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The American Experience T H E H I S T O R Y A N D C U LT U R E O F T H E U N I T E D S T A T E S

through Speeches, Letters, Essays, Poems, Editorials, Songs, and Stories

Edited by Erik Bruun and Jay Crosby


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merican A xperience

The

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The History and Culture of the United States through Speeches, Letters, Essays, Articles, Poems, Songs, and Stories

E D I T E D B Y E R I K B R U U N A N D J AY C R O S B Y


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m How the World Was Made C H E R O K E E N AT I O N When Columbus arrived in America in 1492 the continent was already populated by as many as 40 million people from six hundred or more Native American tribes. Approximately 15,000 to 20,000 years earlier, the first humans are believed to have walked to North America via a land bridge in what is now the Bering Straits and then dispersed throughout North and South America. The densest populations were along the coasts and major rivers, around the Great Lakes, and in Mexico, Florida, California and the Caribbean islands. Each nation had a distinct language and culture, some of which were very sophisticated and complex. Within those distinct cultures, different legends evolved of how the world was made. The Cherokee originally occupied what is now southeastern United States but were forcibly removed in the early nineteenth century. Like many native origin stories, the Cherokee creation myth places a close spiritual bond between people, animals and nature.

The earth is a great island floating in a sea of water, and suspended at each of the four cardinal points by a cord hanging down from the sky vault, which is of solid rock. When the world grows old and worn out, the people will die and the cords will break and let the earth sink down into the ocean, and all will be water again. The Indians are afraid of this. When all was water, the animals were above Galunlati, beyond the arch; but it was very much crowded, and they were wanting more room. They wondered what was below the water, and at last Dayunisi, “Beaver’s Grandchild,” the little Waterbeetle, offered to go and see if it could learn. It darted in every direction over the surface of the water, but could find no firm place to rest. Then it dived to the bottom and came up with some soft mud, which began to grow and spread on every side until it became the island which we call the earth. It was afterward fastened to the sky with four cords, but no one remembers who did this. At first the earth was flat and very soft and wet. The animals were anxious to get down, and sent out different birds to see if it was yet dry, but they found no place to alight and came back again to Galunlati. At last it seemed to be time, and they sent out the Buzzard, the father of all the buzzards we see now. He flew all over the earth, low down near the ground, and it was still soft. When he reached the Cherokee country, he was very tired,

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and his wings began to flap and strike the ground, and wherever they struck the earth there was a valley, and where they turned up again there was a mountain. When the animals above saw this, they were afraid that the whole world would be mountains, so they called him back, but the Cherokee country remains full of mountains to this day. When the earth was dry and the animals came down, it was still dark, so they got the sun and set it in a track to go every day across the island from east to west, just overhead. It was too hot this way, and Tsiskagili, the Red Crawfish, had his shell scorched a bright red, so that his meat was spoiled, and the Cherokee do not eat it: but was still too hot. They raised it another time, and another, until it was seven hand-breadths high and just under the sky arch. Then it was right, and they left it so. This is why the conjurers call the highest place Gulkwagine Digalunlatiyn, “The Seventh Height,” because it is seven hand-breadths above the earth. Every day the sun goes along under this arch, and returns at night on the upper side to the starting place. There is another world under this, and it is like ours in everything—animals, plants, and people— save that the seasons are different. The streams that come down from the mountains are the trails by which we reach this underworld, and the springs at their head are the doorways by which we enter it, but to do this one must fast and go to water and have one of the underground people for a guide. We know that the seasons in the underworld are different from ours, because the water in the springs is always warmer in winter and cooler in summer than the outer air. When the animals and plants were first made— we do not know by whom—they were told to watch and keep awake for seven nights, just as young men now fast and keep awake when they pray to their medicine. They tried to do this, and nearly all were awake through the first night, but the next night several dropped off to sleep, and the third night others were asleep, and then others, until on the seventh night, of all the animals only the owl, the panther, and one or two more were still awake. To these were given the power to see and to go about in the dark, and to make prey of the birds and animals which must sleep at night. Of the trees only the cedar, the pine, the spruce, the holly, and the laurel were awake to the end, and to them it was given to be always green and to be greatest for medicine, but to the oth-

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ers it was said: “Because you have not endured to the end you shall lose your hair every winter.” Men came after the animals and plants. At first there were only a brother and a sister until he struck her with a fish and told her to multiply, and so it was. In seven days a child was born to her, and thereafter every seven days another, and they increased very fast until there was danger that the world could not keep them. Then it was made that a woman should have only one child in a year, and it has been so ever since.

m Struggling to settle Jamestown JOHN SMITH An intrepid explorer and entrepreneur, John Smith played an instrumental role in settling the first permanent English settlement in North America at Jamestown and encouraging the Pilgrims to locate in New England. Smith accompanied the initial settlers of Jamestown who arrived at the Virginia colony in the spring of 1607. The 105 colonists quickly succumbed to disease—almost half were dead by September. The gracious intervention of nearby Native Americans and Smith’s vigorous leadership rescued the colony from disaster. Relations with local tribes, however, did not always go smoothly. Conflicts emerged. In a now-legendary moment, Smith was captured by the Native Americans in 1608 and was about to be executed when the young princess Pocahontas intervened on his behalf. Smith returned to England after being injured in an accidental explosion and actively promoted the new colony. He sailed back to America to explore New England in 1614 and subsequently wrote two books about the experience. Although historians question whether the Pocahontas incident actually occurred, Smith undoubtedly played a major role in saving the disorganized and despondent Jamestown colony from annihilation, ignited widespread interest in America through his writings, and played a direct role in the settling of Massachusetts. The following two excerpts describe the deplorable status of Jamestown in its first few months and then Smith’s account of the Pocahontas incident, which he did not include in his original writings about his role in Jamestown.

After many crosses in The Downs by tempests, we arrived safely upon the southwest part of the great Canaries; within four or five days after we set sail for Domineca, the 26th of April. The first land we made, we fell with Cape Henry, the very mouth of the Bay of Chesapeake, which at the present we lit-

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tle expected having by a cruel storm been put to the northward. Anchoring in this bay, twenty or thirty went ashore with the Captain, and in coming aboard they were assaulted with certain Indians which charged them within pistolshot, in which conflict Captain Archer and Mathew Morton were shot. Whereupon Captain Newport, seconding them, made a shot at them which the Indians little respected, but having spent their arrows retired without harm. And in that place was the box opened wherein the Council for Virginia was nominated. And arriving at the place where we are now seated, the Council was sworn and the president elected…where was made choice for our situation and a very fit place for the erecting of a great city. All our provision was brought ashore, and with as much speed as might be went about fortification…. Captain Newport, having set things in order, set sail for England the 22d of June, leaving provision for thirteen or fourteen weeks. The day before the ship’s departure, the king of Pamaunkee sent the Indian that had met us before, in our discovery, to assure us of peace. Our fort being then palisaded round, and all our men in good health and comfort, albeit that through some discontented humors it did not so long continue. God (being angry with us) plagued us with such famine and sickness that the living were scarce able to bury the dead—our want of sufficient good victuals, with continual watching, four or five each night at three bulwarks, being the chief cause. Only of sturgeon had we great store, whereon our men would so greedily surfeit as it cost many lives…. Shortly after it pleased God, in our extremity, to move the Indians to bring us corn, ere it was half ripe, to refresh us when we rather expected they would destroy us. About the 10th of September there were about forty-six of our men dead…. Our provisions being now within twenty days spent, the Indians brought us great store both of corn and bread ready-made, and also there came such abundance of fowls into the rivers as greatly refreshed our weak estates, whereupon many of our weak men were presently able to go abroad. As yet we had no houses to cover us, our tents were rotten, and our cabins worse than nought. Our best commodity was iron, which we made into little chisels. The president and Captain Martin’s sickness constrained me to be cape merchant, and yet to spare no pains in making houses for the compa-


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ny, who, notwithstanding our misery, little ceased their malice, grudging and muttering. As at this time most of our chiefest men were either sick or discontented, the rest being in such despair as they would rather starve and rot with idleness than be persuaded to do anything for their own relief without constraint, our victuals being now within eighteen days spent, and the Indian trade decreasing, I was sent to the mouth of the river, to Kegquouhtan and Indian town, to trade for corn and try the river for fish; but our fishing we could not effect by reason of the stormy weather. With fish, oysters, bread, and deer they kindly traded with me and my men.

II And now, the winter approaching, the rivers became so filled with swans, geese, ducks, and cranes, that we daily feasted with good bread, Virginia peas, pumpkins, and putchamins fish, fowl, and divers sorts of wild beasts as fat as we could eat them: so that none of tuftaffety humorists desired to go for England. But our comedies never endured long without a tragedy; some idle exceptions being muttered against Captain Smith for not discovering the head of the Chickahamania River, and taxed by the Council to be too slow in so worthy an attempt. The next voyage he preceeded so far that with much labor by cutting of trees asunder he made his passage; but when his barge could pass no farther, he left her in a broad bay out of danger of shot, commanding none should go ashore till his return: himself with two English and two savages went up higher in a canoe; but he was not long absent but his men went ashore, whose want of government gave both occasion and opportunity to the savages to surprise one George Cassen, whom they slew, and much failed not to have cut off the boat and all the rest. Smith, little dreaming of that accident, being go to the marshes at the river’s head, twenty miles in the desert, had his two men slain, as is supposed, sleeping by the canoe, whilst himself by fowling sought them victual: finding he was beset with 200 savages; two of them he slew, still defending himself with the aid of a savage his guide, whom he bound to his arm with his garters, and used him as a buckler, yet he was shot in his thigh a little, and had many arrows stuck in his clothes; but no great

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hurt, till at last they took him prisoner. When this news came to Jamestown, much was their sorrow for his loss, few expecting what ensued. Six or seven weeks those barbarians kept him prisoner, many strange triumphs and conjurations they made of him, yet he so demeaned himself amongst them, as he not only diverted them from surprising the fort but procured his own liberty, and got himself and his company such estimation amongst them those savages admired him more than their own Quiyouckosucks. The manner how they used and delivered him is as follows‌. He demanding for their captain, they showed him Opechankanough, king of Pamaunkee, to whom he gave a round ivory double compass dial. Much they marveled at the playing of the fly and needle, which they could see so plainly and yet not touch it because of the glass that covered them. But when he demonstrated by that globe-like jewel the roundness of the earth and skies, the sphere of the sun, moon, and stars, and how the sun did chase the night round about the world continually; the greatness of the land and sea, the diversity of nations, variety of complexions, and how we were to them antipodes, and many other such like matters, they all stood as amazed with admiration. Notwithstanding, within an hour after they tied him to a tree, and as many as could stand about him prepared to shoot him: but the king holding up the compass in his hand, they all laid down their bows and arrows, and in a triumphant manner led him to Orapaks, where he was after their manner kindly feasted, and well used. At last they brought him to Werowocomoco, where was Powhatan, their emperor. Here more than two hundred of those grim courtiers stood wondering at him, as he had been a monster; till Powhatan and his train had put themselves in their greatest braveries. Before a fire upon a seat like a bedstead, he sat covered with a great robe, made of raccoon skins, and all the tails hanging by. On either hand did sit a young wench of sixteen or eighteen years, and along on each side the house, two rows of men, and behind them as many women, with all their heads and shoulders painted red, many of their heads bedecked with the white down of birds, but every one with something, and a great chain of white beads about their necks. At his entrance before the king, all the people gave a great shout. The queen of Appamatuck was appointed to bring him water to wash his hands, and

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another brought him a bunch of feathers, instead of a towel to dry them. Having feasted him after their best barbarous manner they could, a long consultation was held, but the conclusion was, two great stones were brought before Powhatan: then as many as could laid hands on him, dragged him to them, and thereon laids his head, and being ready with their clubs to beat out his brains, Pocahontas, the king’s dearest daughter, when no entreaty could prevail, got his head in her arms, and laid her own upon his to save his from death: whereat the emperor was contented he should live to make him hatchets, and her bells, beads, and copper; for they thought him as well as all occupations as themselves. For the king himself will make his own robes, shoes, bows, arrows, pots; plant, hunt, or do anything as well as the rest. Two days after, Powhatan having disguised himself in the most fearfulest manner he could, caused Captain Smith to be brought forth to a great house in the woods, and there upon a mat by the fire to be left alone. Not long after, from behind a mat that divided the house was made the most dolefulest noise he ever heard; then Powhatan, more like a devil than a man, with some two hundred more as black as himself, came unto him and told him now they were friends, and presently he should go to Jamestown, to send him two great guns, and a grindstone, for which he would give him the county of Capahowosick, and for ever esteem him as his son Nantaquoud.

m “Combine ourselves into a civil Body Politick”

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separatist Puritan congregation that initiated the journey threatened to do as they pleased when they arrived on shore. A formal agreement among all the settlers made prior to the landing would provide a stronger bond for self-government than the now dubious company patent. Finally, it was common practice for separatist religious groups to engage in compacts or covenants pledging loyalty among themselves, devotion to the New Testament and submission to elders selected by the congregation. Shortly after agreeing to the compact, the settlers elected John Carver as governor. Of the 41 men who signed the compact in November, only 20 survived the coming winter.

In the name of God Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyall subjects of our dread sovereigne Lord King James by the grace of God, of great Britaine, Franc, & Ireland kind, defender of the faith, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and of one another, convenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience. In witnes whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cap-Codd the 11 of November , in the year of the raigne of our soveraigne Lord King James of England, France, & Ireland the eighteenth and of Scotland the fiftie fourth. An: Com. 1620

T H E M AY F L O W E R C O M PA C T Written and signed on the Mayflower as the famous ship approached New England, the Mayflower Compact committed the settlers of the new colony to live under a rule of law based on the consent of its people. This became the fundamental tenet of American civil government. The settlers agreed to the compact for several reasons. One was that the settlers were landing farther north than planned and were thus outside of the jurisdiction of the Virginia Company under whose authority they expected to fall and had made the appropriate arrangements prior to leaving. They needed to forge a compact for self-rule. Secondly, several “strangers” who were not part of the

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m The Thirteen Virtues BENJAMIN FRANKLIN Blending morality with edicts for worldly prosperity, Benjamin Franklin reflected the opportunities of America. In his autobiography, Franklin recalls how he set out to perfect himself. This famous list of 13 virtues addresses personal morality. However, it also coincides with the rules of material success. In pursuing his own personal and ethical advancement, he was also contributing to the growing prosperity of the new, struggling settlements. Thus, the heavy emphasis


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Americans placed on a strong work ethic and virtuous conduct was not simply a matter of morality, but also survival in a new and sometimes dangerous world.

It was about this time that I conceiv’d the bold and arduous Project of arriving at moral Perfection. I wish’d to live without committing any Fault at any time; I would conquer all that either Natural Inclination, Custom, or Company might lead me into. As I knew, or thought I knew, what was right and wrong, I did not see why I might not always do the one and avoid the other. But I soon found I had undertaken a Task of more difficulty than I had imagined. While my Attention was taken up in guarding against one Fault, I was often surpriz’d by another. Habit took the Advantage of Inattention. Inclination was sometimes too strong for Reason. I concluded at length, that the mere speculative Conviction that it was our Interest to be completely virtuous, was not sufficient to prevent our Slipping, and that the contrary habits must be broken and good ones acquired and established, before we can have and Dependance on a steady uniform Rectitude of Conduct. For this purpose I therefore contriv’d the following method. In the various Enumerations of the moral Virtues I had met with in my Reading, I found the Catalogue more or less numerous, as different Writers included more or fewer Ideas under the same Name. Temperance, for Example, was by some confin’d to Eating and Drinking, while by others it was extended to mean the moderating every other Pleasure, Appetite, Inclination or Passion, bodily or mental, even to our Avarice and Ambition. I propos’d to myself, for the sake of Clearness, to use rather more Names with fewer Ideas annex’d to each, than a few Names with more Ideas; and I included under Thirteen Names of Virtues all that at that time occurr’d to me as necessary or desirable, and annex’d to each a short Precept, which fully express’d the Extent I gave to its Meaning. These Names of Virtues with their Precepts were 1. Temperance: Eat not to dullness. Drink not to elevation. 2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation. 3. Order: Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time. 4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought.

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Perform without fail what you resolve. 5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself, i.e., waste nothing. 6. Industry: Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions. 7. Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly; if you speak, speak accordingly. 8. Justice: Wrong none by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty. 9. Moderation: Avoid extremes. Forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve. 10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation. 11. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles or at accidents common or unavoidable. 12. Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring—never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation. 13. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates. Let no Pleasure tempt thee, no Profit allure thee, no Ambition corrupt thee, no Example sway thee, no Persuasion move thee, to do anything which thou knowest to be evil; so shalt thou always live jollily; for a good Conscience is a continual Christmas. Adieu.

m Taxation without representation T H E S TA M P A C T At the conclusion of the French and Indian War in 1763, the costs of maintaining the American colonies outweighed the financial benefits for the mother country. To try to bridge the difference, English Parliament passed a multitude of new acts pertaining to its colonies over the next two years. These included: the Sugar Act imposing duties on American imports; the Currency Act prohibiting the colonies from printing their own money; the Quartering Act requiring colonists to provide food and shelter to British troops; and most notably the Stamp Act, requiring that printed documents be issued solely on special stamped paper. Angered by these actions taken by Parliament across the Atlantic Ocean with no input from Americans, colonists issued resolutions, called for assemblies of protest and imposed boycotts. In 1765, delegates from nine colonies met in New York City specifically to protest the Stamp Act, the first direct tax on the colonies. They voted on a 14-point resolution

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protesting the tax. Mobs rioted in the streets. Stamp collectors were forced to resign. A widespread boycott made the tax ineffective. The Stamp Tax was repealed in 1766.

The Congress met according to adjournment, and resumed, etc., upon mature deliberation agreed to the following declarations of the rights and grievances of the colonists, in America, which were ordered to be inserted…. the present and impending misfortunes of the British colonies on this continent, having considered as maturely as time will permit the circumstances of the said colonies, esteem it our indispensable duty to make the following declarations of our humble opinion, respecting the most essential rights and liberties of the colonists, and of the grievances under which they labor, by reason of several late acts of Parliament. 1. That His Majesty’s subjects in these colonies owe the same allegiance to the Crown of Great Britain that is owing from his subjects born within the Realm, and all due subordination to that august body, the parliament of Great Britain. 2. That His Majesty’s liege subjects in these colonies are entitled to all the inherent rights and liberties of his natural-born subjects within the Kingdom of Great Britain. 3. That it is inseparably essential to the freedom of a people, and the undoubted right of Englishmen, that no taxes be imposed on them but with their own consent, given personally or by their representatives. 4. That the people of these colonies are not, and, from their local circumstances, cannot be represented in the House of Commons in Great Britain. 5. That the only representatives of the people of these colonies are persons chosen therein by themselves, and that no taxes ever have been or can be constitutionally imposed on them but by their respective legislature. 6. That all supplies to the Crown being free gifts of the people, it is unreasonable and inconsistent with the principles and spirit of the British constitution for the people of Great Britain to grant to His Majesty the property of the colonists. 7. That trial by jury is the inherent and invaluable right of every British subject in these colonies.

