The Mayflower Compact III

Lead: In the movement toward representative government in the English and American experience there bumps in the road. Despite their intentions as expressed in the Mayflower Compact the Pilgrims’ settlement in Massachusetts did not lead to greater democracy.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The main problem for the Pilgrims, the first of the puritan sects to immigrate to Massachusetts Bay after 1620, was that they needed the talents and participation of all who settled there. Originally the voters in town meetings and eventually the General Court of the colony were called freeman, but being a freeman carried important obligations. You had to show up at the annual meeting of the Court to vote. To miss this resulted in a heavy fine. As the colony spread out and distance became an issue, it became clear that many settlers could not or would become freeman. Anxious to hold the loyalty of all colonists, in 1638 The General Court voted to allow communities to elect representatives or deputies to conduct the business of the colony. Though only freemen could serve as deputies or colonial officials, all male colonials who had taken a loyalty oath and were head of a family could vote.

The Mayflower Compact II

Lead: The Mayflower Compact of 1620 committed the Pilgrims to a just and equal government in their new colony on Massachusetts Bay. Its roots can be traced in surprising directions, but its legacy probably did not lead to increased democracy.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: One of the fascinating characteristics of democracy as it developed in England and the United States is that democratic institutions resist ideology and tend to promote consensus. Among the early proponents of freer representative government were religious ideologues such as the puritans. They championed the parliamentary cause in two civil wars against King Charles I in the 1640s and many fled to the colonies of Massachusetts Bay after 1620. Their purpose was to secure the right to worship as they chose and to create a godly commonwealth.

The Mayflower Compact I

Lead: One of the icons of American democracy is the Mayflower Compact, the Pilgrim’s signed commitment in November 1620 to justice and equality in local government. The chance to govern themselves and pursue their religious impulses was a long time coming.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When the tiny square-rigged Mayflower delivered its human cargo of 102 settlers out of their long, difficult Atlantic crossing into what would become the Cape Cod harbor of Provincetown in late 1620, the leaders of the expedition, later called Pilgrims, were nearing the end of a long sojourn. They were Separatists and represented a tiny radical outgrowth of the English puritan movement, an informal network mostly worshipping within the Church of England. Puritans were vigorous proponents of the doctrines articulated by John Calvin and wished to “purify” and remove all remaining vestiges of Roman Catholicism within the Anglican structure.

Battle of Marathon II

Lead: The victory of the Greek forces at the Battle of Marathon helped set the course of western development.

Intro.: "A Moment In Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: The ever-expanding Persian empire under Cyrus the Great, Darius and Xerxes came to a halt as it collided with the Greek city-states and their colonies on the Aegean Sea. A powerful invasion force landed at the Bay of Marathon, twenty miles northeast of Athens, in the fall of 490 BC. As was often the case, the democratic Athenians were busy arguing who would command their army even as the Persians were at the gates. Finally, one of the generals, Miltiades, persuaded Callimachus, a civil official, to break the impasse and vote to attack the Persians first. Apparently there was evidence that some Athenians were sympathetic with the invaders and if the City waited too long the seeds of betrayal would undermine its resistance.

Battle of Marathon I

Lead: On the plain at Marathon, Greek armies met a much larger Persian invasion force. For a time, the outcome was in doubt.

Intro.: "A Moment In Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 500 BCE the Persian Empire stretched from India to the shores of the Black Sea. From their capital at Persepolis, Cyrus the Great and his successors, Darius and Xerxes, extended the borders and generally benevolent rule of Persia to most of the civilized world. As they moved west the Persians began to encounter those regions colonized by the major city-states of Greece.

John Singleton Mosby

Lead: After Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, the Confederacy’s premier partisan, John Singleton Mosby, had to decide how spend the rest of his life.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.          

Content: John Mosby grew up in rural Virginia, graduated from the University in Charlottesville and established a law practice in Bristol. When the Commonwealth seceded he volunteered for service in the Cavalry, fought at the First Battle of Manassas and rose to the rank of Lieutenant. An excellent scout, throughout the summer and fall of 1862, he conducted reconnaissance patrols for General J.E.B. Stuart in Northern Virginia.

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The Trial of John Peter Zenger

Lead: In the summer of 1735, the jury in the trial of New York publisher John Peter Zenger helped establish primary freedoms secured in the Constitution of the United States. 

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts. 

Content: In 1731 William Cosby was appointed colonial Royal Governor of New York. He quickly established a reputation as arrogant, greedy and corrupt. His popularity plummeted in part due to bitter criticism in the pages of The New York Journal. While much of impetus for this censure came from the financiers of the Journal who were part of an equally unscrupulous anti-Cosby faction in the city, the governor’s fury was directed at John Peter Zenger, the Journal’s publisher.

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FDR Friendly Conspiracy with the Press

Lead: Few people knew that Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a man of immense energy and enthusiasm, in the prime of life, was crippled by polio.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: FDR was an up-and-coming politician. He had been the Assistant Secretary of the Navy during World War I, received the Democrat nomination for Vice-president, campaigned vigorously with James M. Cox and with him was buried in the Republican landslide of 1920. Then a painful tragedy struck his life and interrupted his steady political assent. While vacationing on Canada's Campobello Island in August, 1921 he was stricken with a severe case of poliomyelitis, for a time was almost completely paralyzed, and lost the use of his legs.