Spanish Cultural Diversity – III

                Lead:      In 1978 Spain adopted its first post-Franco Constitution. Included was an innovative way of giving regions a certain amount of self-government. In the time since, Spain has created seventeen autonomous communities.


Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: In the run-up to and aftermath of the American Revolution, thirteen independent colonies or states came together to form the United States. The Constitution provides that powers not specifically granted to the federal government were retained by the states. States gave up some of their powers and kept others. The struggle to fix the powers of federal and state governments is one of the great disputes in American history. Spain developed differently. Beginning in the medieval period, the Christian kingdoms of Castile and Aragon conquered Spain and unified its various regions under a strong central royal government. Despite powerful regional aspirations toward some degree of self-government, particularly in Catalonia the area around Barcelona and in the Basque region of the north, central government power nearly always trumped regional or provincial desires.

The Alien and Sedition Acts – III

Lead: Attempting to damage their political enemies, Thomas Jefferson’s Republicans, in 1798 the Federalist majority in Congress put the final nail in their own political coffin.


                Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts


                Content: Anger against France was in the air. War seemed imminent. The people were aroused and the Federalists in Congress, alarmed at the growing power of republican followers of Thomas Jefferson, decided to settle some political scores. They passed and pressed an allegedly reluctant President John Adams to sign, the Alien Acts and the Sedition Act, three of the most reprehensible pieces of legislation in U.S. history. The Alien Acts more than doubled the time immigrants had to live in the U.S. before achieving citizenship and, in addition, allowed the President to unilaterally deport foreigners he considered dangerous. The Sedition Act provided penalties for those convicted of criticizing the U.S., the Congress or the President.

The Alien and Sedition Acts – II

                Lead: With war with France imminent and political emotions at a fever pitch, in 1798 the Federalist majority in Congress went after Thomas Jefferson’s Republicans. They passed the reprehensible Alien and Sedition Acts.


                Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: When war threatens a democracy, one of the first casualties washed away by the people’s anger and fear is rational thought. In World War II perfectly patriotic Japanese Americans were tossed into concentration camps all over the Western United States in careless disregard for their constitutional rights simply to address the irrational fears of the American public. This is a regularly occurring theme in U.S. History.

Alien and Sedition Acts – I

                Lead: During the 1790s, partly in response to war fever, but also as an assault on their political enemies the Republicans, the Federalist majority in Congress passed three of the most reprehensible laws in U.S. History, the Alien Acts and Sedition Act.


                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: In the history of the United States there are probably only two periods during which the Republic’s survival was seriously threatened. The most obvious time of peril was in the 1860s. There were armies, Southern armies, in the field engaged in open and mutinous rebellion. With Abraham Lincoln determined to prevent a dissolution of the Union and willing to commit arms to that enterprise, the nation decided on the battlefield and with the blood of its children the two great issues of state sovereignty and slavery.

John Wesley – II

Lead: John Wesley returned from America in 1737 deeply dissatisfied with his performance as a clergyman and missionary. He was seeking something deeper and said he found it in a heart strangely warmed.


Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: Wesley was a typical orthodox, apparently devout Anglican clergyman in 1737, but his purely intellectual commitment to Christianity and his failed performance as a missionary to the colony of Georgia in the previous two years, awakened in him a powerful sense of despair and spiritual collapse. While in Georgia he had a chance meeting with a group of Moravians, a pietistic sect founded by German Count Nickolaus Zinzendorf. When Wesley returned to London he began to meet with the Moravians and in 1738 during a meeting in Aldersgate Street, had a spiritual encounter he later described as transformative. He recalled his intellectual conviction of the faith confirmed by a strangely warmed heart and a personal religious experience of grace.

John Wesley – I

Lead: In 1738 a little known and skeptical Anglican clergyman, freshly returned from a failed mission to America, encountered what he later described as divine assurance of salvation. From that point, John Wesley’s life was changed.


                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: John Wesley’s father was a pastor, rector of the small congregation at Epworth not far from the town of Doncaster in east central England. He was the ninth of thirteen children.  Educated at the Charterhouse School in London and Christ Church College, Oxford he assisted his father for several years and entered the Anglican priesthood in 1728. The following year he returned to Oxford to teach and there with his brother Charles and two companions formed a religious study group, which came to be known as the Holy Club. Their methodical approach to study and piety also earned them the uncomplimentary name, “methodists.” The group studied the Bible, visited and counseled prisoners in the castle jail, and distributed food and clothing to the poor. For this activity their fellow students hounded them, but under John Wesley’s leadership the group had modest growth.

Entente Cordiale – II

Lead: With their dominance of world affairs under challenge, long-term antagonists France and Britain in the 1850s gingerly began to explore the possibilities of alliance. This process was confirmed in 1904 in the Entente Cordiale.


                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


Content: Henry John Temple Palmerston was British Foreign Secretary for most of the period 1830-1851. He also served as Prime Minister in the 1850s. He was the first prominent politician to describe post-1830 Anglo-French relations as entente cordiale, as a warm understanding. In that year France had abandoned forever the old Bourbon monarchy and embarked on a stumbling course towards liberal democracy. Once that happened, Britain, with varying degrees of enthusiasm and not a little skepticism at times, moved toward a closer relationship France. This would not yield an official coalition until early in the next century but with the help of prominent leaders such as Palmerston and, ironically, French President and then Emperor Louis-Napoleon III, France and Britain moved slowly but surely in the direction of alliance. 


Entente Cordiale – I

Lead: Relations between the French and the British were wary at best from the middle ages. They were antagonists until an even greater threat brought them together.


                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: In 1066 William, Duke of Normandy, a province in Northwestern France, invaded southern England and defeated the Saxon ruling house at the Battle of Hastings. Gradually his henchmen supplanted the Saxon nobility and England was dominated by French rulers and directly embroiled in French affairs at least until the end of the Hundred Years War in the 1450s. As the centuries passed, these two great national states circled around each other with a wariness that bordered on antagonism, sometimes seeking détente, sometimes in open conflict.