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8. That the late act of Parliament entitled “An act for granting and applying certain stamp duties, and other duties, in the British colonies and plantations in America, etc.,” by imposing taxes on the inhabitants of these colonies, and the said act and several other acts by extending the jurisdiction of the Courts of Admiralty beyond its ancient limits, have a manifest tendency to subvert the rights and liberties of the colonists. 9. That the duties imposed by several late acts of Parliament, from the peculiar circumstances of these colonies, will be extremely burdensome and grievous; and from the scarcity of specie, the payment of them absolutely impracticable. 10. That as the profits of the trade of these colonies ultimately center in Great Britain to pay for the manufactures which they are obliged to take from thence, they eventually contribute very largely to all supplies granted there to the Crown. 11. That the restrictions imposed by several late acts of Parliament on the trade of these colonies will render them unable to purchase the manufactures of Great Britain. 12. That the increase, prosperity, and happiness of these colonies depend on the full and free enjoyment of their rights and liberties, and an intercourse with Great Britain mutually affectionate and advantageous. 13. That it is the right of the British subjects in these colonies to petition the King or either house of Parliament. Lastly. That it is the indispensable duty of these colonies, to the best of sovereigns, to the mother country, and to themselves, to endeavor by a loyal and dutiful address to His Majesty and humble applications to both houses of Parliament, to procure the repeal of the act of granting and applying certain stamp duties, of all clauses of any other acts of parliament whereby the jurisdiction of the Admiralty is extended as aforesaid, and the other late acts for the restriction of American commerce.


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m Common Sense T H O M A S PA I N E Although many Americans by the beginning of 1776 were convinced that the colonies should become independent of Great Britain, a large portion of the population remained unconvinced. The colonies had been under British rule for more than 150 years. As clumsy and oppressive as its actions had been for the previous twelve years, separation was a big step. Many paused before taking the leap. Published on January 9, 1776, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense stirred the nation to revolution. Within three months, more than 100,000 copies were in circulation—an unbelievable number considering there were only three million people in all 13 British colonies. Written in plain language, Paine tore down the notion of monarchical rule, American dependence on Britain for economic prosperity and British benevolence. The pamphlet struck a cord, helping to inspire widespread calls for independence which would culminate half a year later with the Declaration of Independence.

Some writers have so confounded society with government as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform, and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him out of two evils to choose the least. Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure

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it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others…. But there is another greater distinction for which no truly natural or religious reason can be assigned, and that is the distinction of men into kings and subjects. Male and females are the distinctions of nature, good and bad the distinctions of heaven; but how a race of men came into the world so exalted above the rest, and distinguished like some new species, is worth inquiring into, and whether they are the means of happiness or of misery to mankind. In the early ages of the world, according to the Scripture chronology there were no kings; the consequence of which was there were no wars; it is the pride of kings which throws mankind into confusion. Holland without a king hath enjoyed more peace for this last century than any of the monarchical government in Europe. Antiquity favors the same remark; for the quiet and rural lives of the first patriarchs have a happy something in them, which vanishes when we come to the history of Jewish royalty. Government by kings was first introduced into the world by the heathens from whom the children of Israel copied the custom. It was the most prosperous invention the Devil ever set on foot for the promotion of idolatry. The heathens paid divine honors to their deceased kings, and the Christian world has improved on the plan by doing the same to their living ones. How impious is the title of sacred Majesty applied to a worm, who in the midst of his splendor is crumbling into dust! As the exalting of one man so greatly above the rest cannot be justified on the equal rights of nature, so neither can it be defended on the authority of Scripture; for the will of the Almighty, as declared by Gideon and the prophet Samuel, expressly disapproves of government by kings…. To the evil of monarchy we have added that of hereditary succession; and as the first is a degradation and a lessening of ourselves, so the second, claimed as a matter of right, is an insult and imposition on posterity. For all men being originally equals, no one by birth could have a right to set up his own family in perpetual preference to all others forever, and though himself might deserve some decent degree of honors of his contemporaries, yet his descendants might be far too unworthy to inherit them. One of the strongest natural proofs of

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the folly of hereditary right in kings, is that nature disapproves it, otherwise she would not so frequently turn it into ridicule by giving mankind an ass for a lion. … Most wise men in their private sentiments have ever treated hereditary right with contempt; yet it is one of those evils which when once established is not easily removed; many submit from fear, others from superstition, and the most powerful part shares with the king the plunder of the rest. This is supposing the present race of kings in the world to have had an honorable origin; whereas it is more than probable that, could we take off the first of them nothing better than the principal ruffian of some restless gang, whose savage manners of pre-eminence in subtility obtained him the title of chief among the plunderers; and who by increasing in power, and extending his depredations, overawed the quiet and defenseless to purchase their safety by frequent contributions. Yet his electors could have no idea of giving hereditary right to his descendents, because such a perpetual exclusion of themselves was incompatible with the free and unrestrained principles they professed to live by. Wherefore, hereditary succession in early ages of monarchy could not take place as a matter of claim, but as something casual or complemental; but as few or no records were extant in those days, and traditionary history stuffed with fables, it was very easy, after the lapse of a few generations, to trump up some superstitious tale conveniently timed, Mahomet-like, to cram hereditary right down the throats of the vulgar. Perhaps the disorders which threatened, or seemed to threaten, on the decease of a leader and the choice of a new one (for elections among ruffians could not be very orderly) induced many at first to favor hereditary pretensions; by which means it happened, as it hath happened since, that what at first was submitted to as a convenience was afterward claimed as a right. England, since the conquest, hath known some few good monarchs, but groaned beneath a much larger number of bad ones; yet no man in his senses can say that their claim under William theConqueror is a very honorable one. A French bastard, landing with an armed banditti and establishing himself king of England against the consent of the natives, is in plain terms a very paltry rascally original. It certainly hath no divinity in it.

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However it is needless to spend much time exposing the folly of hereditary right; if there are any so weak as to believe it, let them promiscuously worship the Ass and the Lion, and welcome. I shall neither copy their humility, nor disturb their devotion…. The nearer any government approaches to a republic, the less business there is for a king. It is somewhat difficult to find a proper name for the government of England. Sir William Meredith calls it a republic; but in its present state it is unworthy of the name, because the corrupt influence of the crown, by having all the places in its disposal, hath so effectually swallowed up the power, and eaten out the virtue of the House of Commons (the republican part in the constitution) that the government of England is nearly as monarchical as that of France or Spain. Men fall out with names without understanding them. For ‘tis the republican and not the monarchical part of the constitution of England which Englishmen glory in, viz. The liberty of choosing a house of commons from out of their own body—and it is easy to see that when republican virtues fail, slavery ensues. Why is the constitution of England sickly but because monarchy hath poisoned the republic, the crown has engrossed the commons? In England a king hath little more to do than to make war and give away places; which in plain terms is to impoverish the nation and set it together by the ears. A pretty business indeed for a man to be allowed eight hundred thousand sterling a year for, and worshipped into the bargain! Of more worth is one honest man to society, and in the sight of God, than all the crowned ruffians that ever lived…. The sun never shined on a cause of greater worth. ‘Tis not the affair of a city, a county, a province, or a kingdom; but of a continent—of at least one-eight part of the habitable globe. ‘Tis not the concern of a day, a year, or an age; posterity are virtually involved in the contest, and will be more or less affected even to the end of time by the proceedings now. Now is the seed-time of continental union, faith, and honor. The least fracture now will be like a name engraved with the point of a pin in the tender rind of a young oak; the wound would enlarge with the tree, and posterity read it in full grown characters. By referring the matter from argument to arms, a new era for politics is struck—a new method of thinking has arisen. All plans, proposals, etc. prior


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to the nineteenth of April, i.e. to the commencement of hostilities, are like the almanacks of the last year; which though proper then, are superseded and useless now. Whatever was advanced by the advocates on either side of the question then, terminated in one and the same point, viz. a union with Great Britain; the only difference between the parties was the method of effecting it; the one proposing force, the other friendship; but it has so far happened that the first has failed, and the second has withdrawn her influence. As much has been said of the advantages of reconciliation, which, like an agreeable dream, has passed away and left us as we were, it is but right that we should examine the contrary side of the argument, and inquire into some of the many material injuries which these colonies sustain, and always will sustain, by being connected with and dependent on Great Britain. To examine that connection and dependence on the principles of nature and common sense; to see what we have to trust to, if separated, and what we are to expect, if dependent. I have heard it asserted by some, that as America has flourished under her former connection with Great Britain, the same connection is necessary towards her future happiness, and will always have the same effect. Nothing can be more fallacious than this kind of argument. We may as well assert that because a child has thrived upon milk, it is never to have meat, or that the first twenty years of our lives is to become the precedent for the next twenty. But even this is admitting more than is true; for I answer roundly that America would have flourished as much, and probably much more, had no European power taken any notice of her. The commerce by which she hath enriched herself are necessaries of life, and will always have a market while eating is the custom of Europe…. But Britain is the parent country, say some. Then the more shame upon her conduct. Even brutes do not devour their young, nor savages make war upon their families; wherefore, the assertion, if true, turns to her reproach; but it happens not to be true, or only partly so, and the phrase parent or mother country hath been jesuitically adopted by the king and his parasites, with a low papistical design of gaining an unfair bias on the credulous weakness of our minds. Europe, and not England, is the parent country of America. This new world hath been the asylum for the persecuted lovers of

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civil and religious liberty from every part of Europe. Hither have they fled, not from the tender embraces of the mother, but from the cruelty of the monster; and it is so far true of England, that the same tyranny which drove the first emigrants from home pursues their descendants still…. I challenge the warmed advocate for reconciliation to show a single advantage that this continent can reap by being connected with Great Britain. I repeat the challenge, not a single advantage is derived. Our corn will fetch its price in any market in Europe, and our imported goods must be paid for, buy them where we will. But the injuries and disadvantages which we sustain by that connection are without number; and our duty to mankind at large, as well as to ourselves, instruct us to renounce the alliance: because any submission to, or dependence on, Great Britain, tends directly to involve this continent in European wars and quarrels, and set us at variance with nations who would otherwise seek our friendship, and against whom we have neither anger nor complaint. As Europe is our market for trade, we ought to form no partial connection with any part of it. ‘Tis the true interest of America to steer clear of European contentions, which she never can do while by her dependence on Britain she is made the makeweight in the scale of British politics. Europe is too thickly planted with kingdoms to be long at peace, and whenever a war breaks out between England and any foreign power, the trade of America goes to ruin, because of her connection with Britain. The next war may not turn out like the last, and should it not, the advocates for reconciliation now will be wishing for separation then, because neutrality in that case would be a safer convoy than a man of war. Everything that is right or reasonable pleads for separation. The blood of the slain, the weeping voice of nature cries, ‘Tis time to part. Even the distance at which the Almighty hath placed England and America is a strong and natural proof that the authority of the one over the other was never the design of heaven…. It is repugnant to reason, to the universal order of things, to all examples from former ages, to suppose that this continent can long remain subject to any external power. The most sanguine in Britain does not think so. The utmost stretch of human wisdom cannot, at this time, compass a

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plan, short of separation, which can promise the continent even a year’s security. Reconciliation is now a fallacious dream. Nature has deserted the connection, and art cannot supply her place. For, as Milton wisely expressed, “Never can true reconcilement grow where wounds of deadly hate have pierced so deep.”… As to government matters, it is not in the power of Britain to do this continent justice: the business of it will soon be too weighty and intricate to be managed with any tolerable degree of convenience by a power so distant from us, and so very ignorant of us; for if they cannot conquer us they cannot govern us. To be always running three or four thousand miles with a tale or a petition, waiting four or five months for an answer, which, when obtained, requires five or six more to explain it in, will in a few years be looked upon as folly and childishness. There was a time when it was proper, and there is a proper time for it to cease. Small islands not capable of protecting themselves are the proper objects for government to take under their care; but there is something absurd in supposing a continent to be perpetually governed by an island. In no instance hath nature made the satellite larger than its primary planet; and as England and America, with respect to each other, reverse the common order of nature, it is evident that they belong to different systems. England to Europe: America to itself. I am not induced by motives of pride, party, or resentment to espouse the doctrine of separation and independence; I am clearly, positively, and conscientiously persuaded that ‘tis the true interest of this continent to be so; that everything short of that is mere patchwork, that it can afford no lasting felicity—that it is leaving the sword to our children, and shrinking back at a time when a little more, a little further, would have rendered this continent the glory of the earth…. To talk of friendship with those in whom our reason forbids us to have faith, and our affections wounded through a thousand pores instruct us to detest, is madness and folly. Every day wears out the little remains of kindred between us and them; and can there be any reason to hope that as the relationship expires the affection will increase, or that we shall agree better when we have ten times more and greater concerns to quarrel over then ever?

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Ye that tell us of harmony and reconciliation, can ye restore to us the time that is past? Can ye give to prostitution its former innocence? Neither can ye reconcile Britain and America. The last cord is now broken, the people of England are presenting addresses against us. There are injuries which nature cannot forgive; she would cease to be nature if she did. As well can the lover forgive the ravisher of his mistress, as the continent forgive the murderers of Britain. The Almighty hath implanted in us these inextinguishable feelings for good and wise purposes. They are the guardians of his image in our hearts. They distinguish us from the herd of common animals. The social compact would dissolve, and justice extirpated from the earth, or have only a casual existence, were we callous to the touches of affection. The robber and the murderer would often escape unpunished, did not injuries which out tempers sustain, provoke us into justice. O ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose not only the tyranny but the tyrant, stand forth! Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been hunted round the globe. Asia and Africa have long expelled her. Europe regards her like a stranger, and England hath given her warning to depart. O receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind!

m On Public Credit A L E X A N D E R H A M I LT O N One of the most controversial and difficult issues that confronted the new federal government was the national and individual states’ war debts. Fearing that the debts would not be paid, many debt holders sold their notes at deeply discounted prices to speculators. The new federal government assumed the debts, although some people suggested that the government not pay the full obligations. Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton delivered a report on public credit calling for the full payment of the debts. Hamilton argued that the government needed to establish its credibility and solidify financial markets to help foster the national economy. This position, along with his advocacy for a national bank and federal excise tax, led to sharp criticisms of Hamilton for trying to create a privileged class of wealthy at the expense of the general public. Hamilton, however, prevailed, thus creating a sound environment for the issuing of bank loans to fuel the young nation’s economy and establishing a federal tax system to pay off outstanding war debts.


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States, like individuals, who observe their engagements, are respected and trusted; while the reverse is the fate of those, who pursue an opposite conduct. Every breach of the public engagements, whether from choice or necessity, is in different degrees hurtful to public credit. When such a necessity does truly exist, the evils of it are only to be palliated by a scrupulous attention, on the part of the government, to carry the violation no farther than the necessity absolutely requires, and to manifest, if the nature of the case admits of it, a sincere deposition to make reparation, whenever circumstances permit. But with every possible mitigation, credit must suffer, and numerous mischiefs ensue. It is therefore highly important, when an appearance of necessity seems to press upon the public councils, that they should examine well its reality, and be perfectly assured, that there is no method of escaping from it, before they yield to its suggestions…. Those who are most commonly creditors of a nation, are, generally speaking, enlightened men; and there are signal examples to warrant a conclusion, that when a candid and fair appeal is made to them, they will understand their true interest too well to refuse their concurrence in such modifications of their claims, as any real necessity may demand. While the observance of that good faith, which is the basis of public credit, is recommended by the strongest inducements of political expediency, it is enforced by considerations of still greater authority. There are arguments for it, which rest on the immutable principles of moral obligation. And in proportion as the mind is disposed to contemplate, in order of Providence, an intimate connection between public virtue and public happiness, will be its repugnancy to a violation of those principles. This reflection derives additional strength from the nature of the debt of the United States. It was the price of liberty. The faith of America has been repeatedly pledged for it, and with solemnities, that give peculiar force to the obligation…. To justify and preserve their confidence; to promote the increasing respectability of the American name; to answer the calls of justice; to restore landed property to its due value; to furnish new resources both to agriculture and commerce; to cement more closely the union of the states; to add to their security against foreign attack; to establish public order on the basis of an upright and liberal policy. These are

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the great and invaluable ends to be secured, by a proper and adequate provision, at the present period, for the support of public credit…. It will procure to every class of the community some important advantages, and remove some no less important disadvantages. The advantage to the public creditors from the increased value of that part of their property which constitutes the public debt, needs no explanation. But there is a consequence of this, less obvious, though not less true, in which every other citizen is interested. It is a well known fact that in countries in which the national debt is properly funded, an object of established confidence, it answers most of the purposes of money. Transfers of stock or public debt are there equivalent payments in specie; or in other words, stock, in the principal transaction of business, passes current as specie. The same thing would, in all probability happen here, under the like circumstances. The benefits of this are various and obvious. Trade is extended by it; because there is a larger capital to carry it on…. The proprietors of lands would not only feel the benefit of this increase in the value of their property, and of a more prompt and better sale, when they had occasion to sell; but the necessity of selling would be, itself, greatly diminished…. It is agreed on all hands, that that part of the debt which has been contracted abroad, and is denominated the foreign debt, ought to be provided for, according to the precise terms of the contracts relating to it. The discussions, which can arise, therefore, will have reference essentially to the domestic part of it, or to that which has been contracted at home. It is to be regretted, that there is not the same unanimity of sentiment on this part as on the other. The Secretary has too much deference for the opinions of every part of the community, not to have observed one, which has, more than once, made its appearance in the public prints, and which is occasionally to be met with in conversation. It involves this question, whether a discrimination are for making possessors, by purchase. Those who advocate a discrimination are for making a full provision for the securities of the former, at their nominal value; but contend, that the latter ought to receive no more than the cost to them, and the interest: And the idea is sometimes sug-

