Browsing Tag: Abraham Lincoln

    The Civil War Part 2: Crash Course US History #21
    Articles, Blog

    The Civil War Part 2: Crash Course US History #21

    August 19, 2019


    †CCUS 21 – The Civil War Part 2
    Hi, I’m John Green; this is Crash Course U.S. history and today we return to…wait,
    what are we talking about today, Stan? Ah, the Civil War! I can tell because Lincoln’s
    here. But this week we’re not gonna talk about
    casualty counts or battles or its generals with their heroic and probably fictional dying
    declarations. Mr. Green, Mr. Green, wait did that one guy
    not really say “Honeybun how do I look in the face?” because that was the best part
    of this whole class. Jeb Stewart did say that, Me from the Past,
    but it probably wasn’t his last words, but anyway today we’re going to try to focus
    on what’s really important. In the end the really vital stuff isn’t,
    like, Pickett’s Charge or Lee saying “It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise
    we would grow too fond of it” or the surrender at the Appomattox Court House.
    That stuff matters and I don’t want to deny it, but the Civil War and the way we remember
    it is still shaping the world today, and that’s what I want to focus on, because it’s the
    stuff that might actually change the way you think about your own life in your own country,
    whether it’s the United States or the Green Parts of Not America.
    intro So let’s start with one of the big questions
    historians still ask about the Civil War: Did Lincoln free the slaves? The answer, as
    with so much here on Crashcourse is yes … and also no. Let’s go straight to the Thought
    Bubble today. So Lincoln’s reputation as the Great Emancipator
    rests largely on his Emancipation Proclamation, an executive order which went into effect
    on January 1, 1863. This order ostensibly freed all the slaves in territory currently
    rebelling against the United States, i.e. in areas where the U.S. government had no
    authority to free slaves. This is rather like the United States announcing that from here
    on out, North Korea will be ruled by Lady Gaga. Sure, it’s a great idea, but it’s
    not really your jurisdiction. In areas where the U.S. did have the authority
    to free slaves, the border states and some of the areas of the Confederacy that had been
    effectively conquered and occupied by federal troops, those slaves were NOT freed. So Lincoln
    didn’t free the slaves that he actually had the power to free.
    Many historians argue that, in fact, slaves freed themselves. How? By running away to
    union lines and becoming “contrabands.” Because this was a time of war and slaves
    were seen as a valuable resource to the enemy, when they escaped and sought refuge with Union
    troops, Union commanders wouldn’t give them back, despite fugitive slave laws still being
    on the books. So many slaves escaped, the argument goes,
    that Lincoln was basically forced to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, because until
    he did so, those contraband slaves were still technically property of their Southern masters,
    and the Union generals were breaking American laws by not returning them. The Emancipation
    Proclamation then had the added bonus of encouraging more slaves to come over to the Union lines,
    many of whom joined the army, which eventually included about 180,000 former slaves and free
    black men. Thanks, Thought Bubble. So Lincoln may also
    have issued the proclamation in order to shift the focus of the war from union to slavery
    to prevent the British from recognizing the Confederacy.
    Arguably the Confederacy’s best chance to win the Civil War was to get some kind of
    foreign patron, and Britain was the likeliest choice as it was very dependent on Confederate
    textiles. But as you’ll remember from all those people
    going to Canada, Britain had already abolished slavery and it was the historic source of
    abolitionist sentiment, and so it was very shrewd of Lincoln to make the war about slavery.
    Off-topic, but if I may put on my world historian hat for a moment. Thank you, Stan. The fact
    that the British did not recognize the South had profound effects on the whole world, because
    it meant that the British shifted their focus to Egypt and India as sources of cotton for
    their textile mills. All that noted, I think Lincoln does deserve
    some credit for freeing the slaves for two reasons.
    First, he pushed for the Thirteenth amendment which actually ended slavery in the United
    States. And perhaps more importantly, he continued
    the war to its conclusion and demanded that the end of slavery and the return of the Southern
    states to the Union be conditions for peace. This may seem obvious today, but in 1864 it
    wasn’t. In fact, there were numerous calls in the
    North for an end to the war that would allow the South to exist as a separate country and
    leave slavery intact. Now, of course, the rest of world history
    indicates that at some point slavery would have ended, but by prosecuting the war to
    its end, Lincoln brought about slavery’s end sooner.
    But the Civil War didn’t just end slavery. If it had gone differently, Me from the Past
    might have been annoying teachers in a different country from the one in which I now live.
    I might’ve need a passport to visit my parents in North Carolina and slavery might have survived
    for decades–Brazil didn’t fully abolish slavery until 1888.
    And the south would be covered in green as part of Not-America. Or, the north, depending
    on where you’re watching this video, I guess. And, the people who lived through the Civil
    War knew it was momentous. In his famous Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln fostered the idea
    that the Civil War was a kind of second American Revolution, or at least a culmination and
    reaffirmation of the first one. “From these honored dead we take increased
    devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion–that we
    here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation,
    under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people,
    for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” We tried to hire Daniel Day-Lewis for that,
    but he was unavailable. That phrase “new birth” of freedom had
    religious significance as well because it was, like, the 19th century equivalent to
    “born again.” So, the Civil War was the first modern war
    in terms of its scale and its destruction. Like, others have waged war on civilians to
    break the spirit of their enemies (STAN! Mongoltage OPPORTUNITY!)
    mongoltage But new technologies made this one of the
    most destructive wars yet recorded. And, yes, I know the Taiping rebellion took more lives,
    and in terms of percentage of population killed, the contemporaneous war in Paraguay was worse,
    but bear with me. Rifles, and toward the end of the Civil War,
