make the argument that apartheid was a
-- you might as well make the argument that apartheid was a greatly forward for humanity because it forms a template that would be applied to nelson mandela. apartheid it is not something to struggle against, but to look forward to, because it's brought forth nelson mandela. this is nuts. this is insanity. this is the sort of mental gymnastic that many of our progressive friends have been forced into. so no wonder the movement on the left is so weak in the united states. they have not even be able to escape the creation myth that led to the creation of this country. once again to reiterate the takeaway, we have been able to advance thus far from slavery to where we are today not only because of our constant struggle , our constant unrelenting struggle, but because of our ability to take advantage of the international situation and
having friends in the international community. ingest this lesson fully, apparently the way the parents of michael brown have learned this lesson, i think we will be perpetually in trouble. >> [applause] >> first of all i would like to thank you for enlightening me. you said, as you may well know -- i did not know about any of this stuff. >> [laughter] >> i went to a certain university of california school in westwood. i won't mention its name. >> [laughter] >> a professor said the people liked it the way it was in the south. my response to her was, if blacks couldn't vote, natives couldn't vote, women couldn't vote, poor white guys couldn't vote, if 90% were disenfranchised, how could you say they liked it the way it was? i won't tell you what her
response was, but it wasn't positive. my question to you is, if i theoretically went to a good university and i don't know, how can we enlighten society? i heard from one of those leftists you are talking about that drink the kool-aid -- oh, this is a great country, blah blah blah. i had no idea that as an african descendent i was actually fighting against the american revolution. i was taught by the experts that everything was cool here, that my perspective should be like thomas jefferson's. which again i knew better than , that. professor horne: what you are racing as sound point. obviously, what you are raising
is that there is a battle of ideas. and there are many battles in this country. there are battles against police brutality, battles in favor of better housing, battles in favor of adequate health care. there is a battle of ideas that undergirds all those other battles. and universities are part of the battle of ideas. with all due respect to my fellow scholars, as i said, some of them need to do some retraining. they need to ask different questions. they need to look at different sources. i mean, for example one of the , things i found doing this book on 1776 was that a lot of these scholars who write about colonial north america, that is to say the pre-1776 period, they don't do research in london. it is like doing research on
pre-1888, not doing research in spain. a lot of the questions -- and then one of the theses i put forward into this book is the construction of whiteness, what i call the original identity politics. but it is a militarized identity politics. one of the many ways that the rebels against british rule are able to prevail is that they escape or at least seek to escape from the religious cold war, protestant versus catholic, and change the axis from religion to race. those defined as white to those not defined as white. that letter project is much more capacious. it is to say someone of lebanese christian descent like ralph
nader can be defined as white. you really only have to have roots in europe. it helps to curb the antagonisms of german versus british, versus irish german , versus british, russian versions pole. you cross the atlantic and magically you are transmuted into white. the problem is for those that are not defined as white. what is interesting about a lot of the scholars, they take for granted the concept of white. they don't interrogate it. they take it for granted and don't look at its construction, its historical evolution. part of the job of historians is to track change over time. and so you shouldn't parachute , into 1776 and assume that white is something that has been around forever. because it hasn't. dubois pointed out it is a recent historical construction.
again, there is a battle of ideas going on. and hopefully what we are doing here is pushing back successfully against those retrograde forces. >> [applause] >> my question is, could you tie in what was going on with the constitution at that time? because there were ideas put out for slavery to be abolished, but of course those people didn't succeed. but during that time there was a lot going on with the constitution, and the basis of that was the whole issue of slavery and their wealth being i guess subjected to taken away. professor horne: fortunately there has been a lot of scholarship on slavery and the constitution.