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gested of making good the difference to the primitive possessor…. The Secretary, after the most mature reflection on the force of this argument, is induced to reject the doctrine it contains, as equally unjust and impolitic, as highly injurious, even to the original holders of public securities; as ruinous to public credit. It is inconsistent with justice, because in the first place, it is a breach of contract; in violation of the rights of a fair purchaser. The nature of the contract in its origin, is, that the public will pay the sum expressed in the security, to the first holder, or his assignee. The intent, in making the security assignable, is, that the proprietor may be able to make use of his property, by selling it for as much as it may be worth in the market, and that the buyer may be safe in the purchase. Every buyer therefore stands exactly in the place of the seller, has the same right with him to the identical sum expressed in the security, and having acquired that right, by fair purchase, and in conformity to the original agreement and intention of the government, his claim cannot be disputed, without manifest injustice. That he is to be considered as a fair purchaser, results from this: Whatever necessity the seller may have been under, was occasioned by the government, in not making a proper provision for its debts. The buyer had no agency in it, and therefore ought not to suffer. He is not even chargeable with having taken an undue advantage. He paid what the commodity was worth in the market, and took the risks of reimbursement upon himself. He of course gave a fair equivalent, and ought to reap the benefit of his hazard; a hazard which was far from inconsiderable, and which, perhaps, turned on little less than a revolution in government.

m “The last should be first” C O N F E S S I O N S O F N AT TURNER A charismatic slave minister, Nat Turner led a slave uprising in southeastern Virginia in 1831. The rebellion started with a band of five slaves that marched through the countryside murdering whites and attracting more than 75 followers. Sixty whites were killed before the rebellion was put down by the local mili-

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tia. Nevertheless, the brutality of the uprising struck fear into the hearts of the South. Regional resolve to tighten control over slaves was bolstered. Turner and his followers were executed, but not before Thomas R. Gray interviewed Turner.

turner: And on the 12th of May, 1828, I heard a loud noise in the heavens, and the Spirit instantly appeared to me and said the Serpent was loosened, and Christ had laid down the yoke he had borne for the sins of men, and that I should take it on and fight against the Serpent, for the time was fast approaching when the first should be last and the last should be first. gray: Do you not find yourself mistaken now? turner: Was not Christ crucified? And by signs in the heavens that it would be made known to me when I should commence the great work—and until the first sign appeared, I should conceal it from the knowledge of men—And on the appearance of the sign (the eclipse of the sun last February), I should arise and prepare myself, and slay my enemies with their own weapons. And immediately on the sign appearing in the heavens, the seal was removed from my lips, and I communicated the great work laid out before me to do, to four in whom I had the greatest confidence (Henry, Hark, Nelson, and Sam)—It was intended by us to have begun the work of death on the 4th of July last—Many were the plans formed and rejected by us, and it affected my mind to such a degree, that I fell sick, and the time passed without our coming to any determination how to commence—Still forming new schemes and rejecting them, when the sign appeared again, which determined me not to wait longer. Since the commencement of 1830, I had been living with Mr. Joseph Travis, who was to me a kind master, and placed the greatest confidence in me: in fact, I had no cause to complain of his treatment of me. On Saturday evening, the 20th of August, it was agreed between Henry, Hark and myself, to prepare a dinner the next day for the men we expected, and then to concert a plan, as we had not yet determined on any. Hark, on the following morning, brought a pig, and Henry brandy, and being joined by Sam, Nelson, Will, and Jack, they prepared in the woods a dinner, where, about three o’clock, I joined them…. I saluted them on coming up, and asked Will how came he there, he answered, his life was worth no more than others, and his liberty as dear to him. I asked him if he thought to obtain it? He said he


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would, or lose his life. This was enough to put him in full confidence. Jack, I knew, was only a tool in the hands of Hark, it was quickly agreed we should commence at home (Mr. J. Travis’) on that night, and until we had armed and equipped ourselves, and gathered sufficient force, neither age nor sex was to be spared (which was invariably adhered to). We remained at the feast, until about two hours in the night, when we went to the house and found Austin; they all went to the cider press and drank, except myself. On returning to the house Hark went to the door with an axe, for the purpose of breaking it open, as we knew we were strong enough to murder the family, if they were awakened by the noise; but reflecting that it might create an alarm in the neighborhood, we determined to enter the house secretly, and murder them whilst sleeping. Hark got a ladder and set it against the chimney, on which I ascended, and hoisting a window, entered and came down stairs, unbarred the door, and removed the guns from their places. It was then observed that I must spill the first blood. On which, armed with a hatchet, and accompanied by Will, I entered my master’s chamber, it being dark, I could not give the death blow, the hatchet glanced from his head, he sprang from the bed and called his wife, it was his last word, Will laid him dead, with a blow of his axe, and Mrs. Travis shared the same fate, as she lay in bed. The murder of this family, five in number, was the work of a moment, not one of them awoke; there was a little infant sleeping in a cradle, that was forgotten, until we had left the house and gone some distance, when Henry and Will returned and killed it; we got here four guns that would shoot, and several old muskets, with a pound or two of powder. We remained some time at the barn, where we paraded; I formed them in a line as soldiers, and … carrying them through all the manoeuvres I was master of.

m “The tide is against us” J E F F E R S O N D AV I S Jefferson Davis was appointed the President of the Confederacy on February 18, 1861, during the constitutional convention in Alabama. One year later, after a permanent constitution had been formed, Davis was officially elected by a popular vote. His

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second inaugural address on February 22, 1862, sought a devoted call to arms that would bring on a Southern victory, despite some early setbacks in the year-old war.

Fellow Citizens: On this the birthday of the man most identified with the establishment of American independence, and beneath the monument erected to commemorate his heroic virtues and those of his compatriots, we have assembled to usher into existence the permanent government of the Confederate States. Through this instrumentality, under the favor of Divine Providence, we hope to perpetuate the principles of our Revolutionary fathers. The day, the memory, and the purpose seem fitly associated. It is with mingled feelings of humility and pride that I appear to take, in the presence of the people and before high heaven, the oath prescribed as a qualification for the exalted station to which the unanimous voice of the people has called me. Deeply sensible of all that is implied by this manifestation of the people’s confidence, I am yet more profoundly impressed by the vast responsibility of the office and humbly feel my own unworthiness. When a long course of class legislation, directed not to the general warfare but to the aggrandizement of the Northern section of the Union, culminated in a warfare on the domestic institutions of the Southern states—when the dogmas of a sectional party, substitutes for the provisions of the constitutional compact, threatened to destroy the sovereign rights of the states—six of those states, withdrawing from the Union, confederated together to exercise the right and perform the duty of instituting a government which would better secure the liberties for the preservation of which that Union was established. Whatever of hope some may have entertained that a returning sense of justice would remove the danger with which our rights were threatened, and render it possible to preserve the Union of the Constitution, must have been dispelled by the malignity and barbarity of the Northern states in the prosecution of the existing war. The confidence of the most hopeful among us must have been destroyed by the disregard they have recently exhibited for all the time-honored bulwarks of civil and religious liberty. Bastilles filled with prisoners, arrested without civil processor indictment duly found; the writ of habeas corpus suspended by executive mandate; a

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state legislature controlled by the imprisonment of members whose avowed principles suggested to the federal executive that there might be another added to the list of seceded states; elections held under threats of a military power; civil officers, peaceful citizens, and gentlewomen incarcerated for opinion’s sake—proclaimed the incapacity of our late associates to administer a government as free, liberal, and humane as that established for our common use. For proof of the sincerity of our purpose to maintain our ancient institutions, we may point to the Constitution of the Confederacy and the laws enacted under it, as well as to the fact that through all the necessities of an unequal struggle there has been no act on our part to impair personal liberty or the freedom of speech, of thought, or of the press. The courts have been open, the judicial functions fully executed, and every right of the peaceful citizen maintained as securely as if a war of invasion had not disturbed the land. The people of the states now confederates became convinced the government of the United States had fallen into the hands of a sectional majority, who would pervert that most sacred of all trusts to the destruction of the rights which it was pledged to protect. They believed that to remain longer in the Union would subject them to a continuance of a disparaging discrimination, submission to which would be inconsistent with their welfare and intolerable to a proud people. They therefore determined to sever its bonds and establish a new confederacy for themselves. The first year in our history has been the most eventful in the annals of this continent. A new government has been established, and its machinery put in operation over an area exceeding seven hundred thousand square miles. The great principles upon which we have been willing to hazard everything that is dear to man have made conquests for us which could never have been achieved by the sword. Our Confederacy has grown from six to thirteen states; and Maryland, already united to us by hallowed memories and material interests, will, I believe, when able to speak with unstifled voice, connect her destiny with the South. Our people have rallied with unexampled unanimity to the support of the great principles of constitutional government, with firm resolve to perpetuate by arms the right which they could not

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peacefully secure. A million of men, it is estimated, are now standing in hostile array and waging war along a frontier of thousands of miles. Battles have been fought, sieges have been conducted, and although the contest is not ended, and the tide for the moment is against us, the final result in our favor is not doubtful. This great strife has awakened in the people the highest emotions and qualities of the human soul. It is cultivating feelings of patriotism, virtue, and courage. Instances of self-sacrifice contending are rife throughout the land. Never has a people evinced a more determined spirit than that now animating men, women, and children in every part of our country. Upon the first call, the men fly to arms; and wives and mothers send their husbands and sons to battle without a murmur of regret. It is a satisfaction that we have maintained the war by our unaided exertions. We have neither asked nor received assistance from any quarter. Yet the interest involved is not wholly our own. The world at large is concerned in opening our markets to its commerce. When the independence of the Confederate States is recognized by the nations of the earth, and we are free to follow our interests and inclinations by cultivating foreign trade, the Southern states will offer to manufacturing nations the most favorable markets which ever invited their commerce. Cotton, sugar, tobacco, provisions, timber, and naval stores will furnish attractive exchanges. The tyranny of an unbridled majority, the most odious and least responsible form of despotism, has denied us both the rights and the remedy. Therefore we are in arms to renew such sacrifices as our fathers made to the holy cause of constitutional liberty. At the darkest hour of our struggle the provisional gives place to the permanent government. After a series of successes and victories, which covered our arms with glory, we have recently met with serious disasters. But in the heart of a people resolved to be free, these disasters tend but to stimulate to increased resistance. To show ourselves worthy of the inheritance bequeathed to us by the patriots of the Revolution, we must emulate that heroic devotion which made reverse to them but the crucible in which their patriotism was refined. With confidence in the wisdom and virtue of those who will share with me the responsibility and


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aid me in the conduct of public affairs; securely relying on the patriotism and courage of the people, of which the present war has furnished so many examples, I deeply feel the weight of the responsibilities I now, with unaffected diffidence, am about to assume; and fully realizing the inequality of human power to guide and to sustain, my hope is reverently fixed on Him whose favor is ever vouchsafed to the cause which is just. With humble gratitude and adoration, acknowledge the Providence which has so visibly protected God! I trustingly commit myself, and prayerfully invoke Thy blessing on my country and its cause.

m Baseball’s Original Rules A L E X A N D E R C A RT W R I G H T Alexander Cartwright is credited with inventing the basic rules of baseball and laying out the first baseball diamond with four bases 90 feet apart in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1845. The first known organized game was played between the New York Knickerbockers—a team made up primarily of businessmen—and the New York Nine, consisting of a team of manual laborers and clerks. With Cartwright as umpire, the game lasted four innings. The New York Nine won 23-1. Baseball’s popularity boomed during the Civil War as soldiers not engaged on the front lines played it to pass the time. The sport soon became the national pastime. Many people have seen it as embracing the American ideal of equality, whereby success is determined by individual merit in the context of a group enterprise. By the turn of the century baseball was the favorite spectator sport in the United States and would remain so throughout the 20th century.

1st. Members must strictly observe the time agreed upon for exercise, and be punctual in their attendance. 2nd. When assembled for exercise, the President, or in his absence, the Vice-President, shall appoint an Umpire, who shall keep the game in a book provided for that purpose, and note all violations of the By-Laws and Rules during the time of exercise. 3rd. The presiding officer shall designate two members as Captains, who shall retire and make the match to be played, observing at the same time that the players opposite to each other should be as nearly equal as possible, the choice of sides to be then tossed for, and the first in hand to be decided in like manner.

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4th. The bases shall be from “home” to second base, forty-two paces; from first to third base, fortytwo paces, equidistant. 5th. No stump match shall be played on a regular day of exercise. 6th. If there should not be a sufficient number of members of the Club present at the time agreed upon to commence exercise, gentlemen not members may be chosen in to make up the match, which shall not be broken up to take in members that may afterwards appear; but in all cases, members shall have the preference, when present, at the making or a match. 7th. If members appear after the game is commenced, they may be chosen in if mutually agreed upon. 8th. The game to consist of twenty-one counts, or aces; but at the conclusion an equal number of hands must be played. 9th. The ball must be pitched, not thrown, for the bat. l0th. A ball knocked out of the field, or outside the range of the first or third base, is foul. 11th. Three balls being struck at and missed and the last one caught, is a hand out; if not caught is considered fair, and the striker bound to run. 12th. If a ball be struck, or tipped, and caught, either flying or on the first bound, it is a hand out. 13th. A player running the bases shall be out, if the ball is in the hands of an adversary on the base, or the runner is touched with it before he makes his base; it being understood, however, that in no instance is a ball to be thrown at him. 14th. A player running who shall prevent an adversary from catching or getting the ball before making his base, is a hand out. 15th. Three hands out, all out. 16th. Players must take their strike in regular turn. 17th. All disputes and differences relative to the game, to be decided by the Umpire, from which there is no appeal. 18th. No ace or base can be made on a foul strike. 19th. A runner cannot be put out in making one base, when a balk is made by the pitcher. 20th. But one base allowed when a ball bounds out of the field when struck.

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m On the Oregon Trail HELEN CARPENTER In 1842 Elijah White led the first wagon train on a cross-country journey to establish a settlement on Oregon’s Pacific Coast. Two years later, John C. Frémont and Kit Carson blazed the Oregon and California trails, establishing a pathway for thousands of pioneers to follow in settling the West during the next 20 years. The journey was arduous and perilous, fraught with danger from weather, hostile Native American tribes and an inhospitable climate. Many people died from starvation and disease or were killed. This 1857 record of pioneer Helen Carpenter’s trip on the Oregon Trail offers a glimpse into the courage and perseverance that the pioneers drew on to realize their goal of settling a new territory.

Although there is not much to cook, the difficulty and inconvenience in doing it amounts to a great deal—so by the time one has squatted around the fire and cooked bread and bacon, and made several dozen trips to and from the wagon—washed the dishes…and gotten things ready for an early breakfast, some of the others already have their night caps on—at any rate it is time to go to bed. In respect to women’s work, the days are all very much the same—except when we stop…then there is washing to be done and light bread to make and all kinds of odd jobs. Some women have very little help about the camp, being obliged to get the wood and water…make camp fires, unpack at night and pack up in the morning—and if they are Missourians they have the milking to do if they are fortunate enough to have cows. I am lucky in having a Yankee for a husband, so am well waited on… . When the sun was just peeping over the top of the mountain, there was suddenly heard a shot and a blood curdling yell, and immediately the Indians we saw yesterday were seen riding at full speed directly toward the horses…father put his gun to his shoulder as though to shoot….The Indians kept…circling…and halooing…bullets came whizzing through the camp. None can know the horror of it, who have not been similarly situated…[the Indians] did not come directly toward us, but all the time in a circular way, from one side of the road to the other, each time they passed, getting a little nearer, and occasionally firing a shot….Father and Reel could stand it no longer, they must let those Indians see how far their Sharps rifles would carry. Without aiming to hit them, they made the earth fly….

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It is now 18 days since we have seen a train…[we] found the body of a nude woman on the bank of the slough….A piece of hair rope was around her neck….From appearances it was thought she had been tortured by being drawn back and forth through the slough, by this rope around her neck. The body was given the best burial that was possible, under the circumstances….

m “Education is the great equalizer of the condition of men” HORACE MANN As president of the Massachusetts Senate, Horace Mann oversaw the approval of the state’s 1837 act improving the quality of education and creating a Board of Education. He subsequently resigned his seat to serve as secretary of the Board of Education and began to implement a personal campaign to elevate the condition of public schools in Massachusetts. Every year Mann delivered an annual report to the Board of Education. In 1848 he delivered his twelfth and last report, outlining the critical need for publicly funded universal education for the economic, medical and intellectual well-being of the state and the nation. He equated the need for an educated population to a robust economy and a functioning democratic government. Mann, who was subjected to abusive and ignorant teachers as a child, played a major role in abolishing corporal punishment in schools, emphasizing the importance of early education and breaking schools down into classes.