    machine guns shifted the way that people fight. It became easier to defend a line, so cavalry
    charges and huge waves of attacks started to be just slaughtery although it would take
    World War I for the rest of the world to figure that out.
    And the incredible numbers of dead and wounded really changed Americans’ relationship with
    death itself. Like, the Gettysburg address was given to
    dedicate a new national cemetery, and the Civil War helped to create a culture of meditation
    on mortality itself that led to cemeteries replacing churchyards as the final resting
    places for most Americans. And the sight of slaughter and the sheer weight
    of it had profound existential effects on a generation of American intellectuals from
    Walt Whitman and Oliver Wendell Holmes. Oh, it’s time for the Mystery Document?
    The rules here are simple. I guess the Mystery Document and usually I
    am shocked. Oh my gosh, today’s Mystery Document is on an iPad!
    This appears to be a photograph of wounded soldiers in hospital. I’m gonna go ahead
    and call it as being by Mathew Brady. What? I already got it? But I didn’t get
    to say the name… Oh, it’s called Wounded Soldiers in Hospital.
    Thank you for an easy one, Stan. So, Mathew Brady was a prolific photographer
    during the Civil War, although, like a lot of prolific people, he often took credit for
    work done by his employees. And Brady really changed the way that people thought about
    war. He and his staff created some 10,000 images
    during the Civil War. And it was the first time that an event had been photographically
    documented so thoroughly. By the way, lest you think that the unreliability
    of images began with Photoshop, many of Brady’s photographs were staged.
    He would move bodies, sometimes soldiers were apparently told to act dead.
    But of course, at the time, photographs felt inherently authentic and written accounts
    of battles could now be accompanied by actual images of the fighting and its aftermath.
    But, perhaps the most important impact of the Civil War was the new nation that it created.
    Like, the American Civil War fits right in with the global phenomenon of nation-building
    that was happening. Soon we would have places on the map like
    Italy and Germany, and older places like Greece would be re-born as nation states. And then
    all of these places would be known to Americans as Not-America.
    But, by the way, congratulations to Italy on the recent election of their 732nd Prime
    Minister in just 180 years of existing. By far, the most successful of these new nation
    states were the ones that embraced industrialization and modern ideas of organization and centralized
    government. Northern victory in the Civil War meant the
    United States would follow the path that the North laid down. It would become an industrial
    rather than agrarian nation, with a national government pre-eminent over those of individual
    states. It would become a nation. And its not a coincidence that over the course
    of the 19th century, people stopped pluralizing the United States; they stopped saying, “The
    United States are a great place to live,” and began saying, “The United States is
    a great place to live.” The Civil War helped singularize what had been until then a plural
    nation. And Abraham Lincoln was the first president
    to truly expand the power of the executive. He ordered blockades and suspended habeas
    corpus, in addition to emancipating the slaves. But the Republican dominated congress played
    a role in this federalization too. Congress passed the Homestead Act in 1862
    that encouraged settlement of the west by basically giving away land to anyone who had
    $18 and was willing to live on it and farm it for five years.
    Downside: you have to live in Oklahoma. Unless of course you’re an American Indian in which
    case, downside: you don’t get to live in Oklahoma anymore.
    You may be wondering, how were we able to sell all of this land so cheap? It’s because
    we stole it! Meanwhile, the Morrill Land Grant Act financed
    colleges to offer training in new scientific agricultural techniques. The Department of
    Agriculture was created to generate statistics and share best practices in farming.
    Congress also helped unify the country with the massive land grants in the Pacific Railway
    Act of 1862. And during the war the Lincoln administration
    gave away 158 million acres to railroads to tie the nation together. Get it? Tie? Railroad
    ties? The nation toge-? I’ll take my coat and go.
    Plus, as you may have noticed, wars are expensive. And in order to finance the Civil War, Congress
    passed the first progressive income tax in American history, as well as floating huge
    bond issues to the public. And when that wasn’t enough, the administration
    began printing federal money on green paper called “greenbacks.” These, along with
    notes issued by banks under the National Bank Act of 1863 became the first national currency
    in the United States. Altogether, the total cost of the war for
    the Union was $6.7 billion. Interestingly, if in 1860 the federal government had purchased
    every slave and granted a 40-acre farm to each family, the total cost would have been
    $3.1 billion. But a) it would have been hard to get that
    bill through Congress, and b) at the time the federal government had no way to raise
    that kind of money. The federal government also actively promoted
    the industrial economy that was to become dominant in the United States after the war.
    In fact, industrialization was so healthy that visitors to cities in the North during
    the Civil War would have been hard pressed to notice that they were even in a war.
    So, ultimately, the Civil War was a victory for Alexander Hamilton’s federalist vision
    of what America should be. I mean, Thomas Jefferson could never have
    imagined the United States that emerged from the Civil War, a government that supported
    an army of a million men, carried a $2.5 billion national debt, distributed public lands, printed
    a national currency, and collected an array of internal taxes. It sounds like Britain!
    So, the Civil War wasn’t just a victory of North over South or of freedom over slavery.
    It created the nation that the United States of America has become. Thanks for watching.
    I’ll see you next week. Crash Course is produced and directed by Stan
    Muller. Our script supervisor is Meredith Danko. Too far! Our associate producer is
    Danica Johnson. The show is written by my high school history teacher, Raoul Meyer,
    and myself. And our graphics team is Thought Café.
    Every week, there’s a new caption for the Libertage. You can suggest some in comments
    where you can also ask questions about today’s video that will be answered by our team of
    historians. Thank you for watching and as we say in my hometown, don’t forget to be
    awesome. Civil War 2 –

