History’s Turning Points: The Death of Chastity I

 

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider one of history’s great social turning points – the death of chastity.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The expectation that a woman had to remain chaste, a virgin, until marriage or at least until engagement, had been around for millennia. The purpose of sex had been to make babies, propagate the species, extend the family, and in that process women were seen to play the essential role, the depository of the seed of life. It was thought that female chastity was essential. That the other half of the population, the male half, was not expected to maintain quite the same level of virtuous existence became increasingly seen as a double-standard in the modern era. Suddenly women had an ally, a tiny chemical wafer – the Pill - that helped redress an ancient gender imbalance. Now the act of sex could be severed from procreation. The rules governing chastity were being repealed. The invention and wide availability of the Pill sat upon one of history’s great turning points.

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A House Divided: Total War I

Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is "A House Divided."

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: War has never been pretty. Even when armies and nations attempted to regulate the conduct of warfare, for centuries non-combatants were inevitably drawn into the pain and suffering, their livelihoods, farms, homes, children, and the elderly. Long before the 20th century perfection of total war when machines of destruction rained down their devastation on enemy soldiers and their home-bound families alike, a glimpse of such coming horror played itself out in the States of Georgia and South Carolina during the American Civil War. The artist who sketched this gruesome canvas was Major General William Tecumseh Sherman who, if not the author of total war, was certainly one of its most visible early practitioners.

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America’s Revolution: Taxation Without Representation III

 

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Severe financial burdens resulting from British involvement in the French and Indian War caused the government in London to seek revenues from the thirteen North American colonies, essentially to pay for a peaceful frontier and oceans free for colonial commerce. Surprisingly there were calls by some in Britain proposing colonial representation in Parliament. Adam Smith, Edmund Burke and for a time, Benjamin Franklin, Pennsylvania’s representative in London, advocated some form of Colonial seats in the commons, but these proposals went nowhere and were not revived until long after the beginning of open hostilities in the late 1770s. Ironically, American radicals ultimately squelched the idea of colonial representation. They were convinced that if there were Americans seated at Westminster, there would be no restraint on Parliamentary enthusiasm for draining colonial pockets. Better to argue that Parliament had no right to tax the colonies, period.

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America’s Revolution: Taxation Without Representation II

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: One of the important catalysts of the American Revolution was the French and Indian War and the crushing financial burden the war laid upon Great Britain. By 1763 the national debt was in excess of 120 million pounds, much of it expended to protect the North American colonies and take Canada from the French. The British people were being squeezed dry to pay for the war. The government of King George III thought it reasonable to tax the colonies to pay for their own defense. This was not an unreasonable course of action. Boston, even with a population of only 15,000, was the third largest port in terms of shipping tonnage in the English speaking world, behind Bristol and London. The British Navy made that trade possible and Americans contributed not one pound to naval support.

America’s Revolution: Taxation Without Representation I

 

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: It is hard to believe, but as late as 1770 most people living in the colonies of North America thought of themselves as loyal subjects of the British Crown. Except for a few radicals, most Americans considered themselves ordinary faithful Englishmen who just happened to live 3000 miles to the west of the Irish Sea. In just six short years a Congress of the colonies had declared independence and was raising an army to banish the rule of King George III forever. The reason: taxes.

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History’s Turning Points: History’s Tricks

 

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. This series on A Moment in Time examines history’s turning points.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In his first volume of Reason in Common Sense, the Spanish-born Harvard philosopher Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás, more popularly known as George Santayana, was attempting to explain the true nature of progress. He asserted that retentiveness is an essential part of change, bringing something of value from the past. Absent the coach of experience, change, much less progress, cannot lead to improvement in the future. Misquoted and paraphrased in countless ways over the years, his most famous aphorism describes life unprotected by the values of past experience as like unto that among savages where infancy is everlasting. He wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

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A House Divided: Team of Rivals I

Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is "A House Divided."

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: It is hardly an exaggeration to say that in winter and spring 1861 Abraham Lincoln faced a daunting series of challenges. Not only was the Republic disintegrating, with state after state pulling out of the Union, the elected but not-yet-sworn-in Chief Magistrate had to watch helplessly as events spun out of control with no power to arrest what was clearly becoming a slide into chaos.

 

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A House Divided: Missouri Secession I

Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is "A House Divided."

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the early months of 1861 the leadership of both North and South were engaged in a delicate minuet to enlarge or diminish the numbers of states signing up for the new Confederacy. The upper south, Tennessee, North Carolina and especially Virginia had departed the Union by springtime. It remained to be seen if the slave border states Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri, would follow.

 

 

 

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