…A cardinal object which the government of Massachusetts, and all the influential men in the State, should propose to themselves, is the physical well-being of all the people, —the sufficiency, comfort, competence, of every individual in regard to food, raiment, and shelter. And these necessaries and conveniences of life should be obtained by each individual for himself, or by each family for themselves, rather than accepted from the hand of charity or extorted by poor-laws. It is not averred that this most desirable result can, in all instances, be obtained; but it is, nevertheless, the end to be aimed at. True statesmanship and true political economy, not less than true philanthropy, present this perfect theory as the goal, to be more and more closely approximated by our imperfect practice. The desire to achieve such a result cannot be regarded as an unreasonable ambition; for, though


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all mankind were well fed, well clothed, and well housed, they might still be half civilized. According to the European theory, men are divided into classes, some to toil and earn, others to seize and enjoy. According to the Massachusetts theory, all are to have an equal chance for earning, and equal security in the enjoyment of what they earn. The latter tends to equality of condition; the former, to the grossest inequalities. Tried by any Christian standard of morals, or even by any of the better sort of heathen standards, can any one hesitate, for a moment, in declaring which of the two will produce the greater amount of human welfare, and which, therefore, is the more conformable to the divine will? The European theory is blind to what constitutes the highest glory as well as the highest duty of a State…. Our ambition as a State should trace itself to a different origin, and propose to itself a different object. Its flame should be lighted at the skies. Its radiance and its warmth should reach the darkest and the coldest of abodes of men. It should seek the solution of such problems as these: To what extent can competence displace pauperism? How nearly can we free ourselves from the low-minded and the vicious, not by their expatriation, but by their elevation? To what extent can the resources and powers of Nature be converted into human welfare, the peaceful arts of life be advanced, and the vast treasures of human talent and genius be developed? How much of suffering, in all its forms, can be relieved? Or, what is better than relief, how much can be prevented? Cannot the classes of crimes be lessened, and the number of criminals in each class be diminished?… Now two or three things will doubtless be admitted to be true, beyond all controversy, in regard to Massachusetts. By its industrial condition, and its business operations, it is exposed, far beyond any other State in the Union, to the fatal extremes of overgrown wealth and desperate poverty. Its population is far more dense than that of any other State. It is four or five times more dense than the average of all the other States taken together; and density of population has always been one of the proximate causes of social inequality. According to population and territorial extent there is far more capital in Massachusetts—capital which is movable, and instantaneously available—than in any other State in the Union; and probably both these

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qualifications respecting population and territory could be omitted without endangering the truth of the assertion…. Now surely nothing but universal education can counterwork this tendency to the domination of capital and the servility of labor. If one class possesses all the wealth and the education, while the residue of society is ignorant and poor, it matters not by what name the relation between them may be called: the latter, in fact and in truth, will be the servile dependents and subjects of the former. But, if education be equally diffused, it will draw property after it by the strongest of all attractions; for such a thing never did happen, and never can happen, as that an intelligent and practical body of men should be permanently poor. Property and labor in different classes are essentially antagonistic; but property and labor in the same class are essentially fraternal. The people of Massachusetts have, in some degree, appreciated the truth that the unexampled prosperity of the State—its comfort, its competence, its general intelligence and virtue—is attributable to the education, more or less perfect, which all its people have received; but are they sensible of a fact equally important,— namely, that it is to this same education that twothirds of the people are indebted for not being today the vassals of as severe a tyranny, in the form of capital, as the lower classes of Europe are bound to in any form of brute force? Education then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is a great equalizer of the conditions of men,—the balance wheel of the social machinery. I do not here mean that it so elevates the moral nature as to make men disdain and abhor the oppression of their fellow men. This idea pertains to another of its attributes. But I mean that it gives each man the independence and the means by which he can resist the selfishness of other men. It does better than to disarm the poor of their hostility toward the rich: it prevents being poor. Agrarianism is the revenge of poverty against wealth. The wanton destruction of the property of others—the burning of hay-ricks, and corn-ricks, the demolition of machinery because it supersedes hand-labor, the sprinkling of vitriol on rich dresses—is only agrarianism run mad. Education prevents both the revenge and the madness. On the other hand, a fellow-feeling for one’s class or caste is the common instinct of hearts not wholly sunk

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in selfish regard for a person or for a family. The spread of education, by enlarging the cultivated class or caste, will open a wider area over which the social feelings will expand; and, if this education should be universal and complete, it would do more than all things else to obliterate factitious distinctions in society…. For the creation of wealth, then, for the existence of a wealthy people and a wealthy nation, intelligence is the grand condition. The number of improvers will increase as the intellectual constituency, if I may so call it, increases. In former times, and in most parts of the world even at the present day, not one man in a million has ever had such a development of mind as made it possible for him to become a contributor to art or science…. Let this development proceed, and contributions … of inestimable value, will be sure to follow. That political economy, therefore, which busies itself about capital and labor, supply and demand, interests and rents, favorable and unfavorable balances of trade, but leaves out of account the elements of a wide-spread mental development, is naught but stupendous folly. The greatest of all the arts in political economy is to change a consumer into a producer; and the next greatest is to increase the producing power,—and this to be directly obtained by increasing his intelligence. For mere delving, an ignorant man is but little better than a swine, whom he so much resembles in his appetites, and surpasses in his power of mischief….

m “With malice toward none” ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S S E C O N D I N AU G U R A L ADDRESS With the re-election of Abraham Lincoln in 1864, a string of military victories in the field and crumbling Confederate resolve, there was a widespread expectation in the North that the Union would prevail. When Abraham Lincoln made his Second Inaugural Address March 4, 1865, he was starting to lay the groundwork for the hard work of reconciliation. Invoking biblical terms, Lincoln remained intent on finishing the war that had divided the country and forging a new nation, bound together in peace.

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Fellow Countrymen: At this second appearing to take the oath of the presidential office, there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement, somewhat in detail, of a course to be pursued, seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention, and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself; and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured. On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it—all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war— seeking to dissolve the Union, and divide effects, by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came. One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the Southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was, somehow, the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union, even by war; while the government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude, or the duration, which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with, or even before, the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces; but let us judge not that we be not


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judged. The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses! For it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh!” If we shall suppose that American Slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South, this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a Living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope—fervently do we pray—that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth plied by the bondman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, “the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.” With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.

m The Public Park Movement F R E D E R I C K L AW O L M S T E D The rapid, unchecked growth of cities in the 1800s alarmed the public. Crowded, dirty and crime-ridden, cities were built by private developers. Profit—not public good—was the primary motivation in city planning. Increasingly, reformers called for public input in their planning and development. Frederick Law Olmsted led the movement for devising new ways to build cities. Olmsted was a landscape architect who in 1857 was selected, along with Calvert Vaux, to design Central Park in New York City. Fighting real estate developers and city politicians to accomplish the goal, their design for Central Park as

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a pastoral, rambling sanctuary became a model city park. Olmsted and others argued that plantings, appropriate planning and the construction of parks would improve the moral and physical health of city residents, as he explained in this 1870 address. Olmsted’s work had a direct impact on the way cities looked (he designed major parks in Boston, Chicago, Montreal and more than a dozen other communities) and led to the City Beautiful Movement at the end of the century. The imprint of his work can be found in almost every city in the United States today.

It is hardly a matter of speculation, I am disposed to think, but almost of demonstration, that the larger a town becomes simply because of its advantages for commercial purposes, the greater will be the convenience available to those who live in and near it for cooperation, as well with reference to the accumulation of wealth in the higher forms—as in seats of learning, of science, and of art—as with reference to merely domestic economy and the emancipation of both men and women from petty, confining, and narrowing cares. It also appears to be nearly certain, then, that towns which of late have been increasingly rapidly on account of their commercial advantages are likely to be still more attractive to population in the future; that there will in consequence soon be larger towns than any the world has yet known, and that the further progress of civilization is to depend mainly upon the influences by which men’s minds and characters will be affected while living in large towns. Now, knowing that the average length of the life of mankind in towns has been much less than in the country, and that the average amount of disease and misery and of vice and crime has been much greater in towns, this would be a very dark prospect for civilization, if it were not that modern Science has beyond all question determined many of the causes of the special evils by which men are afflicted in towns, and placed means in our hands for guarding against them. It has shown, for example, that under ordinary circumstances, in the interior parts of large and closely built towns, a given quantity of air contains considerably less of the elements which we require to receive through the lungs than the air of the country or even of the outer and more open parts of a town, and that instead of them it carries into the lungs highly corrupt and irritating matters, the action of which tends strongly to vitiate all our sources of vigor— how strongly may perhaps be indicated in the

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shortest way by the statement that even metallic plates and statues corrode and wear away under the atmospheric influences which prevail in the midst of large towns, more rapidly than in the country…. It has happened several times within the last century, when old artificial obstructions to the spreading out of a city have been removed, and especially when there has been a demolition of and rebuilding on a new ground plan so some part which had previously been noted for the frequency of certain crimes, the prevalence of certain diseases, and the shortness of life among its inhabitants, that a marked improvement in all these respects has followed, and has been maintained not alone in the dark parts, but in the city as a whole…. Strange to say, however, here in the New World, where great towns by the hundred are springing into existence, no care at all is taken to avoid bad plans. The most brutal Pagans to whom we have sent our missionaries have never shown greater indifference to the suffering of others than is exhibited in the plans of some of our most promising cities, for which men now living in them are responsible…. It is evident that if we go on in this way, the progress of civilized mankind in health, virtue, and happiness will be seriously endangered. It is practically certain that the Boston of today is the mere nucleus of the Boston that is to be. It is practically certain that it is to extend over many miles of country now thoroughly rural in character, in parts of which farmers are now laying out roads with a view to shortening the teaming distance between their wood-lots and a railway station, being governed in their courses by old property lines, which were first run simply with reference to the equitable division of heritages, and in other parts of which, perhaps, some wild speculators are having streets staked off from plans which they have formed with a rule and pencil in a broker’s office, with a view chiefly of impressions they would make when seen by other speculators on a lithographed map. And by this manner of planning, unless views of duty or interest prevail that are not yet common, if Boston continues to grow at its present rate even for but a few generations longer, and then simply holds its own until it shall be as old as the Boston in Lincolnshire now is, more men, women, and children are to be seriously affected in health and morals than are now living on this Continent….

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Let us proceed, then, to the question of means, and with a seriousness in some degree befitting a question, upon our dealing with which we know the misery or happiness of many millions of our fellow-beings will depend. We will for the present set before our minds the two sources of wear and corruption which we have seen to be remediable and therefore preventible. We may admit that commerce requires that in some parts of a town there shall be an arrangement of buildings, and a character of streets and of traffic in them which will establish conditions of corruption and of irritation, physical and mental. But commerce does not require the same conditions to be maintained in all parts of a town. Air is disinfected by sunlight and foliage. Foliage also acts mechanically to purify the air by screening it. Opportunity and inducement to escape at frequent intervals from the confined and vitiated air of the commercial quarter, and to supply the lungs with air screened and purified by trees, and recently acted upon by sunlight, together with opportunity and inducement to escape from conditions requiring vigilance, wariness, and activity toward other men—if these could be supplied economically, our problem would be solved…. Would trees for seclusion and shade and beauty, be out of place, for instance by the side of certain of our streets? It will, perhaps, appear to you that it is hardly necessary to ask such a question, as throughout the United States trees are commonly planted at the sides of streets. Unfortunately they are seldom so planted as to have fairly settled the question of the desirableness of systematically maintaining trees under these circumstances. In the first place, the streets are planned, wherever they are, essentially alike. Trees are planted in the space assigned for sidewalks, where at first, while they are saplings, and the vicinity is rural or suburban, they are not much in the way, but where, as they grow larger, and the vicinity becomes urban, they take up more and more space, while space is more and more required for passage. That is not all. Thousands and tens of thousands are planted every year in a manner and under conditions as nearly certain as possible either to kill them outright, or to so lessen their vitality as to prevent their natural and beautiful development, and to cause premature decrepitude. Often, too, as their lower limbs are found inconvenient, no space having been provid-


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ed for trees in laying out the street, they are deformed by butcherly amputations. If by rare good fortune they are suffered to become beautiful, they still stand subject to be condemned to death at any time, as obstructions in the highway. What I would ask is, whether we might not with economy make special provision in some of our streets—in a twentieth or a fiftieth part, if you please, of all—for trees to remain as a permanent furniture of the city? I mean, to make a place for them in which they would have room to grow naturally and gracefully. Even if the distance between the houses should have to be made half as much again as it is required in our commercial streets, could not the space be afforded? Out of town space is not costly when measures to secure it are taken early. The assessments for benefits where such streets were provided for, would, in nearly all cases, defray the cost of the land required. The strips of ground reserved for the trees, six, twelve, twenty feet wide, would cost nothing for paving or flagging. The change both of scene and air which would be obtained by people engaged for the most part in the necessarily confined interior commercial parts of the town, on passing into a street of this character after the trees had became stately and graceful, would be worth a good deal. If such streets were made still broader in some parts, with spacious malls, the advantage would be increased. If each of them were given the proper capacity, and laid out with laterals and connections in suitable directions to serve as a convenient trunkline of communications between two large districts of the town or the business center and the suburbs, a very great number of people might thus be placed every day under influences counteracting those with which we desire to contend…. I have next to see what opportunities are wanted to induce people to engage in what I have termed neighborly receptive recreations, under conditions which shall be highly counteractive to the prevailing bias to degeneration and demoralization in large towns. To make clearer what I mean, I need an illustration which I find in a familiar domestic gathering, where the prattle of the children mingles with the easy conversation of the more sedate, the bodily requirements satisfied with good cheer, fresh air, agreeable light, moderate temperature, snug shelter, and furniture and decorations adapted to please the eye, without calling for profound admiration on the one hand, or tending to the fatigue or disgust on the

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other. The circumstances are all favorable to a pleasurable wakefulness of the mind without stimulating exertion; and the close relation of family life, the association of children, of mothers, of lovers, of those who give play to faculties such as may be dormant in business or on the promenade; while at the same time the cares of providing in detail for all the wants of the family, guidance, instruction, reproof, are, as matters of conscious exertion, as far as possible laid aside. There is an instinctive inclination to this social, neighborly, unexertive form of recreation among all of us. In one way or another it is sure to be constantly operating upon those millions on millions of men and women who are to pass their lives within a few miles of where we now stand. To what extent it shall operate so as to develop health and virtue, will, on many occasions, be simply a question of opportunity and inducement. And this question is one for the determination of which for a thousand years we here to-day are largely responsible…. If the great city to arise here is to be laid out little by little, and chiefly to suit the views of landowners, acting only individually, and thinking only of how what they do is to effect the value in the next week or the next year of the few lots that each may hold at the time, the opportunities of so obeying this inclination as at the same time to give the lungs a bath of pure sunny air, to give the mind a suggestion of rest from the devouring eagerness and intellectual strife of town life, will always be few to any, to many will amount to nothing. But is it possible to make public provision for recreation of this class, essentially domestic and secluded as it is? It is a question which can, of course, be conclusively answered only from experience. And from experience in some slight degree I shall answer it. There is one large American town, in which it may happen that a man of any class shall say to his wife, when he is going out in the morning: “My dear, when the children come home from school, put some bread and butter and salad in a basket, and go to the spring under the chestnut-tree where we found the Johnsons last week. I will join you there as soon as I can get away from the office. We will walk to the dairy-man’s cottage and get some tea, and some fresh milk for the children, and take our supper by the brook-side;” and this shall be no joke, but the most refreshing earnest.

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m “It was one long grave of butchered women and children and babies” BLACK ELK RECALLS WOUNDED KNEE Imprisoned, decimated by disease and trapped on unwanted Indian reservations, Native Americans from the Great Plains turned to a new mysticism for spiritual relief. A religious ceremony known as the Ghost Dance became very popular. The ceremony was based on the belief that a great prophet would arrive and make the whites vanish. Concerned that the Ghost Dance would prompt resistance, government authorities sought to ban the ceremony. Soldiers came to arrest Lakota Sioux Chief Sitting Bull on December 15, 1890, because of fears that he would endorse the Ghost Dance. A fight broke out, however, and Sitting Bull was killed. Afraid of further military retribution, Sitting Bull’s tribe, the Minicounjous, fled. The army tracked the tribe down on December 28 and took them to Wounded Knee Creek at the Pine Ridge Sioux Reservation. The next morning, as the troops were disarming the tribe, shots broke out and a massacre ensued. As many as 300 men, women and children were killed. Survivors totaled four men and forty-seven women and children. The incident marked the last armed conflict between Native Americans and the United States. Black Elk recalled the battle many years later.

That evening before it happened, I went in to Pine Ridge and heard these things, and while I was there, soldiers started for where the Big Foots were. These made about five hundred soldiers that were there next morning. When I saw them starting I felt that something terrible was going to happen. That night I could hardly sleep at all. I walked around most of the night. In the morning I went out after my horses, and while I was out I heard shooting off toward the east, and I knew from the sound that it must be wagon-guns going off. The sounds went right through my body, and I felt that something terrible would happen. When I reached camp with the horses, a man rode up to me and said: “Hey-hey-hey! The people that are coming are fired on! I know it!” I saddled up my buckskin and put on my sacred shirt. It was one I had made to be worn by no one but myself. It had a spotted eagle outstretched on the back of it, and the daybreak star was on the left

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shoulder, because when facing south that shoulder is toward the east. Across the breast, from the left shoulder to the right hip, was the flaming rainbow, and there was another rainbow around the neck, like a necklace, with a star at the bottom. At each shoulder, elbow, and wrist was an eagle feather; and over the whole shirt were red streaks of lightning. You will see that this was from my great vision, and you will know how it protected me that day. I painted my face all red, and in my hair I put one eagle feather for the One Above. It did not take me long to get ready, for I could still hear the shooting over there. I started out alone on the old road that ran across the hills to Wounded Knee. I had no gun. I carried only the sacred bow of the west that I had seen in my great vision. I had gone only a little way when a band of young men came galloping after me. The first two who came up were Loves War and Iron Wasichu. I asked what they were going to do, and they said they were just going to see where the shooting was. Then others were coming up, and some older men. We rode fast, and there were about twenty of us now. The shooting was getting louder. A horseback from over there came galloping very fast toward us, and he said: “Hey-hey-hey! They have murdered them!” Then he whipped his horse and rode away faster toward Pine Ridge. In a little while we had come to the top of the ridge where, looking to the east, you can see for the first time the monument and the burying ground on the little hill where the church is. That is where the terrible thing started. Just south of the burying ground on the little hill a deep dry gulch runs about east and west, very crooked, and it rises westward to nearly the top of the ridge where we were. It had no name, but the Wasichus sometimes call it Battle Creek now. We stopped on the ridge not far from the head of the dry gulch. Wagon-guns were still going off over there on the little hill, and they were going off again where they hit along the gulch. There was much shooting down yonder, and there were many cries, and we could see cavalrymen scattered over the hills ahead of us. Cavalrymen were riding along the gulch and shooting into it, where the women and children were running away and trying to hide in the gullies and the stunted pines. A little way ahead of us, just below the head of the dry gulch, there were some women and chil-


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dren who were huddled under a clay bank, and some cavalrymen were there pointing guns at them. We stopped back behind the ridge, and I said to the others: “Take courage. These are our relatives. We will try to get them back.” Then we all sang a song which went like this: A thunder being nation I am, I have said. A thunder being nation I am, I have said. You shall live. You shall live. You shall live. You shall live. Then I rode over the ridge and the others after me, and we were crying: “Take courage! It is time to fight!” The soldiers who were guarding our relatives shot at us and then ran away fast, and some more cavalrymen on the other side of the gulch did too. We got our relatives and sent them across the ridge to the northwest where they would be safe. I had no gun, and when we were charging, I just held the sacred bow out in front of me with my right hand. The bullets did not hit us at all. We found a little baby lying all alone near the head of the gulch. I could not pick her up just then, but I got her later and some of my people adopted her. I just wrapped her up tighter in a shawl that was around her and left her there. It was a safe place, and I had other work to do. The soldiers had run eastward over the hills where there were some more soldiers, and they were off their horses and lying down. I told the others to stay back, and I charged upon them holding the sacred bow out toward them with my right hand. They all shot at me, and I could hear bullets all around me, but I ran my horse right close to them, and then swung around. Some soldiers across the gulch began shooting at me too, but I got back to the others and was not hurt at all. By now many other Lakotas, who had heard the shooting, were coming up from Pine Ridge, and we all charged on the soldiers. They ran eastward toward where the trouble began. We followed down along the dry gulch, and what we saw was terrible. Dead and wounded women and children and little babies were scattered all along there where they had been trying to run away. The soldiers had followed along the gulch, as they ran, and murdered them in there. Sometimes they were in heaps because they had huddled together, and some were scattered all along. Sometimes bunches of them had been killed and torn to pieces where the wagon-guns hit them. I saw a little baby trying to