    American Forum: The Worst First Year of a Presidency
    Articles, Blog

    American Forum: The Worst First Year of a Presidency

    August 15, 2019


    [CAPTIONING MADE POSSIBLE BY WVPT] IT’S ABOUT HISTORY, POLICY, AND IMPACT. A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON CURRENT AFFAIRS, BRINGING EXPERIENCE, INSIGHT, CIVILITY, AND SCHOLARSHIP TO THE URGENT ISSUES OF TODAY. IT’S ABOUT OUR PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. YOUR HOST, PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR AND JOURNALIST DOUG BLACKMON. FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA’S MILLER CENTER, THIS IS “AMERICAN FORUM.” DOUGLAS BLACKMON: WELCOME BACK TO “AMERICAN FORUM.” I’M DOUG BLACKMON. WE ARE DEEP INTO ONE OF THE MOST SURREAL PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS IN RECENT AMERICAN HISTORY. MAYBE IN ALL OF AMERICAN HISTORY. THE COUNTRY IS DEEPLY DIVIDED. THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS IN A KIND OF INTERNAL CIVIL WAR. AND THERE ARE SUBSTANTIAL CHALLENGES OCCURRING TO THE UNWRITTEN COURTESIES AND OTHER BASIC UNDERSTANDINGS BETWEEN OUR GOVERNMENT LEADERS THAT HAVE BEEN CRUCIAL TO MAKING AMERICAN DEMOCRACY WORK FOR NEARLY 250 YEARS — HOW SUPREME COURT JUSTICES ARE APPOINTED, HOW BUDGETS ARE PASSED AND MONEY BORROWED, WHO SHOULD NEGOTIATE WITH FOREIGN POWERS, HOW OPPOSING PARTIES INTERACT CONSTRUCTIVELY. AS THE NOVEMBER 2016 NATIONAL ELECTION GROWS CLOSER, IT SEEMS LIKE A GOOD TIME TO BEGIN DISCUSSING THESE DIVISIONS AND SOME OF THE OTHER CRITICAL ISSUES THAT WILL FACE OUR NEXT PRESIDENT MOST URGENTLY DURING HER, OR HIS, FIRST YEAR IN OFFICE, REGARDLESS OF WHO THAT PRESIDENT MAY BE. WE’LL TURN BACK TO THIS MANY TIMES OVER THE NEXT YEAR, EXPLORING A RANGE OF URGENT QUESTIONS. AND ONE OF THE MOST OBVIOUS WILL BE HOW THE NEW PRESIDENT HANDLES THE PERVASIVE BITTERNESS OF THE CURRENT POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT. SO IN THIS EPISODE WE TURN TO PROFESSOR GARY GALLAGHER, A CELEBRATED HISTORIAN OF THE MOST DIVIDED TIME IN AMERICAN HISTORY, AND AN EXPERT ON THE WORST PRESIDENTIAL FIRST YEAR OF THEM ALL, ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S. GARY, THANKS FOR BEING HERE. GARY GALLAGHER: I’M VERY HAPPY TO BE HERE. BLACKMON: SO MAYBE IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE TO BE TALKING ABOUT ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND EVENTS OF 150 YEARS AGO IN