A House Divided: Emancipation Strategy III

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: Southerners were determined to preserve slavery and willing to fight for the independence that would insure that institution’s continuance. Northern Democrats supported the Union but were split between those who favored the war to force the South to give up its quest for independence and those who wished to treat with the South to effect a voluntary restoration of national unity. Yet, both War and Peace Democrats were absolutely opposed to any notion of interfering with slavery. They were united in their desire to preserve a white America and rejected abolition in any form.

 

A House Divided: Emancipation Strategy II

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: American political parties are essentially coalitions with a variety of opinions and social and economic impulses gathered under a single political tent organized to recruit, fund, and elect candidates for office at various levels. The bigger the tent, so the theory goes, the greater the party’s success.

 

 

A House Divided: Emancipation Strategy 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: When the Civil War began there was a decided difference in its perceived purpose North and South. The Confederacy desired its independence primarily so that it might preserve its way of life, most particularly the institution of slavery. Southerners were quite clear. The Yankees could let them go out of the Union without a fight, but they would indeed fight if pressed, and their purpose was to maintain slavery. The Southern constitution expressly protects the institution of slavery and the ownership of slaves. Though a minority of Southerners actually owned slaves, the Confederate enterprise, its economy, its society, and its military initiatives and strategy were all designed to preserve that peculiar institution. Asserting states’ rights was the South’s clarion intellectual formulation, but the region departed the Union because it clearly saw that with every passing year American society was become more and more hostile to the state’s rights in maintaining slavery. 

 

Emancipation of Brazil’s Slaves

Lead: The abolition of slavery in Brazil was due in large part to the influence of two courageous but pragmatic rulers.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Brazil was one of the few Latin American countries to gain peacefully its independence from European rule. During Napoleon's invasion of Portugal in the early 1900s, its rulers fled to their South American colony. When the French were no longer a threat, the Portuguese monarchs left Prince Pedro in charge. In 1822 he declared the independence of the nation and himself Emperor of Brazil. The stability provided by the monarchy was largely unmatched in the region.

 


End of US Slave Importation II

Lead: The issue was whether the U.S. Constitution would permit the continued importation of slaves. They came up with a compromise, but on the long-term future of slavery it was largely fruitless.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Until its complete abolition at the end of the Civil War, slavery was a moral, legal, and economic sore that festered on the American body politic. Once slaves had become an integral part of the colonial economy and social fabric in the 1600s, it would be a source of great reward and great offense. As the delegates gathered in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 to craft a better way of building national unity, the problem of slavery reared its terrible head. Divisions were on predictable lines, Northerners wanted to bring the practice to an end, Southerners wanted to protect their interests. Yet, surprisingly, even Southerners were aware that the institution had deleterious effects on the character of slave and slave-holder, violated the principles on which the new republic was founded, and was becoming economically unprofitable.

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End of US Slave Importation I

Lead: The founders thought they had a solution to the problem of slavery in the new United States. They thought it would make the thing go away. In this they were wrong.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: One of the important debates at the Constitutional Convention that met in Philadelphia in 1787 was over the question of slavery. Though the delegates were cautious men of property, anxious to preserve the prerogatives of wealth and status, many were disturbed about the institution of slavery. It was seen to do violence to the egalitarian principles on which the American Revolution had been fought, detrimental to the character of slave and slave-holder alike, a social and practical danger to society as a whole, and was at that time correctly thought to be economically inefficient.

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Frederick Douglass II

Lead: Born a slave, Frederick Douglass became one of the most articulate spokesmen for abolition in the pre-Civil War era.

Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After escaping from slavery as a teenager, Douglass began to speak to church audiences throughout the North about the horrors of slavery. "I've come to tell you about slavery. Other abolitionists can tell you something about slavery; they cannot refer you to a back covered with scars." William Lloyd Garrison, the crusading newspaper editor, hired Douglass as a lecturer and audiences of whites flocked to hear his eloquent and compelling denunciation of America's peculiar institution. So effective was Douglass on the speaking circuit that his handlers began to fear attempts to recapture him and take him back South. Therefore, they sent him on a two-year European tour. He returned after twenty-one months, an international celebrity.

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Frederick Douglass I

Lead: "All the other speakers seemed tame after Frederick Douglass. He stood there like an African Prince, majestic in his wrath."

Tag: 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.

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