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suck its mother, but she was bloody and dead. There were two little boys at one place in this gulch. They had guns and they had been killing soldiers all by themselves. We could see the soldiers they had killed. The boys were all alone there, and they were not hurt. These were very brave little boys. When we drove the soldiers back, they dug themselves in, and we were not enough people to drive them out from there. In the evening they marched off up Wounded Knee Creek, and then we saw all that they had done there. Men and women and children were heaped and scattered all over the flat at the bottom of the little hill where the soldiers had their wagon-guns, and westward up the dry gulch all the way to the high ridge, the dead women and children and babies were scattered. When I saw this I wished that I had died too, but I was not sorry for the women and children. It was better for them to be happy in the other world, and I wanted to be there too. But before I went there I wanted to have revenge. I thought there might be a day, and we should have revenge. After the soldiers marched away, I heard from my friend, Dog Chief, how the trouble started, and he was right there by Yellow Bird when it happened. This is the way it was: In the morning the soldiers began to take all the guns away from the Big Foots, who were camped in the flat below the little hill where the monument and burying ground are now. The people had stacked most of their guns, and even their knives, by the tepee where Big Foot was lying sick. Soldiers were on the little hill and all around, and there were soldiers across the dry gulch to the south and over east along Wounded Knee Creek too. The people were nearly surrounded, and the wagon guns were pointing at them. Some had not yet given up their guns, and so the soldiers were searching all the tepees, throwing things around and poking into everything. There was a man called Yellow Bird, and he and another man were standing in front of the tepee where Big Foot was lying sick. They had white sheets around and over them, with eyeholes to look through, and they had guns under these. An officer came to search them. He took the other man’s gun, and then started to take Yellow Bird’s. But Yellow Bird would not let go. He wrestled with the officer, and while they were wrestling, the gun went off and

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killed the officer. Wasichus and some others have said he meant to do this, but Dog Chief was standing right there, and he told me it was not so. As soon as the gun went off, Dog Chief told me, an officer shot and killed Big Foot who was lying sick inside the tepee. Then suddenly nobody knew what was happening, except that the soldiers were all shooting and the wagon-guns began going off right in among the people. Many were shot down right there. The women and children ran into the gulch and up west, dropping all the time, for the soldiers shot them as they ran. There were only about a hundred warriors and there were nearly five hundred soldiers. The warriors rushed to where they had piled their guns and knives. They fought soldiers with only their hands until they got their guns. Dog Chief saw Yellow Bird run into a tepee with his gun, and from there he killed soldiers until the tepee caught fire. Then he died full of bullets. It was a good winter day when all this happened. The sun was shining. But after the soldiers marched away from their dirty work, a heavy snow began to fall. The wind came up in the night. There was a big blizzard, and it grew very cold. The snow drifted deep in the crooked gulch, and it was one long grave of butchered women and children and babies, who had never done any harm and were only trying to run away.

m “As Regards Patriotism” M A R K T WA I N The United States victory in the Spanish-American War and Roosevelt’s “big stick” expansionary policy marked the high point in American imperial ambitions. But not everyone in the United States favored expansion. Observing that America had once been a colony itself, many questioned the need, morality and wisdom of the United States becoming a colonial power, particularly in the Philippines. Satirist Mark Twain opposed the country’s imperial ambitions and in 1901 wrote a satirical essay “As Regards Patriotism” questioning American motives.

It is agreed, in this country, that if a man can arrange his religion so that it perfectly satisfies his conscience, it is not incumbent upon him to care whether the arrangement is satisfactory to anyone else or not.

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In Austria and some other countries this is not the case. There the State arranges a man’s religion for him, he has no voice in it himself. Patriotism is merely a religion—love of country, worship of country, devotion to the country’s flag and honor and welfare. In absolute monarchies it is furnished from the Throne, cut and dried, to the subject; in England and America it is furnished, cut and dried, to the citizen by the politician and the newspaper. The newspaper-and-politician-manufactured Patriot often gags in private over his dose; but he takes it, and keeps it on his stomach the best he can. Blessed are the meek. Sometimes, in the beginning of an insane and shabby political upheaval, he is strongly moved to revolt, but he doesn’t do it—he knows better. He knows that his maker would find it out—the maker of his Patriotism, the windy and incoherent six-dollar sub-editor of his village newspaper—and would bray out in print and call him a Traitor. And how dreadful that would be. It makes him tuck his tail between his legs and shiver. We all know—the reader knows it quite well—that two or three years ago nine-tenths of the human tails in England and America performed just that act. Which is to say, nine-tenths of the Patriots in England and America turned Traitor to keep from being called Traitor. Isn’t it true? You know it to be true. Isn’t it curious? Yet it was not a thing to be very seriously ashamed of. A man can seldom—very, very seldom—fight a winning fight against his training; the odds are too heavy. For many a year—perhaps always—the training of the two nations had been dead against independence in political thought, persistently inhospitable toward Patriotism manufactured on a man’s own premises, Patriotism reasoned out in the man’s own head and fire-assayed and tested and proved in his own conscience. The resulting Patriotism was a shop-worn product procured at second hand. The Patriot did not know just how or when or where he got his opinions, neither did he care, so long as he was with what seemed the majority—which was the main thing, the safe thing, the comfortable thing. Does the reader believe he knows three men who have actual reasons for their pattern of Patriotism—and can furnish them? Let him not examine, unless he wants to be disappointed. He will be likely to find that his men got their


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Patriotism at the public trough, and had no hand in their preparation themselves. Training does wonderful things. It moved the people of this country to oppose the Mexican war; then moved them to fall in with what they supposed was the opinion of the majority—majorityPatriotism is the customary Patriotism—and go down there and fight. Before the Civil War it made the North indifferent to slavery and friendly to the slave interest; in that interest it made Massachusetts hostile to the American flag, and she would not allow it to be hoisted on her State House—in her eyes it was the flag of a faction. Then by and by, training swung Massachusetts the other way, and she went raging South to fight under that very flag and against their foretime protected-interest of hers. Training made us nobly anxious to free Cuba; training made us give her a noble promise; training has enabled us to take it back. Long training made us revolt at the idea of wantonly taking any weak nation’s country and liberties away from it, a short training has made us glad to do it, and proud of having done it. Training made us loathe Weyler’s cruel concentration camps, training has persuaded us to prefer them to any other device for winning the love of our “wards.” There is nothing that training cannot do. Nothing is above its reach or below it. It can turn bad morals to good, good morals to bad; it can destroy prinicples, it can re-create them; it can debase angels to men and lift men to angelships. And it can do any one of these miracles in a year— even in six months. Then men can be trained to manufacture their own Patriotism. They can be trained to labor it out in their own heads and hearts, and in the privacy and independence of their own premises. It can train them to stop taking it by command, as the Austrian takes his religion.

m “The Oil War of 1872” I D A M . TA R B U L L In 1903 McClure’s Magazine published a series of articles by investigative journalist Ida M. Tarbull detailing the ruthless business tactics used by John D. Rockefeller to gain a monopoly in the oil business. Shattering the popular image that hard work and perseverance were the keys to Rockefeller’s success, Tarbull showed how Rockefeller

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employed chicanery and back-room deals with railroad companies to squash the competition. More than any other single writer, Tarbull—whose father had been forced out of the oil business by Rockefeller— aroused public anger at the trusts that held a tight grip on American industry. Her articles generated a public outcry for action against Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust, in particular, and business trusts in general. In 1911, Standard Oil was ordered to dismantle into several smaller companies. Tarbull was one of several “muckraking” journalists of the time who exposed public corruption, abusive practices by industry leaders and the squalid conditions of the poor and working classes.

It was inevitable that under the pressure of their indignation and resentment some person or persons should be fixed upon as responsible, and should be hated accordingly. Before the lifting of the embargo this responsibility had been fixed. It was the Standard Oil Company of Cleveland, so the Oil Regions decided, which was at the bottom of the business, and the “Mephistopheles of the Cleveland Company,” as they put it, was John D. Rockefeller. Even the Cleveland Herald acknowledged this popular judgment. “Whether justly or unjustly,” the editor wrote, “Cleveland has the odium of having originated the scheme.” This opinion gained ground as the days passed. The activity of the president of the Standard in New York, in trying to save the contracts with the railroads, and his constant appearance with Mr. Watson, and the fact brought out by the Congressional investigation that a larger block of the South Improvement Company’s stock was owned in the Standard than in any other firm, strengthened the belief. But what did more than anything else to fix the conviction was what they had learned of the career of the Standard Oil Company in Cleveland. Before the oil war the company had been known simply as one of several successful firms in that city. It drove close bargains, but it paid promptly, and was considered a desirable customer. Now the Oil Regions learned for the first time of the sudden and phenomenal expansion of the company. Where there had been at the beginning of 1872 twenty-six refining firms in Cleveland, there were but six left. In three months before and during the oil war the Standard had absorbed twenty plants. It was generally charged by the Cleveland refiners that Mr. Rockefeller had used the South Improvement scheme to persuade or compel his rivals to sell to him. “Why,” cried the oil men, “the Standard Oil Company has done

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already in Cleveland what the South Improvement Company set out to do for the whole country, and it has done it by the same means.” By the time the blockade was raised, another unhappy conviction was fixed on the Oil Regions–the Standard Oil Company meant to carry out the plans of the exploded South Improvement Company. The promoters of the scheme were partly responsible for the report. Under the smart of their defeat they talked rather more freely than their policy of silence justified, and their remarks were quoted widely. Mr. Rockefeller was reported in the “Derrick” to have said to a prominent oil man of Oil City that the South Improvement Company could work under the charter of the Standard Oil Company, and to have predicted that in less than two months the gentleman would be glad to join him. The newspapers made much of the following similar story reported by a New York correspondent: A prominent Cleveland member of what was the South Improvement Company had said within two days, “The business now will be done by the Standard Oil Company. We have a rate of freight by water from Cleveland to New York at 70 cents. No man in the trade shall make a dollar this year. We propose so manipulating the market as to run the price of crude on the Creek as low as two and a half. We mean to show the world that the South Improvement Company was organized for business and means business in spite of opposition. The same thing has been said in substance by the leading Philadelphia member.” “The trade here regards the Standard Oil Company as simply taking the place of the South Improvement Company and as being ready at any moment to make the same attempt to control the trade as its progenitors did,” said the New York Bulletin about the middle of April. And the Cleveland Herald discussed the situation under the heading, “South Improvement Company alias Standard Oil Company.” The effect of these reports in the Oil Regions was most disastrous. Their open war became a kind of guerrilla opposition. Those who sold oil to the Standard were ostracized, and its president was openly scorned.

Mr. Rockefeller Begins All Over Again If Mr. Rockefeller had been an ordinary man the outburst of popular contempt and suspicion which

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suddenly poured on his head would have thwarted and crushed him. But he was no ordinary man. He had the powerful imagination to see what might be done with the oil business if it could be centered in his hands–the intelligence to analyze the problem into its elements and to find the key to control. He had the essential element to all great achievement, a steadfastness to a purpose once conceived which nothing can crush. The Oil Regions might rage, call him a conspirator and those who sold him oil traitors; the railroads might withdraw their contracts and the legislature annul his charter; undisturbed and unresting he kept at his great purpose. Even if his nature had not been such as to forbid him to abandon an enterprise in which he saw promise of vast profits, even if he had not had a mind which, stopped by a wall, burrows under or creeps around, he would nevertheless have been forced to desperate efforts to save his business. He had increased his refining capacity in Cleveland to 10,000 barrels on the strength of the South Improvement Company contracts. These contracts were annulled, and in their place was one signed by officials of all the oil-shipping roads refusing rebates to everybody. His geographical position was such that it cost him under these new contracts 50 cents more to get oil from the wells to New York than it did his rivals on the Creek. What could he do?

Mr. Rockefeller Gets A Rebate He got a rebate. In spite of the binding nature of the contracts signed in New York on March 25th by representatives of all the railroads, before the middle of April the Standard Oil Company was shipping oil eastward from Cleveland for $1.25–this by the sworn testimony of Mr. H.M. Flagler before a commission of the Ohio State Legislature, in March, 1879. How much less a rate than $1.25 Mr. Rockefeller had before the end of April the writer does not know. Of course the rate was secret, and he probably understood now, as he had not two months before, how essential it was that he keep it secret. His task was more difficult now, for he had an enemy active, clamorous, contemptuous, whose suspicions had reached that acute point where they could believe nothing but evil of him–the producers and independents of the Oil Regions. It was utterly impossible that he should ever silence this enemy, for their points of view were diametrically opposed.


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They believed in independent effort–every man for himself and fair play for all. They wanted competition, loved open fight. They considered that all business should be done openly–that the railways were bound as public carriers to give equal rates–that any combination which favored one firm or one locality at the expense of another was unjust and illegal.

Mr. Rockefeller’s Opinions And Character Mr. Rockefeller’s point of view was different. He believed that the “good of all” was in a combination which would control the business as the South Improvement Company proposed to control it. Such a combination would end at once all the abuses the business suffered. As rebates and special rates were essential to this control, he favored them. Of course Mr. Rockefeller knew that the railroad was a public carrier, and that its charter forbade discrimination. But he knew that the railroads did not pretend to obey the laws governing them, that they regularly granted special rates and rebates to those who had large amounts of freight. That is, you could bargain with the railroads as you could with a man carrying on a strictly private business depending in no way on a public franchise. Moreover, Mr. Rockefeller knew that if he did not get rebates somebody else would; that they were for the wariest, the shrewdest, the most persistent. If somebody was to get rebates, why not he? This point of view was no uncommon one. Many men held it and felt a sort of scorn, as practical men always do for theorists, when it was contended that the shipper was as wrong in taking rates as the railroads in granting them. Thus, on one hand there was an exaggerated sense of personal independence, on the other a firm belief in combination; on one hand a determination to root out the vicious system of rebates practised by the railway, on the other a determination to keep it alive and profit by it. Those theories which the body of oil men held as vital and fundamental Mr. Rockefeller and his associates either did not comprehend or were deaf to. This lack of comprehension by many men of what seems to other men to be the most obvious principles of justice is not rare. Many men who are widely known as good, share it. Mr. Rockefeller was “good.” There was no more faithful Baptist in Cleveland than he. Every enterprise of that church he had supported liberally

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from his youth. He gave to its poor. He visited its sick. He wept with its suffering. Moreover, he gave unostentatiously to many outside charities of whose worthiness he was satisfied. He was simple and frugal in his habits. He never went to the theater, never drank wine. He was a devoted husband, and he gave much time to the training of his children, seeking to develop in them his own habits of economy and of charity. Yet he was willing to strain every nerve to obtain for himself special and illegal privileges from the railroads which were bound to ruin every man in the oil business not sharing them with him. Religious emotion and sentiments of charity, propriety and self-denial seem to have taken the place in him of notions of justice and regard for the rights of others. Unhampered, then, by any ethical consideration, undismayed by the clamor of the Oil Regions, believing firmly as ever that relief for the disorders in the oil business lay in combining and controlling the entire refining interest, this man of vast patience and foresight took up his work. The day after the newspapers of the Oil Regions printed the report of the Congressional Committee on Commerce denouncing the South Improvement Company as “one of the most gigantic and dangerous conspiracies ever attempted,” and declaring that if it had not been checked in time it “would have resulted in the absorption and arbitrary control of trade in all the great interests of the country,” Mr. Rockefeller and several other members of the South Improvement Company appeared in the Oil Regions. They had come, they explained, to present a new plan of cooperation, and to show the oil men that it was to their interest to go into it. Whether they would be able to obtain by persuasion what they had failed to obtain by assault was now an interesting uncertainty

m “All of us are descendents from immigrants and revolutionists” F R A N K L I N D . R O O S E V E LT The day before President Roosevelt delivered this address to the Daughters of the American Revolution, the organization had

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condemned Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation but commended its expansion of the navy. The DAR was a conservative lot, marked by affluence and an Anglo-Saxon heritage. Roosevelt, who shared the same heritage and income level, was considered a traitor to his class. The New Deal represented a revolutionary step to assist the poor—a group consisting mainly of minorities and recent immigrants. Resentment between classes was rampant; the rich looked down on the massses, while the poor were disgusted by the excesses of the wealthy. Here Roosevelt gently reminds his audience of their common bind with all Americans, rich or poor, immigrants or not.