the short answer to your question, i would focus on the 3/5 compromise. that is for congressional representation -- today there are approximately 435 house districts and they are drawn on the basis of population. but what happens if you have enslaved africans in your district? should you count them as a full person for purposes of congressional representation, or should you not? and of course the 3/5 compromise is like the idea of the camel being a horse designed by a committee. to say that is what comes out of this debate, the debate between africans as humans and as furniture. but the question of slavery in the
constitution is also reflected in the ability of the slave owners to force legally and constitutionally states that don't have slavery to return that property. that is if an enslaved african escapes north of the mason-dixon line. in fact, you probably know that the united states not only tried to enforce the rights of slaveowners to get their property back north of the mason-dixon line on the basis of alleged constitutionality, but they're trying to force other countries like the british empire, bermuda, canada, to return this property. that becomes a point of contention between london and washington. of course that contention leads , to war in 1812. and after it repeatedly leads to 1812 conflict. so you are correct to suggest , that slavery was at the heart of
politics in the united states, is reflected in the constitution, is reflected that a disproportionate percentage of slaveowners -- excuse me, of the u.s. presidents were slaveowners. i notice this is an audience that carries the pictures of the president wherever they go -- >> [laughter] professor horne: this chap here, andrew jackson, who was not only a slave owner, but probably a slave trader, and was responsible for some of the most violent and vicious degradations against the indigenous population. what is interesting about the is the cherokee population -- who we refer to as the cherokee population. they are willing to assimilate and engage in the kind of pursuits that the euro-americans do. that is not save them from being
expelled from georgia. and andrew jackson is largely responsible for that. one of the ways he is catapulted into prominence is in the summer of 1816, when the africans and what was then spanish florida has established the negro force, which is probably the most encampment strongly armed of african-americans. with respect to the black panthers, they had pop guns compared to what those in the negro fort had. andrew jackson was catapulted into prominence by destroying the negro fort. but i will keep your $20 for the time being. [laughter] >> to say the least you are extremely impressive tonight. extremely educational. i feel like you took me from
kindergarten to phd level in the past hour. very impressive. but in the pantheon of our great leaders, and essential leaders like dubois, bill robison, malcolm x, didn't they threatened to take the united states before the international community in regards to genocide , racial suppression, and degradation? could you elaborate? professor horne: first of all dubois sought a petition circa 1946 with the nation to then newly born united nations in regard to human rights violations against those of african descent. but perhaps the most successful, well-known effort involved robison, in league with william patterson and the civil rights congress. you may recall a wrote a book on william patterson that came out
last year "black revolutionary, and this was a very significant effort. it's got a tremendous amount of international support. it was, i think, a turning point in our struggle against jim crow. because it put the international spotlight on the united states at a time when it was prattling all over the world about alleged human rights violations in other countries. the robeson-patterson petition made the u.s. authorities seem like what they were, which was hypocrites. and malcolm x of course talked about taking the u.s. authorities to international bodies, and traveled a great deal to that end. and you may know the 1970's, the national conference of black lawyers tried to do the same thing. it is an idea that won't go away because it does not seem that
our problems are going away anytime soon. and there are only so many remedies and solutions to our problem, one of which is trying to make more friends and allies in the international community to lengthen the battlefield, to not be restricted to the four corners of the united states, whereas tuesday's vote suggested and hopefully not, where future folks may suggest that a retrograde reactionary forces have a certain amount of capability and potency. but the way that we outflank them, the way we turn the tables on them is create friends and make friends, not least amongst those that have a bone to pick with them. let's start with havana, cuba for example. thank you very much. >> [applause]
>> today, on american history tv on c-span three, on american artifacts, american president, week for the herbert hoover library and museum in west branch, iowa. >> lyndon johnson was always on the telephone. he had a telephone installed in his bathroom and he would ring people in there and talk with them in the bathroom. he also recorded telephone conversations he had and those were supposed to be not open to the public until 50 years after he died. p.m., kerry chairman and celebrities, david clark looks back on the president's relationship with athletes,
politicians, and entertainers. didn'tident truman necessarily seek out cultivateds, but he relationships with them, especially jack benny. this is a clip. ♪ song] birthday [laughter] >> american history tv, all weekend every weekend on c-span3. q&a -- ht on >> i had never heard of him, i wanted to know how this man who was told he wasn't worth anything could have found the
determination to find a way out of slavery. i was intrigued. i couldn't stop reading about him. >> looking at the life of robert smalls, who went on to become a member of u.s. congress and her book "be free or die." >> he served five terms. there was a bribery charge against him at one point in his career, and he never fully recovered. >> tonight on q&a.