The Raft of the Medusa, Art Driving Politics

Lead: Theodore Gericault (Tay aw DAWR ZHAY ree KOH), The Raft of the Medusa (1818-1819), depicted a human tragedy of epic proportions. It was a political embarrassment to the post-Napoleonic French monarchy.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Gericault’s painting, approximately 16 X 23 ft., hangs in the Louvre. It portrays the horrific experience of some of the survivors of the French frigate Medusa, which ran aground off the West African coast of Senegal in July 1816. The painting depicts suffering survivors on a drifting raft at sea. Medusa, carrying 400 passengers, was the flagship of a small fleet commissioned take back possession of the port of Saint-Louis after a period of occupation by the British.

 

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Jamestown Journey: Compromise of 1833

Lead: Conflict over a protective tariff almost produced Civil War in the United States in 1833.

Intro.: Dan Roberts and A Moment in Time, with Jamestown - Journey of Democracy, tracing the global advance of democratic ideals since the founding of Jamestown, Virginia in 1607.

Angered over protective tariffs which benefited northern industry and hurt southern farmers, southerners, led by United States Vice-President John C. Calhoun of South Carolina in the early 1830s, advocated nullification. If states were convinced the Federal government had passed laws that were unconstitutional, they could nullify them, declare them inoperative inside their state's boundaries.

 

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Jamestown Journey: Delaware is the First State

Lead: Small in size and population, Delaware was the first state to ratify the new Constitution of the United States.

Intro.: Dan Roberts and A Moment in Time with Jamestown - Journey of Democracy, tracing the global advance of democratic ideals since the founding of Jamestown, Virginia in 1607.

Content: After struggling for a decade with an ineffectual national charter, The Articles of Confederation, going disaffection, anarchy on the frontier of several states, the delegates of the several states met in Philadelphia in the late spring of 1787 to try to make something better. After a summer of argument and debate and compromise the delegates initialed the document and sent it out to the states for ratification. Benjamin Franklin said, "There are several parts of this Constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them." He accepted the Constitution, however, "because I expect no better and because I am not sure that it is not the best."

 

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Jamestown Journey: Decision, 1861 II

Lead: In Spring 1861, the nation held its breath. Would Virginia remain with the union or become the leader of the Confederacy?

 Intro.: Dan Roberts and A Moment in Time with Jamestown - Journey of Democracy, tracing the global advance of democratic ideals since the founding of Jamestown, Virginia in 1607.

Content: In that spring of great discontent, Virginians were in a quandary. While deep South sentiment had been more unified -- lopsided majorities have voted for leaving -- opinion was much more constructive in the Commonwealth. Many Virginians, primarily in some western counties, firmly opposed disunion.

 

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