I couldn’t let a fifth year go by without coming to see you. I must ask you to take me just as I am, in a business suit—and I see you are still in favor of national defense—take me as I am, with no prepared remarks. You know, as a matter of fact, I would have been here to one of your conventions in prior years—one or more—but it is not the time that it takes to come before you and speak for half an hour, it is the preparation for that half hour. And I suppose that for every half-hour speech that I make before a convention or over the radio, I put in ten hours preparing it. So I have to ask you to bear with me, to let me just come here without preparation to tell you how glad I am to avail myself of this opportunity, to tell you how proud I am, as a revolutionary descendant, to greet you. I thought of preaching on a text, but I shall not. I shall only give you the text, and I shall not preach on it. I think I can afford to give you the text because it so happens, through no fault of my own, that I am descended from a number of people who came over in the Mayflower. More than that, every one of my ancestors on both sides—and when you go back four generations or five generations it means thirty-two or sixty-four of them— every single one of them, without exception, was in this land in 1776. And there was only one Tory among them. The text is this: remember, remember always that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists. I am particularly glad to know that today you are making this fine appeal to the youth of America. To these rising generations, to our sons and grandsons and great-grandsons, we cannot overestimate the importance of what we are doing in this year, in our own generation, to keep alive the spirit of

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American democracy. The spirit of opportunity is the kind of spirit that has led us as a nation—not as a small group but as a nation—to meet the very great problems of the past. We look for a younger generation that is going to be more American than we are. We are doing the best that we can, and yet we can do better than that, we can do more than that, by inculating in the boys and girls of this country today some of the underlying fundamentals, the reasons that brought our immigrant ancestors to this country, the reasons that impelled our revolutionary ancestors to throw off a fascist yoke. We have a great many things to do. Among other things in this world is the need of being very, very certain, no matter what happens, that the sovereignty of the United States will never be impaired. There have been former occasions, conventions of the Daughters of the American Revolution, when voices were raised, needed to be raised, for better national defense. This year, you are raising those same voices and I am glad of it. But I am glad also that the government of the United States can assure you today that it is taking definite, practical steps for the defense of the nation.

m “The Six Thousand Houses That Levitt Built” HARPER’S MAGAZINE Owning a house has always been central to the American Dream. The G.I. Bill helped millions of young men gain the potential to afford a home of their own. Bill Levitt provided a way for them to realize it, simultaneously revolutionizing the construction industry and housing development patterns across the country. Borrowing heavily from Henry Ford’s mass-production techniques, Levitt successfully built 2,350 housing units for the Navy during World War II. Armed with this ability, he decided after the war to apply the same techniques to creating massive housing divisions at the outskirts of cities. The first one, named Levittown, was built in 1948 on Long Island outside of New York City. It was a smashing success. Demand, pent up for almost twenty years by the Depression and World War II, was overwhelming. Levitt build 17,000 units for the first Levittown at a pace of up to thirty-six houses a day. (Prior to the war, the aver-


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age contracting company built no more than five houses a year.) Levittown and its equivalents emerged across the country. In 1955, 75 percent of the housing starts in the country were for Levittowns or similar housing subdivisions. Levitt’s influence, combined with rise of automobiles, lay the groundwork for the dramatic growth of suburbs in the United States. The following excerpt by Harper’s writer Eric Larrabee described the conditions that made Levittown possible.

Levitt—Bill Levitt refers to the firm in the third person singular—is now at work on a 1,400-acre, 6,000-house project called “Levittown,” near Hicksville, Long Island, where 4-room “bungalows” are rented, to veterans only, for 65 dollars a month. Each house comes complete with a radiant-heating, General Electric range and refrigerator, and venetian blinds. The grounds will be landscaped, all utilities will be connected, and there will be concrete roads. Levittown will be zoned as a park district, and Levitt will build one swimming pool for each thousand houses—also three shopping centers (with nearly a hundred retail units), five schools (built by the county on public contract), and six churches (plots donated by Levitt & Sons). Levittown will be finished by the end of this year. “Anyone who comes to us now,” Bill Levitt said last April, “will have a house in October.” As soon as one of the first 1,800 veterans to rent a house in Levittown has been there a year, he is given an option by Levitt to buy the house for $7,990; if he does not buy, Levitt will rent for one year more. “I think they’ll buy all right,” he has said, with a pride anyone might reasonably take in watching well-made plans come to fruition. The veterans will be backed by GI loans and will thus require no cash, they will get back a $100 deposit from Levitt, and the carrying charges on the loan will be less than the rent they are paying—a combination difficult to resist. Some of the veteran tenants, however, feeling that the company has been trying to pressure them into a purchase, have claimed that very few of their number actually wish to buy. Levitt now proposes to continue to rent the vast majority of the houses, but at the end of two years from the completion of the project there will be nothing to prevent him from selling them at whatever price the market will bear. If he does so, his profit should be in seven figures. The 1947 price on the basic small Levitt house was $7,500 (earlier he sold 31 pilot models for $6,990, in eight hours, but is now

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sorry that the price was so widely publicized). Costs have risen since then and comparisons on the basis of profit per house are deceptive (according to Bill Levitt, they are no longer used in the firm), but it was estimated in 1947 that he undersold his nearer competitor by $1,500 and still made $1,000 profit on each house. Levitt, in short, is a phenomenon. Previously the firm had built only conventional homes on Long Island’s North Shore, though the various “Strathmores”—”class” developments near one of which the main office is still located—foreshadowed a larger scale operation. It was a wartime experience (Levitt did 2,350 rental units for the navy at Norfolk, Virginia) that infected them permanently with a bug for volume. They still build some houses in the higher brackets for the stationwagon trade, but it is with the mass production of a standard 4-room house that the name Levitt has become firmly associated. Bill Levitt is becoming a kind of bellweather of the building trades, and he believes that he is setting patterns which the others must eventually adopt. The housing industry, if it can properly be called an industry, has traditionally been based on limited construction by small contractors, consumer financing, and craft unions. Levitt & Sons are substituting mass construction by a single company, production financing, and either industrial unions or no unions at all.

m “Guard against the military industrial complex” DWIGHT EISENHOWER Eisenhower had served in the United States army since World War I. As Commander-in-Chief of the European invasion in World War II, he oversaw the Allied defeat of Nazi Germany. In 1952, his sterling reputation as a military leader carried him to the presidency for the balance of the decade. His military credentials as Commander-in-Chief were beyond dispute. So when he sat down to deliver his farewell address to a television audience, it came as something of a shock that he would warn the nation of the dangers of the military industrial complex that he had helped build. He described it, however, as a necessary evil. Though he did not say so explicitly, his standing as a military leader helped give him the credibility to stand up to the pressures of this new, powerful interest group.

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The end of Eisenhower’s term as president, not only marked the end of the 1950s, but also the end of an era in government. A new, younger generation was rising to national power that would set a more youthful, vigorous course. His farewell address was a warning to his successors of one of the many things they would have to be wary of in the coming years.

Three days from now, after half a century in the service of our country, I shall lay down the responsibilities of office as, in traditional and solemn ceremony, the authority of the presidency is vested in my successor. This evening I come to you with a message of leavetaking and farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen. We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. Despite these holocausts, America is today the strongest, the most influential, and most productive nation in the world. Understandably proud of this preeminence, we yet realize that America’s leadership and prestige depend not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches, and military strength but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment. Throughout America’s adventure in free government our basic purposes have been to keep the peace, to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity, and integrity among people and among nations. To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people. Any failure traceable to arrogance or our lack of comprehension or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us grievous hurt both at home and abroad…. A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction. Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea. Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national

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defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, 3.5 million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations. Now, this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence— economic, political, even spiritual—is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together. Akin to and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial military posture has been the technological revolution during recent decades. In this revolution research has become central. It also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of the federal government. Today the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by the task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into soci-


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ety’s future, we—you and I, and our government— must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow. Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield. Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences—not with arms but with intellect and decent purpose. Because this need is so sharp and apparent, I confess that I lay down my official responsibilities in this field with a definite sense of disappointment. As one who has witnessed the horror and the lingering sadness of war, as one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization which has been so slowly and painfully built over thousands of years, I wish I could say tonight that a lasting peace is in sight. Happily, I can say that war has been avoided. Steady progress toward our ultimate goal has been made. But so much remains to be done. As a private citizen, I shall never cease to do what little I can to help the world advance along that road.

m “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice” B A R RY G O L D WAT E R In 1964 the conservative wing of the Republican party successfully nominated Arizona senator Barry Goldwater for president in favor of the “eastern establishment” moderates such as New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller and Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton. Attempting to buck the national trend to turn toward government and legislation to solve society’s problems, Goldwater was crushed in a landslide by Lyndon B. Johnson.

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Nevertheless, Goldwater’s acceptance speech at the Republican convention and his subsequent campaign laid down the roots for the conservative movement that would eventually sweep Ronald Reagan into the White House in 1980.

From this moment, united and determined, we will go forward together, dedicated to the ultimate and undeniable greatness of the whole man. Together we will win. I accept your nomination with a deep sense of humility. I accept, too, the responsibility that goes with it, and I seek your continued help and your continued guidance. My fellow Republicans, our cause is too great for any man, did he not have with him the heart and the hands of this great Republican party. And I promise you tonight that every fiber of my being is consecrated to our cause, that nothing shall be lacking from the struggle that can be brought to it by enthusiasm, by devotion, and plain hard work. In this world no person, no party can guarantee anything, but what we can do and what we shall do is to deserve victory, and victory will be ours. The good Lord raised this mighty Republic to be a home for the brave and to flourish as the land of the free—not to stagnate in the swampland of collectivism, not to cringe before the bully of communism. Now, my fellow Americans, the tide has been running against freedom. Our people have followed false prophets. We must, and we shall, return to proven ways—not because they are old, but because they are true. We must, and we shall, set the tide running again in the cause of freedom. And this party, with its every action, every word, every breath, and every heartbeat, has but a single resolve, and that is freedom. Freedom made orderly for this nation by our constitutional government. Freedom under a government limited by laws of nature and of nature’s God. Freedom balanced so that liberty lacking order will not become the slavery of the prison cell; balanced so that liberty lacking order will not become the license of the mob and of the jungle. Now, we Americans understand freedom; we have earned it, we have lived for it, and we have died for it. This nation and its people are freedom’s models in a searching world. We can be freedom’s missionaries in a doubting world. But, ladies and gentlemen, first we must renew freedom’s mission in our own hearts and in our own homes….

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Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth, and let me remind you that they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyranny. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed. Their mistaken course stems from false notions, ladies and gentlemen, of equality. Equality, rightly understood as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences; wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism. Fellow Republicans, it is the cause of Republicanism to resist concentration of power, private or public, which enforce such conformity and inflict such despotism. It is the cause of Republicanism to ensure that power remains in the hands of the people—and so help us God, that is exactly what a Republican president will do with the help of a Republican Congress. It is further the cause of Republicanism to restore a clear understanding of the tyranny of man over man in the world at large. It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world conflict will somehow resolve itself into a world of harmony— and this is hogwash. It is further the cause of Republicanism to remind ourselves, and the world, that only the strong can remain free: that only the strong can keep the peace…. I can see a day when all the Americas, North and South, will be linked in a mighty system—a system in which the errors and misunderstandings of the past will be submerged one by one in a rising tide of prosperity and interdependence. We know that the misunderstandings of centuries are not to be wiped away in a day or wiped away in an hour. But we pledge, we pledge, that human sympathy—what our neighbors to the south call an attitude of simpatico—no less than enlightened self-interest will be our guide. And I can see this Atlantic civilization galvanizing and guiding emergent nations everywhere. Now, I know this freedom is not the fruit of every soil. I know that our own freedom was achieved

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through centuries of unremitting efforts by brave and wise men. And I know that the road to freedom is a long and a challenging road, and I know also that some men may walk away from it, that some men resist challenge, accepting the false security of governmental paternalism. And I pledge that the America I envision in the years ahead will extend its hand in help in teaching and in cultivation so that all new nations will be at least as encouraged to go our way, so that they will not wander down the dark alleys of tyranny or to the dead-end streets of collectivism. My fellow Republicans, we do no man a service by hiding freedom’s light under the bushel of mistaken humility. I seek an American proud of its past, proud of its ways, proud of its dreams, and determined actively to proclaim them. But our examples to the world must, like charity, begin at home. In our vision of a good and decent future, free and peaceful, there must be room, room for the liberation of the energy and the talent of the individual, otherwise our vision is blind at the outset. We must assure a society here which while never abandoning the needy, or forsaking the helpless, nurtures incentives and opportunity for the creative and the productive. We must know the whole good is the product of many single contributions. And I cherish the day when our children once again will restore as heroes the sort of men and women who, unafraid and undaunted, pursue the truth, strive to cure disease, subdue and make fruitful our natural environment, and produce the inventive engines of production— science and technology. This nation, whose creative people have enhanced this entire span of history, should again thrive upon the greatness of all those things which we—we as individual citizens—can and should do. During Republican years, this again will be a nation of men and women, of families proud of their role, jealous of their responsibilities, unlimited in their aspiration—a nation where all who can will be self-reliant. We the Republicans see in our constitutional form of government the great framework which assures the orderly but dynamic fulfillment of the whole man as the great reason for instituting orderly government in the first place. We see in private property and in economy based upon and fostering private property the one


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way to make government a durable ally of the whole man rather than his determined enemy. We see in the sanctity of private property the only durable foundation for constitutional government in free society. And beyond all that we see and cherish diversity of ways, diversity of thoughts, of motives, and accomplishments. We don’t seek to live anyone’s life for him. We only seek to secure his rights, guarantee him opportunity, guarantee him opportunity to strive, with government performing only those needed and constitutionally sanctioned tasks which cannot otherwise be performed. We Republicans seek a government that attends to its inherent responsibilities of maintaining a stable monetary and fiscal climate, encouraging a free and competitive economy, and enforcing law and order. Thus do we seek inventiveness, diversity, and creative difference within a stable order, for we Republicans define government’s role where needed at many, many levels—preferably, though, the one closest to the people involved: our towns and our cities, then our counties, then our states, then our regional contacts, and only then the national government. That, let me remind you, is the land of liberty built by decentralized power. On it also we must have balance between the branches of government at every level. Balance, diversity, creative difference—these are the elements of Republican equation. Republicans agree, Republicans agree heartily to disagree on many, many of their applications. But we have never disagreed on the basic fundamental issue of why you and I are Republicans. This is a party—this Republican party is a party for free men. Not for blind followers and not for conformists. Back in 1858 Abraham Lincoln said this of the Republican party—and I quote him because he probably could have said it during the last week or so. It was composed of “strained, discordant and even hostile element.” Yet all of these elements agreed on [a] paramount objective: to arrest the progress of slavery, and place it in the course of ultimate extinction. Today, as then, but more urgently and more broadly than then, the task of preserving and enlarging freedom at home and safeguarding it from the

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forces of tyranny abroad is great enough to challenge all our resources and to require all our strength. Anyone who joins us in all sincerity, we welcome. Those, those who do not care for our cause, we don’t expect to enter our ranks, in any case. And let our Republicanism so focused and so dedicated not be made fuzzy and futile by unthinking and stupid labels. I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue! The beauty of the very system we Republicans are pledged to restore and revitalize, the beauty of this federal system of ours, is in its reconciliation of diversity with unity. We must not see malice in honest differences of opinion, and no matter how great, so long as they are not inconsistent with the pledges we have given to each other in and through our Constitution. Our Republican cause is not to level out the world or make its people conform in computer-regimented sameness. Our Republican cause is to free our people and light the way for liberty throughout the world. Ours is a very human cause for humane goals. This party, its good people, and its unquestionable devotion to freedom will not fulfill the purposes of this campaign which we launch here now until our cause has won the day, inspired the world, and shown the way to a tomorrow worthy of all our yesteryears. I repeat, I accept your nomination with humbleness, with pride, and you and I are going to fight for the goodness of our land. Thank you.

m That Problem That Has No Name BETTY FRIEDAN The feminist movement of the 1960s represented perhaps the most profound changes in American society. Betty Friedan was on the forefront of women’s liberation. In her groundbreaking book The Feminine Mystique, Friedan challenged the fallacy of universal contentment among suburban wives. Raised in Peoria, Illinois, and a graduate of Smith College, Frieden had married and settled into her role as a wife and mother outside of New York City. In the 1950s, she occasionally wrote articles for women’s magazines.

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In 1957, she was asked to do a fifteenth-anniversary report on her graduating class from Smith. She went interviewing former classmates and was startled by the widespread discontent and frustration with their roles in society. Unfulfilled and isolated, the women were dissatisfied with their lives. Thinking that she had discovered a great article to write, she submitted proposals to women’s magazines, all of which rejected it outright. Furious at the response, she determined to write a book. The Feminine Mystique was published in 1963. It sold 3 million copies and became the defining document of the feminist movement.

The problem lay buried, unspoken, for many years in the minds of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning that women suffered in the middle of the twentieth century in the United States. Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night—she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question—“Is this all?” For over fifteen years there was no word of this yearning in the millions of words written about women, for women, in all the columns, books and articles by experts telling women their role was to seek fulfillment as wives and mothers. Over and over women heard in voices of tradition and of Freudian sophistication that they could desire no greater destiny than to glory in their own femininity. Experts told them how to catch a man and keep him, how to breastfeed children and handle their toilet training, how to cope with sibling rivalry and adolescent rebellion; how to buy a dishwasher, bake bread, cook gourmet snails, and build a swimming pool with their own hands; how to dress, look, and act more feminine and make marriage more exciting; how to keep their husbands from dying young and their sons from growing into delinquents. They were taught to pity the neurotic, unfeminine, unhappy women who wanted to be poets or physicists or presidents. They learned that truly feminine women do not want careers, higher education, political rights—the independence and the opportunities that the old-fashioned feminists fought for. Some women, in their forties and fifties, still remembered painfully giving up those dreams, but most of the younger women no longer even thought about them. A thousand expert voices applauded their femininity, their adjustment, their

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new maturity. All they had to do was devote their lives from earliest girlhood to finding a husband and bearing children. By the end of the nineteen-fifties, the average marriage age of women in America dropped to 20, and was still dropping, into the teens. Fourteen million girls were engaged by 17. The proportion of women attending college in comparison with men dropped from 47 percent in 1920 to 35 percent in 1958. A century earlier, women had fought for higher education; now girls went to college to get a husband. By the mid-fifties, 60 percent dropped out of college to marry, or because they were afraid too much education would be a marriage bar. Colleges built dormitories for “married students,” but the students were almost always the husbands. A new degree was instituted for the wives—“Ph.T.” (Putting Husband Through). The American girls began getting married in high school. And the women’s magazines, deploring the unhappy statistics about these young marriages, urged that courses on marriage, and marriage counselors, be installed in the high schools. Girls started going steady at twelve and thirteen, in junior high. Manufacturers put out brassieres with false bosoms of foam rubber for little girls of ten. And an advertisement for a child’s dress, sizes 3-6x, in the New York Times in the fall of 1960, said: “She Too Can Join the Man-Trap Set.” By the end of the fifties, the United States birthrate was overtaking India’s. The birth-control movement, renamed Planned Parenthood, was asked to find a method whereby women who had been advised that a third or fourth baby would be born dead or defective might have it anyhow. Statisticians were especially astounded at the fantastic increase in the number of babies among college women. Where once they had two children, now they had four, five, six. Women who had once wanted careers were now making careers out of having babies. So rejoiced Life magazine in a 1956 paean to the movement of American women back to the home. In a New York hospital, a woman had a nervous breakdown when she found she could not breastfeed her baby. In other hospitals, women dying of cancer refused a drug which research had proved might save their lives: its side effects were said to be unfeminine. “If I have only one life, let me live it as a blonde,” a larger-than-life-sized picture of a pretty,


