Frederic Douglass I

Lead: "All the other speakers seemed tame after Frederick Douglass. He stood there like an African Prince, majestic in his wrath."Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Elizabeth Cady Stanton knew her activists. It was an age of moral agitation and she would go on to great fame at the side of Susan B. Anthony in the service of women's rights. That day in the mid-1800s when Frederick Douglass spoke to an antislavery meeting in Boston, Stanton was as moved as the rest at the sound of his voice and the moral imperative of his message.

Douglass was an escaped slave. Raised by his grandmother on a Chesapeake Bay plantation, at the age of six he began his work under Captain Aaron Anthony, the white farm manager and, so some of the slaves said, Frederick's father. In later years, he would make vivid to audiences throughout the North the picture of life as a slave.

Compromise of 1833 IV

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

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: 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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Compromise of 1833 III

Lead: The debate over a protective tariff nearly brought the United States to Civil War in 1833.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the late 1820s, Northern manufacturers wanted a high tariff to protect their businesses from foreign competition. Southern farmers despised protective tariffs. They wanted free trade to buy cheaper goods from Europe and to discourage other countries from imposing retaliatory tariffs which made it harder to sell Southern rice and cotton overseas.

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Compromise of 1833 II

Lead: In late 1832 the state of South Carolina declared that it had the right to nullify or ignore Federal law within its boundaries.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: At its heart, the U.S. Constitution was a compromise, more precisely, it was a series of compromises, between rural and urban areas, between small states and large ones, between those living on the frontier and maritime interests on the coast, between slaveholders and those opposed to this institution and embarrassed by its glaring violation of the nation's ideals.

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Compromise of 1833 I

Lead: There are several themes of conflict or faultlines that run through United States History. One of the most important is the tension between Federal and local government.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After the failure of the first post-revolutionary experiment in government, the Articles of Confederation, it became clear to the founders that if the United States was to grow and prosper, the individual states must surrender a significant portion of their power to the national government. The Constitution and its first ten amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, gave certain responsibilities to the central regime among which were foreign policy, the declaration of war, and the federal judiciary. However, the Constitution specifically retained significant power in the hands of the states and also left many other questions to be decided in the future.

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Homer Plessy and Separate but Equal

Lead: On June 8, 1892 a New Orleans shoemaker tried to roll back the onrushing tide of resurgent white supremacy and he lost.

Intro.: This is "A Moment in Time."

Content: Homer A. Plessy was born a month before the Union Navy took New Orleans out of the Civil War in 1862. His parents were free, French-speaking, Roman Catholic blacks part of a racial and social mix that lent that port city such a rich cosmopolitan flavor. In few places in the pre-war deep South were people of color offered the chances for advancement they had in New Orleans and in the two decades after the South's defeat these opportunities continued to grow. In the years following the end of reconstruction, the white majority began to take back the rank and privilege denied them by a victorious north. Gone were the Federal troops which protected and registered black voters. Vanished were the Black Republican majorities in the state legislatures. Disappearing also at this time was the consensus in the North that had help forge the Union victory. Weary of war and the expense of Reconstruction, northerners were losing interest in the civil rights of blacks. One Illinois paper put it, "The Negro is now a voter and a citizen. Let him hereafter take his chances in the battle of life."

Nat Turner, Slave Rebellion III

Lead: In the summer of 1831, Nat Turner, a religious mystic convinced that God had called him as a prophet, led a group of followers on a bloody rampage through south-side Virginia in the most serious slave rebellion in U.S. history.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Nat Turner was a gifted and powerful, mesmerizing slave preacher. Nearly all his life Nat Turner could read and write. His owners from the early days encouraged him to read those portions of the Bible that tell slaves to live lives of dutiful and submissive obedience. Yet, he also read subversive portions of the scriptures that gave him hope that one day he might achieve freedom. By the mid-1820s, Nat Turner was attracting large groups of slaves to his preaching services on Sundays near Cross Keys in Southampton County or down near the North Carolina border.

Nat Turner, Slave Rebellion II

Lead: Even as a child, people could tell Nat Turner was exceptional. His intelligence and physical presence marked him for leadership in the slave community of south-side Virginia.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Benjamin Turner owned a small plantation outside the town of Cross Keys in the Virginia county of Southampton, nestled on the North Carolina border 70 miles southeast of Richmond. His land was heavily forested and only about 100 acres were under cultivation. It was enough, however, for him to afford to keep slaves, the mark of status in the South, and in 1799 he bought a slave woman freshly arrived from Africa. He named her Nancy and in the next year she gave birth to Nathaniel.