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vacuous woman proclaimed from a newspaper, magazine, and drugstore ads. And across America, three out of every ten women dyed their hair blonde. They ate a chalk called Metrecal, instead of food, to shrink to the size of the thin young models. Department-store buyers reported that American women, since 1939, had become three and four sizes smaller. “Women are out to fit the clothes, instead of vice-versa,” one buyer said. Interior decorators were designing kitchens with mosaic murals and original paintings, for kitchens were once again the center of women’s lives. Home sewing became a million-dollar industry. Many women no longer left their homes, except to shop, chauffeur their children, or attend a social engagement with their husbands. Girls were growing up in America without ever having jobs outside the home. In the late fifties, a sociological phenomenon was suddenly remarked: a third of American women now worked, but most were no longer young and a very few were pursuing careers. They were married women who held part-time jobs, selling or secretarial, to put their husbands through school, their sons through college, or to help pay the mortgage. Or they were widows supporting families. Fewer and fewer women were entering professional work. The shortages in the nursing, social work, and teaching professions caused crises in almost every American city. Concerned over the Soviet Union’s lead in the space rate, scientists noted that America’s greatest source of unused brainpower was women. But girls would not study physics: it was “unfeminine.” A girl refused a science fellowship at Johns Hopkins to take a job in a real-estate office. All she wanted, she said, was what every other American girl wanted—to get married, have four children and live in a nice house in a nice suburb. The suburban housewife—she was the dream image of the young American women and the envy, it was said, of women all over the world. The American housewife—freed by science and labor-saving appliances from the drudgery, the dangers of childbirth and the illnesses of her grandmother. She was healthy, beautiful, educated, concerned only about her husband, her children, her home. She had found true feminine fulfillment. As a housewife and mother, she was respected as a full and equal partner to man in his world. She was free to choose automobiles,

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clothes, appliances, supermarkets; she had everything that women everywhere dreamed of. In the fifteen years after World War II, this mystique of feminine fulfillment became the cherished and self-perpetuating core of contemporary American culture. Millions of women lived their lives in the image of those pretty pictures of the American suburban housewife, kissing their husbands goodbye in front of the picture window, depositing their stationwagonsful of children at school, and smiling as they ran the new electric waxer over the spotless kitchen floor. They baked their own bread, sewed their own and their children’s clothes, kept their new washing machines and dryers running all day. They changed the sheets on the beds twice a week instead of once, took the rug-hooking class in adult education, and pitied their poor frustrated mothers, who had dreamed of having a career. Their only dream was to be perfect wives and mothers; their highest ambition to have five children and a beautiful house, their only fight to get and keep their husbands. They had no thought for the unfeminine problems of the world outside the home; they wanted the men to make the major decisions. They gloried in their role as women, and wrote proudly on the census blank: “Occupation: housewife.” For over fifteen years, the words written for women, and the words women used when they talked to each other, while their husbands sat on the other side of the room and talked shop or politics or septic tanks, were about problems with children, or how to keep their husbands happy, or improve their children’s school, or cook chicken or make slipcovers. Nobody argued whether women were inferior or superior to men; they were simply different. Words like “emancipation” and “career” sounded strange and embarrassing; no one had used them for years. When a Frenchwoman named Simone de Beauvoir wrote a book called The Second Sex, an American critic commented that she obviously “didn’t know what life was all about,” and besides, she was talking about French women. The “women problem” in American no longer existed. If a woman had a problem in the 1950’s and 1960’s, she knew that something must be wrong with her marriage, or with herself. Other women were satisfied with their lives, she thought. What kind of a woman was she if she did not feel this mysterious fulfillment waxing the kitchen floor?

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She was so ashamed to admit her dissatisfaction that she never knew how many other women shared it. If she tried to tell her husband, he didn’t understand what she was talking about. She did not really understand it herself. For over fifteen years women in America found it harder to talk about this problem than about sex. Even the psychoanalysts had no name for it. When a woman went to a psychiatrist for help, as many women did, she would say, “I’m so ashamed,” or “I must be hopelessly neurotic.” “I don’t know what’s wrong with women today,” a suburban psychiatrist said uneasily. “I only know something is wrong because most of my patients happen to be women. And their problem isn’t sexual.” Most women with this problem did not go to see a psychoanalyst, however, “There’s nothing wrong really,” they kept telling themselves. “There isn’t any problem.” But on April morning in 1959, I heard a mother of four, having coffee with four other mothers in a suburban development fifteen miles from New York, say in a tone of quiet desperation, “the problem.” And the others knew, without words, that she was not talking about a problem with her husband, or her children, or her home. Suddenly they realized they all shared the same problem, the problem that has no name. They began, hesitantly, to talk about it. Later, after they picked up their children at nursery school and taken them home to nap, two of the women cried, in sheer relief, just to know they were not alone.

m “What we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness but love and wisdom, and compassion” R O B E R T F. K E N N E D Y A N N O U N C E S T H E D E AT H O F M A RT I N L U T H E R K I N G , J R . On April 4, 1968, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated by James Earl Ray—a white man. That same evening Robert F. Kennedy was scheduled to speak to a Cleveland audience in a black neighborhood. Kennedy delivered the news of King’s death to the crowd.

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The brother of the assassinated president, Robert Kennedy spoke, without notes, of his own sadness over King’s death as well the anguish and hopes for the country. Unlike other cities where black neighborhoods erupted in riots, Cleveland did not. Two months later Kennedy, too, would be assassinated in a California hotel.

I have bad news for you, for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world, and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and killed tonight. Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice for his fellow human beings, and he died because of that effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it is perhaps well to ask what kind of nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you who are black—considering the evidence there evidently is that there were white people who were responsible—you can be filled with bitterness, with hatred, and a desire for revenge. We can move in that direction as a country, in great polarization—black people amongst black, white people amongst white, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand and to comprehend, and to replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand with compassion and love. For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and distrust at the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I can only say that I feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man. But we have to make an effort in the United States, we have to make an effort to understand, to go beyond these rather difficult times. My favorite poet was Aeschylus. He wrote, “In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.” What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice towards those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black. So I shall ask you tonight to return home, to say


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a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King, that’s true, but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love—a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke. We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times. We’ve had difficult times in the past. We will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; it is not the end of disorder. But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings who abide in our land. Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man, to make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for all our country and for our people.

m “He is not an artist, he is a jerk” JESSE HELMS Contemporary art has held a controversial place in America for most of the twentieth century, particularly after World War II with the rise of Expressionism in New York City. Jackson Pollock’s splattered paint, however, represented a uniquely American art form with a worldwide impact. Often incomprehensible and seemingly simple to conceive to the layman’s eye, contemporary artists have often been the subject of popular mockery. Undaunted, contemporary artists continued to push the envelope of artistic images, sometimes simply as a form of self-expression and sometimes as a way to provoke social commentary. While on the one hand they can be seen to represent an extreme of the American idea of free speech, their critics often belittle their work as self-referential or offensive. In 1989, the schism between contemporary artists and the general public reached a high-water mark with North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms’ condemnation of Andres Serrano’s “Piss Christ” that had received a National Endowment for the Arts subsidy. Outraged by the government’s endorsement of the image, he helped insert a restriction on future NEA expenditures prohibiting contributions for art that may be considered obscene. Helms’ remarks on the floor of the Senate and the artist’s response follow.

Mr. President,…I do not know Mr. Andres Serrano, and I hope I never meet him because he is not an artist, he is a jerk.

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Let us examine exactly what this bird did to get the American taxpayer to subsidize his $15,000 award through the so-called National Endowment for the Arts. Let me first say that if the Endowment has no better judgment than this, it ought to be abolished and all funds returned to the taxpayer. What this Serrano fellow did to create this blasphemy was to fill a bottle with his own urine and then he stuck a crucifix—the Lord Jesus Christ on a cross—down in the urine, set the bottle on a table and took a picture of it. For that, the National Endowment for the Arts contributed to a $15,000 award to honor him as an artist. I say again, Mr. President, he is not an artist. He is a jerk. He is taunting a large segment of the American people, just as others are, about their Christian faith. I resent it, and I do not hesitate to say so. I am not going to call the name that he applied to this work of art. In naming it he sought to create indignation, and let there be no question that he succeeded in that regard. It is all right for him to be a jerk but let him be a jerk on his own time and with his own resources. Do not dishonor the Lord. Again, I resent it and I think the vast majority of our American people resent the National Endowment for the Arts spending the taxpayers’ money to honor this individual. The Federal program which honored Mr. Serrano, called the Awards in Visual Arts, is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and administered by the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Arts. They call it SECCA and I am sorry to say it is in my home state. After Mr. Serrano’s selection, this deplorable photograph and some of his other works were exhibited in several cities around the country with the approval and the support of the National Endowment. Horsefeathers. If we have sunk so low in this country as to tolerate and condone this sort of thing, then we have become a part of it. The question is obvious. On what conceivable basis does anybody who would engage in such blasphemy and insensitivity toward the religious community deserve to be honored? The answer to that is that he does not. He deserves to be rebuked and

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ignored because he is not an artist. Anybody who would do such a despicable thing—and get a tax-subsidized award of $15,000 for it—well, it tells you something about the state of this government and the way it spends our hard-earned tax dollars. So no wonder all of the people calling my office are indignant. The Constitution may prevent the government from prohibiting Mr. Serrano’s—laughably, I will describe it—“artistic expression.” But the Constitution certainly does not require the American taxpayers or the federal government to fund, promote, honor, approve, or condone it. Mr. President, the National Endowment’s procedures for selecting artists and works of art deserving of taxpayer support are badly, badly flawed if this is an example of the kind of programs they fund with taxpayers’ money. I have sent word to the Endowment that I want them to review their funding criteria to ensure abuses such as this never happen again. The preliminary report we got from one person with whom we talked was sort of “Down, boy, we know what we are doing.” Well, they do not know what they are doing. By promoting, approving, and funding Mr. Serrano’s sacrilege, the National Endowment for the Arts has insulted the very precepts on which this country was founded. I say again, that as an American and as a taxpayer, I resent it.

m “In a free society ideas, even difficult ones, are not dangerous” ANDRES SERRANO

Letter to the National Endowment for the Arts I am concerned over recent events regarding the misrepresentation of my work in Congress and consequent treatment in the media. The cavalier and blasphemous intentions ascribed to me on the Congressional floor bear little resemblance to reality. I am disturbed that the rush to judgment by certain members of Congress has been particularly swift and vindictive.

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I am appalled by the claim of “anti-Christian bigotry” that has been attributed to my picture, “Piss Christ.” The photograph, and the title itself, are ambiguously provocative but certainly not blasphemous. Over the years, I have addressed religion regularly in my art. My Catholic upbringing informs this work which helps me to redefine and personalize my relationship with God. My use of such bodily fluids as blood and urine in this context is parallel to Catholicism’s obsession with “the body and blood of Christ.” It is precisely in the exploration and juxtaposition of these symbols from which Christianity draws its strength. The photograph in question, like all my work, has multiple meanings and can be interpreted in various ways. So let us suppose that the picture is meant as a criticism of the billion dollar Christ-for-profit industry and the commercialization of spiritual values that permeates our society. That it is a condemnation of those who abuse the teachings of Christ for their own ignoble ends. Is the subject of religion so inviolate that it is not open to discussion? I think not. In writing the majority opinion in the flag burning case, Justice William J. Brennan concluded, “We never before have held that the government may insure that a symbol be used to express one view of that symbol or it’s referents…. to conclude that the government may permit designated symbols to be used to communicate only a limited set of messages would be to enter into territory having no discernible or defensible boundaries.” Artists often depend on the manipulation of symbols to present ideas and associations not always apparent in such symbols. If all such ideas and associations were evident there would be little need for artists to give expression to them. In short, there would be no need to make art. Do we condemn the use of a swastika in a work of art that does not unequivocally denounce Nazism as anti-Semitic? Not when the artist is Jewish. Do we denounce as racist a painting or photograph that is demeaning to AfricanAmericans? Not if the artist is black. When art is decontextualised, however, it can pose a problem and create misunderstanding. Debate and discussion are at the heart of our democracy. In a free society ideas, even difficult ones, are not dangerous. The only danger lies in repressing them.


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m “I call it a fundamental break in the history of technology” GEORGE GILDER By the middle of the 1990s a new medium was emerging, connecting individuals across the globe via their personal computers. The Internet, originally an obscure governmental communications systems aimed at keeping defense engineers connected to each other, had grown into a national phenomenon. Although computer users initially could only communicate conveniently with text messages, the development of the “World Wide Web” made computer telecommunications a far more viable and attractive means of communication. George Gilder, a supply-side economist and prophet of the emergence of the Internet, wrote about the rise of this new technology for Forbes magazine in 1995.

What will it take to launch a new Bill Gates—an Archimedean man who sharply shifts the center of the sphere, alters the axis of technology and economy, and builds a new business empire on new foundations? Who can inherit the imperial throne in the microcosm and telecosm currently held by the Redmond Rockefeller? I will open the envelope in a minute. But first I want to tell you about a new software program called Netscape Navigator Personal Edition. I brought it back from Silicon Valley in late June and put the package next to my PC. The PC was proudly running a beta version of Windows 95. I had presented Windows 95 with great fanfare to my 11-year-old son Richard as his route to the most thrilling new frontiers of the computer world. Multitasking, 32-bit operation, flat memory! Object linking and embedding! “Information at your fingertips!” But, all in all, he preferred his Mac Quadra 840AV or even Windows 3.1. They don’t crash so often, he explained. I live out in the boondocks of western Massachusetts where there are no convenient full-service connections to the Internet. So I was much less excited about Netscape than I was about Windows 95. I hoped Windows 95 would put me on line through the Microsoft Network system. Some 10 minutes later, though, Richard wanted to know my credit car number so I could choose an Internet service provider. A couple of minutes after that, linked through internetMCI’s 800 number, Richard was on the World Wide Web, using the InfoSeek ser-

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vice to examine my chapters from Telecosm on line, searching the secrets of Sim City 2000 at Maxis, exchanging messages with Microsoft Flight Simulator buffs, and exploring Disney. As far as I know, he is still there. The next thing I knew, my brother Walter came by. He worked for a computer company, New World Technologies in Ashland, Mass., that builds customized Pentium machines and delivers them to value-added resellers within 48 hours. Walter wanted the Netscape program. He took it back to my parents’ farm down the road and booted it up on a four-megabyte 386SX Dynatech previously used to map the pedigrees of a flock of Romney sheep. Soon he was on the Web scouting out the competition from Dell and Micron and showing off the Gilder Web page. This intrigued my 77-year-old mother, who had scarcely even noticed a computer before. I don’t know how it happened, but before the night was out, she too was on the Web, exploring catalogs of British colleges for her namesake granddaughter who was soon to leave for London. Now let me tell you about my introduction to Java, a new programming language that menaces Microsoft’s software supremacy. I encountered Java in early June at a Sun Microsystems conference at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in downtown San Francisco. For a speech I was to give, I had planned to use a multimedia presentation, complete with Macro-Mind Director images and QuickTime video that I had contrived with an expensive professional some months earlier. The complexities of Director prompted me to convert the program to Astound. However, it required an external disk drive and ran erratically with the eight megabytes of RAM on my PowerBook. I decided to speak nakedly from notes on the coming technologies of sand and glass and air. Following me immediately to the stage was Sun’s amiable chief scientist, John Gage. He decided to illustrate his speech entirely from the World Wide Web. He began with a handsome page, contrived minutes before, giving an account of my speech, headlined: “Gilder Addresses Sun, Tells of Technologies of Opaque Silicon and Transparent Silicon.” Then he moved to the Gilder Telecosm archives run by Gordon Jacobson of Portman Communications at a Web site of the University of Pennsylvania’s engineering school. Gage illustrated his talk with real-time reports on traffic conditions in San Diego (where I was about to go), weather

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conditions in Florida as a hurricane loomed, and developments on Wall Street as IBM bid for Lotus. He showed the Nasdaq ticker running across the screen. He showed animations of relevant charts, cute little Java gymnasts cartwheeling across the screen, three-dimensional interactive molecular models and an overflowing coffee cup, entitled “HotJava.” None of his information and images used a desktop presentation program, whether from MacroMind or from Microsoft. None of them used a database engine, whether SQL or Oracular. Indeed, except for the Gilder speech report, none were created beforehand. Incurring no memory or disk drive problems, Gage summoned all the illustrations to his PowerBook directly from the Internet. The animations employed a new computer language, Java, written for the Web by the venerable Sun programmer James Gosling. Java allows transmission of executable programs to any computer connected to the Net to be interpreted and played safely and securely in real time. Clifford Stoll, calls it “Silicon snake oil.” But I call it a fundamental break in the history of technology. It is the software complement of the hollowing out of the computer described in Forbes ASAP (“The Bandwidth Tidal Wave,” December 5, 1994). Almost overnight, the CPU and its software have become peripheral; the network, central. I had been working on a presentation on my desktop computer, using an array of presentation software. But Gage improvised a more impressive and animated presentation without using any desktop presentation programs at all. The World Wide Web and the Java language were enough. Restricted to the files of my computer, I struggled with storage problems and incompatible research formats, while he used the storage capacity and information resources of more than five million host computers on the Net…. So, open the envelope. Let’s find a new Bill Gates. Start by adding 100 pounds of extra heft, half a foot of height and two further years of schooling, then make him $12.9 billion hungrier. Give him a gargantuan appetite for pizza and Oreos, Bach, newsprint, algorithms, ideas, John Barth, Nabokov, images, Unix code, bandwidth. Give him a nearly unspellable Scandinavian name—Marc Andreessen. Put him to work for $6.85 per hour at Illinois’s National Center for Supercomputing Applications

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(NCSA) writing 3D visualization code on a Silicon Graphics Indy for a Thinking Machine C-5 or a Cray YMP16. Surround him on all sides by the most advanced computers and software in the world, under the leadership of cybernetic visionary Larry Smarr. What will happen next? “Boredom,” Andreessen replies. Supercomputers, already at the end of their tether, turned out to be “underwhelming Unix machines.” Then, for a further image of the end of the world, take him in the fall of 1990 off to Austin, Tex., for two semesters at IBM. “They were going to take over the 3D graphics market, they were going to win the Malcolm Baldridge Award, they were going to blow Silicon Graphics [the regnant Silicon Valley 3D workstation company] off the map, all in six months.” Andreessen began by doing performance analysis and moved on to work on the operating system kernel. In mid-1991, after constant delays, the company was finally ready to ship a world-beating 3D engine. But the new IBM machine turned out to be four times slower at seven times the price of the equivalent Silicon Graphics hardware that IBM had bundled a year and a half earlier with its RS6000 RISC (reduced instruction set computing) workstation. Austin IBM returned to the drawing board and Andreessen returned to Illinois to get his degree. In both commercial and academic settings, Andreessen thus had the good fortune of working at the very heart of the old order of computing in its climactic phase. As Andreessen saw it, little of long-term interest was going on at either establishment. But both did command one huge and felicitous resource, vastly underused, and that was the Internet. “Designed for all the wrong reasons—to link some 2,000 scientists to a tiny number of supercomputers,” it had exploded into a global ganglion thronged by millions of people and machines. Many people saw the Internet as throbbing with hype and seething with problems—Clifford Stoll’s book, Silicon Snake Oil, catalogs many: the lack of security, substance, reliability, bandwidth, easy access, the presence of porn, fraud, frivolity and freaks guarantees, so he says, that no serious business can depend on it for critical functions. But to Andreessen the problems of the Internet are only the other side of its incredible virtues. “By usual standards,” says Andreessen, “the Internet was far from perfect. But the Internet finds


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its own perfection—in the millions of people that are able to use it and the hundreds of thousands who can provide services for it.” To Andreessen, all the problems signaled that he was at the center of the sphere, gazing in wild surmise at “a giant hole in the middle of the world”—the supreme opportunity of the age. Andreessen saw that, for all its potential, there was a monstrous incongruity at the heart of the Internet. Its access software was at least 10 years behind. “PC Windows had penetrated all the desktops, the Mac was a huge success, and point-andclick interfaces had become part of everyday life. But to use the Net you still had to understand Unix. You had to type FTP [file transfer protocol] commands by hand and you had to be able to do addressmapping in your head between IP addresses and host names and you had to know where all the FTP archives were, you had to understand IRC [Internet relay chat] protocols, you had to know how to use this particular news reader and that particular Unix shell prompt, and you pretty much had to know Unix itself to get anything done. And the current users had little interest in making it easier. In fact, there was a definite element of not wanting to make it easier, of actually wanting to keep the riffraff out.”… [The] real opportunity was to open the Internet to the world and the world to the Internet, and that would require more than a facility for cruising through textual materials. After all, the bulk of human bandwidth is in a person’s eyes and ears. For absorbing text, as Robert Lucky, author of Silicon Dreams, has pointed out, the speed limit is only some 55 bits per second. To burst open the Internet would require reaching out to the riffraff who travel through pictures and sounds at megahertz speeds. To critics of a more vulgar Net, such as Stoll, more riffraff sending a callipygian naked-lady bitmaps and voluminous digital ululations from the Grateful Dead and QuickTime first-step baby videos traipsing down the lines and wriggling through the routers would soon cause a gigantic crash. Even some of Andreessen’s main allies at the NCSA shared some of these fears. At CERN, Berners-Lee opposed images and video on these grounds. The technologists all held a narrowband view of the world, imagining bandwidth as an essentially scarce resource to be carefully husbanded by responsible citizens of the cybersphere.

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So Tim Berners-Lee alone could not burst open the Internet pinata and give it to the world. As Richard Wiggins, author of Internet for Everyone: A Guide for Users and Providers, observes, “During 1992 and early 1993, graphical Gopher clients for the Macintosh and Windows evolved, and it appeared that Gopher would outstrip the fledgling Web.” It was the ultimate broadband booster, Marc Andreessen, working with NCSA colleague Eric Bina, who ignited the Web rocket. One late December night in 1992 at the Espresso Royale cafe in Champaign-Urbana, Andreessen looked his friend Eric Bina in the eye and said: “Let’s go for it.” Every Gates has to have his Paul Allen (or Jobs, his Steve Wozniak). Andreessen’s is Bina—short and wiry where Andreessen is ursine, cautious where he is cosmic, focused where he is expansive, apprehensive where he is evangelical, bitwise where he is prodigal with bandwidth, ready to stay home and write the code where Andreessen is moving on to conquer the globe. Wildly contrasting but completely trusting and complementary, these two—in an inspired siege of marathon code-wreaking between January and March 1993—made Mosaic happen. A rich image-based program for accessing the World Wide Web and other parts of the Internet, Mosaic requires no more knowledge of its internal mechanics than is needed by the user of the steering wheel of a car. With a mere 9,000 lines of code (compared to Windows 95’s 11 million lines, including 3 million lines of MSN code), Mosaic would become the most rapidly propagated software program ever written. Andreessen could defy all the fears of an Internet image crash because he lived in a world of bandwidth abundance and fiber galore. He fully grasped the law of the telecosm. Every new host computer added to the Net would not only use the Net; it would also be a new resource for it, providing a new route for the bits and new room to store them. Every new flood of megabyte bitmaps would make the Net more interesting, useful and attractive, and increase the pressure for backbones running at gigabits per second and above. The Internet must be adapted to people with eyes and ears. They won’t abuse it, he assured Bina without a smile. After all, he knew he would have to rely on Bina for much of the graphics coding. “I was right,” Bina says now. “People abused it horribly. People would scan in a page of PostScript text in a bitmap, taking over a megabyte to display a

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page that would take maybe 1,000 bytes of text. But Marc was also right. As a result of the glitz and glitter, thousands of people wasted time to put in pretty pictures and valuable information on the Web, and millions of people use it.”… In the end, they had created an entirely new interface for the Internet and new communications software to render it crisply accessible—a look and feel that almost immediately struck everyone who used it as an amazing breakthrough. In February 1995, Bob Metcalfe wrote a column in InfoWorld predicting that Web browsers would become, in effect, the dominant operating system for the next era. Browsers are now ubiquitous. Every major company and many minor ones are building them. Some eight million people use them. IBM, AT&T, Novell, Microsoft, NetCom, Sun, Silicon Graphics, America Online, Net-Manage, Quarterdeck, Quadralay, Apple, SPRYNET, CompuServe, Frontier Technologies, Delphi, MCI, Wollongong, even the Spyglass spinoff from the NCSA—you name it—all these companies are building, licensing, enhancing or bundling a browser. Many of these ventures, led by Quarterdeck’s smart hotlists and “drag-and-drop” ease of use, have outpaced Mosaic and prompted a leapfrogging contest of can-you-top-this. That is what happens when an entrepreneur performs a truly revolutionary act, supplies the smallest missing factor, as Peter Drucker puts it, that can transform a jumble of elements into a working system—the minimal mutation that provokes a new paradigm. In 1977, the relevant jumble was small computers, microprocessors and assembly language programming. Bill Gates and Paul Allen supplied the key increment: software tools and the Basic language for the embryonic personal computer. In 1993, Andreessen and Bina set out to supply the minimal increment to convert the entire Net, with its then one to two million linked computers (today it’s an estimated seven million computers) and immense information resources, into a domain as readily accessible to an 11-yearold as a hard drive or CD-ROM on a Mac or Windows PC. As a result, the same forces of exploding bandwidth, the same laws of the telecosm that are wreaking revolution in hardware, hollowing out the computer—rendering the CPU peripheral and the network central—are also transforming software.

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All forms of desktop software—operating systems, applications and utilities—are becoming similarly peripheral. The ever-growing gigapedal resources of the Internet will always dwarf any powers and functions that can be distilled on a desktop or mobilized on the backplane of a supercomputer.

m “America can change” S E N AT O R B A R A C K O B A M A’ S SPEECH ON RACE IN PHILADELPHIA In the 2008 presidential primary, the Democratic Party seemed destined to change history. The two lead candidates were Hillary Clinton—wife of former President Bill Clinton—and Barack Obama, a U.S. senator from Illinois whose father came from Kenya. For the first time in United States history, the nominee of a major political party for president was not going to be a white man. At first Obama had largely avoided speaking in-depth on the issue of race in his campaign. But in early 2008, inflammatory comments by Obama’s longtime minister hit the national press. The issue spurred Obama to deliver a major speech on March 18, 2008, in Philadelphia. He drew upon his own personal story as a metaphor for the sense of unity he sought to bring to the nation’s divisive politics. Obama went on to win the primary and defeat Republican candidate John McCain for president. He became the first black president of the United States. Millions wept on Election Day. Even McCain noted the historic nature of the election in his speech acknowledging his own defeat. Instead of achieving Obama’s wish to overcome partisan politics, however, Republicans slammed Obama as a radical socialist for wanting to advance a traditional Democratic agenda, throwing roadblocks at almost every proposal he made. Further, liberal Democrats criticized Obama as “spineless” in his efforts to accommodate Republican opposition, leaving Obama seemingly alone and often ineffective in advancing his political agenda for change.

“We the people, in order to form a more perfect union.” Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America’s improbable experiment in democracy. Farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787.


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The document they produced was eventually signed but ultimately unfinished. It was stained by this nation’s original sin of slavery, a question that divided the colonies and brought the convention to a stalemate until the founders chose to allow the slave trade to continue for at least twenty more years, and to leave any final resolution to future generations. Of course, the answer to the slavery question was already embedded within our Constitution—a Constitution that had at its very core the ideal of equal citizenship under the law; a Constitution that promised its people liberty, and justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time. And yet words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States. What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part—through protests and struggle, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience, and always at great risk—to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time. This was one of the tasks we set forth at the beginning of this campaign—to continue the long march of those who came before us, a march for a more just, more equal, more free, more caring, and more prosperous America. I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together—unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction—towards a better future for our children and our grandchildren. This belief comes from my unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people. But it also comes from my own American story. I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. I was raised with the help of a white grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Patton’s Army during World War II and a white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas. I’ve gone to some of the best schools in America and lived in one of the world’s poorest nations. I am married to a black American who carries within her the

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blood of slaves and slave owners—an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters. I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles, and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible. It’s a story that hasn’t made me the most conventional candidate. But it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts—that out of many, we are truly one. Throughout the first year of this campaign, against all predictions to the contrary, we saw how hungry the American people were for this message of unity. Despite the temptation to view my candidacy through a purely racial lens, we won commanding victories in states with some of the whitest populations in the country. In South Carolina, where the Confederate flag still flies, we built a powerful coalition of African Americans and white Americans. This is not to say that race has not been an issue in the campaign. At various stages in the campaign, some commentators have deemed me either “too black” or “not black enough.” We saw racial tensions bubble to the surface during the week before the South Carolina primary. The press has scoured every exit poll for the latest evidence of racial polarization, not just in terms of white and black, but black and brown as well. And yet, it has only been in the last couple of weeks that the discussion of race in this campaign has taken a particularly divisive turn. On one end of the spectrum, we’ve heard the implication that my candidacy is somehow an exercise in affirmative action; that it’s based solely on the desire of wide-eyed liberals to purchase racial reconciliation on the cheap. On the other end, we’ve heard my former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, use incendiary language to express views that have the potential not only to widen the racial divide, but views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation; that rightly offend white and black alike. I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could

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be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely—just as I’m sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed. But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial. They weren’t simply a religious leader’s effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country—a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam. As such, Reverend Wright’s comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems—two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis, and potentially devastating climate change; problems that are neither black or white or Latino or Asian, but rather problems that confront us all. . . . As imperfect as [Reverend Wright] may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions—the good and the bad—of the community that he has served diligently for so many years. I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother—a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe. These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love. . . . [R]ace is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. We would be making the same mistake that Reverend Wright made in his

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offending sermons about America—to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality. . . . Understanding this reality requires a reminder of how we arrived at this point. As William Faulkner once wrote, “The past isn’t dead and buried. In fact, it isn’t even past.” We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country. But we do need to remind ourselves that so many of the disparities that exist in the African-American community today can be directly traced to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. Segregated schools were, and are, inferior schools; we still haven’t fixed them, fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, and the inferior education they provided, then and now, helps explain the pervasive achievement gap between today’s black and white students. Legalized discrimination—where blacks were prevented, often through violence, from owning property, or loans were not granted to African-American business owners, or black homeowners could not access FHA mortgages, or blacks were excluded from unions, or the police force, or fire departments— meant that black families could not amass any meaningful wealth to bequeath to future generations. That history helps explain the wealth and income gap between black and white, and the concentrated pockets of poverty that persists in so many of today’s urban and rural communities. A lack of economic opportunity among black men, and the shame and frustration that came from not being able to provide for one’s family, contributed to the erosion of black families—a problem that welfare policies for many years may have worsened. And the lack of basic services in so many urban black neighborhoods—parks for kids to play in, police walking the beat, regular garbage pickup, and building code enforcement—all helped create a cycle of violence, blight, and neglect that continue to haunt us. This is the reality in which Reverend Wright and other African Americans of his generation grew up. They came of age in the late fifties and early sixties, a time when segregation was still the law of the land and opportunity was systematically constricted. What’s remarkable is not how many failed in the face of discrimination, but rather how many men and women overcame the odds; how many were able


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to make a way out of no way for those like me who would come after them. But for all those who scratched and clawed their way to get a piece of the American Dream, there were many who didn’t make it—those who were ultimately defeated, in one way or another, by discrimination. That legacy of defeat was passed on to future generations—those young men and increasingly young women who we see standing on street corners or languishing in our prisons, without hope or prospects for the future. Even for those blacks who did make it, questions of race, and racism, continue to define their worldview in fundamental ways. For the men and women of Reverend Wright’s generation, the memories of humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away; nor has the anger and the bitterness of those years. That anger may not get expressed in public, in front of white coworkers or white friends. But it does find voice in the barbershop or around the kitchen table. At times, that anger is exploited by politicians, to gin up votes along racial lines or to make up for a politician’s own failings. . . . In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don’t feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience—as far as they’re concerned, no one’s handed them anything; they’ve built it from scratch. They’ve worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero-sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they’re told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time. Like the anger within the black community, these resentments aren’t always expressed in polite company. But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation. Anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan coalition. Politicians routinely exploited fears of

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crime for their own electoral ends. Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism. Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle-class squeeze—a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests; economic policies that favor the few over the many. And yet, to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns—this too widens the racial divide and blocks the path to understanding. This is where we are right now. It’s a racial stalemate we’ve been stuck in for years. Contrary to the claims of some of my critics, black and white, I have never been so naive as to believe that we can get beyond our racial divisions in a single election cycle, or with a single candidacy—particularly a candidacy as imperfect as my own. But I have asserted a firm conviction—a conviction rooted in my faith in God and my faith in the American people—that working together we can move beyond some of our old racial wounds, and that in fact we have no choice if we are to continue on the path of a more perfect union. For the African-American community, that path means embracing the burdens of our past without becoming victims of our past. It means continuing to insist on a full measure of justice in every aspect of American life. But it also means binding our particular grievances—for better health care, and better schools, and better jobs—to the larger aspirations of all Americans—the white woman struggling to break the glass ceiling, the white man who’s been laid off, the immigrant trying to feed his family. And it means taking full responsibility for own lives—by demanding more from our fathers, and spending more time with our children, and reading to them, and teaching them that while they may face challenges and discrimination in their own lives, they must never succumb to despair or cynicism; they must always believe that they can write their own destiny. Ironically, this quintessentially American—and, yes, conservative—notion of self-help found frequent

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expression in Reverend Wright’s sermons. But what my former pastor too often failed to understand is that embarking on a program of self-help also requires a belief that society can change. The profound mistake of Reverend Wright’s sermons is not that he spoke about racism in our society. It’s that he spoke as if our society was static; as if no progress has been made; as if this country—a country that has made it possible for one of his own members to run for the highest office in the land and build a coalition of white and black, Latino and Asian, rich and poor, young and old—is still irrevocably bound to a tragic past. But what we know—what we have seen—is that America can change. That is the true genius of this nation. What we have already achieved gives us hope—the audacity to hope—for what we can and must achieve tomorrow. . . . For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle, as we did in the O.J. trial; or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina; or as fodder for the nightly news. We can play Reverend Wright’s sermons on every channel, every day, and talk about them from now until the election, and make the

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only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she’s playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies. We can do that. But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we’ll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change. That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, “Not this time.” This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children. This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can’t learn; that those kids who don’t look like us are somebody else’s problem. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st century economy. Not this time. . . .


coming in february 2012 An essential collection of 569 documents, which explores the events, both major and minor, that have shaped our nation.

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panning three centuries, the documents included in The American Experience tell the history of our country through the eyes of those who lived during its most seminal and pivotal moments. These are the firsthand words of the famous, the infamous, the powerful, and the downtrodden, and they come in many forms including speeches, articles, essays, public records, landmark legal documents, poems and songs, and more. Organized chronologically, the documents collected here follow the threads of our history as they weave their way from the creation of the republic in its nascent years through civil war and reconstruction; the progressive era; boom, bust, and the New Deal; world wars; the Cold War; and social upheaval of every kind. Some of the more than five hundred documents in The American Experience include:

The Iroquois Federation Constitution • Barack Obama’s Philadelphia speech on race • Transcripts from the Salem Witch Trial • Roe v. Wade • The Declaration of Independence • The Federalist Papers • The Monroe Doctrine • Baseball’s Original Rules • “I Have a Dream” • Henry David Thoreau on Civil Disobedience • Sojourner Truth on Women’s Suffrage • Ulysses S. Grant on the assault at Cold Harbor • The G.I. Bill • Journals of Lewis & Clark • George W. Bush’s 9/11 speech • George Washington’s farewell address • The Louisiana Purchase • The Kinsey Report • and hundreds more

The American Experience T h e H i s t o r y a n d C u lt u r e o f t h e U n i t e d S t at e s

through Speeches, Letters, Essays, Articles, Poems, Songs, and Stories

E r ik B r uun has been a reporter, editor, and freelance writer for more than twenty years. His books include American Values and Virtues and Voices of Protests: Documents of Courage and Dissent. He and his family live near Great Barrington, MA. J a y C r osb y is a history teacher and coach at Riverdale Country School in the Bronx, NY and executive director of Somarela Fund. He and his family live in Brooklyn, NY.

ISBN-13:978-1-57912-907-1 No. 81907 7 ¼ “ x 9 ¼ “ Paperback 896 pages $26.95 Can./£15.95 U.K./$29.99 Aus. $22.95 U.S.

Published by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc. www.blackdogandleventhal.com Distributed by Workman Publishing Group

advance uncorrected sample reader—not for sale For publicity please contact Sally Feller 212-647-9336x102; sally@blackdogandleventhal.com

Edited by Erik Bruun and Jay Crosby

Copyright ©2011 Black Dog & Leventhal

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THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE Sampler  

COMING FEBRUARY 2012 The History and Culture of the United States through Speeches, Letters, Essays, Articles, Poems, Songs, and Stories. An...