THE MIDST OF A PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN IN 2016, BUT SO WHAT WAS IT THAT MADE THAT SUCH A TERRIBLE FIRST YEAR OTHER THAN JUST THE FACT THAT THE COUNTRY WAS ON A COURSE TOWARDS CIVIL WAR AND HAD ARRIVED AT CIVIL WAR? GALLAGHER: WELL, THE OTHER THAN PART OF THAT IS THE KEY OF COURSE OTHER THAN THE FAT THERE WAS ALREADY ANOTHER NATION IN BEING. HE GAVE HIS FIRST INAUGURAL IN MARCH OF 1861 AND THERE WAS A SEVEN-STATE SISTER REPUBLIC IN PLACE WITH A CAPITAL IN MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA. SO THAT IS — THAT ALONE SETS LINCOLN COMPLETELY APART FROM ANY OTHER PRESIDENT WHO’S FACED A FIRST TERM. I’M AMUSED — IN FACT I WOULD SAY VASTLY AMUSED — WHEN I HEAR THAT CONDITIONS HAVE NEVER BEEN AS CONTENTIOUS AS THEY ARE NOW AND WE’VE NEVER BEEN AS ANGRY WITH ONE ANOTHER. OF COURSE, THAT’S NOT TRUE. AND THE PROOF OF THAT IS TO TAKE A LOOK AT THE STATE OF THE UNITED STATES IN LATE 1860 AND EARLY 1861. LINCOLN IS FACING THE QUESTION OF HOW TO TRY TO BRING THE NATION BACK TOGETHER. THAT’S HIS VIEW OF THE CRISIS. THE VIEW FROM SOUTH OF THE POTOMAC RIVER IS THAT’S NOT A QUESTION ANY MORE. WE’RE ANOTHER NATION AND THAT’S THE WAY IT’S GOING TO BE. BUT HIS VIEW IS HOW DO I GET THIS BACK TOGETHER? HOW DO I TRY TO REMEDY A SITUATION THAT’S REACHED THIS POINT? BLACKMON: IN TERMS OF THE BITTERNESS AND THE DIVISION WE SEE IN THE COUNTRY TODAY, WHICH OBVIOUSLY IS SO DIFFERENT IN THE SENSE THAT WE DO NOT APPEAR TO BE ON THE VERGE OF VIOLENCE AMONG THE VARIOUS PARTIES OR THE DIFFERING INTERESTS IN AMERICAN LIFE RIGHT NOW, BUT IT DOES FEEL INCREDIBLY BITTER AND DIVIDED. BUT — SO IS IT CRAZY TO EVEN TALK ABOUT LINCOLN AND THAT PERIOD OF TIME IN THIS CONTEXT? OR IS THERE SOME CONNECTION? GALLAGHER: NO, I DON’T THINK IT’S CRAZY TO DO THAT BECAUSE LINCOLN IS TRYING TO — HE COMES INTO HIS OFFICE WITH HIS EYE ON THE BALL AS HE WOULD SAY, AND THAT IS TO BRING THE UNION BACK TOGETHER. THAT’S HIS GOAL. HIS WHOLE FIRST YEAR IN OFFICE IS PREEMINENTLY ABOUT THAT. WHAT CAN I DO TO BRING THE UNION BACK TOGETHER? AND HE’S FORCED TO REACH OUT TO VERY DIFFERENT CONSTITUENCIES INCLUDING THOSE WHO’VE ALREADY LEFT THE UNITED STATES. SO IT’S — HE KNOWS THERE ARE THESE TREMENDOUS DIVISIONS. HE’S TRYING TO REACH ACROSS SOME OF THESE CHASMS AND GET ENOUGH SUPPORT FROM DIFFERENT QUARTERS TO ACHIEVE HIS GOAL OF UNION. AND I THINK NOW WHOEVER IS GOING TO COME INTO OFFICE NOW IS GOING TO HAVE TO BE AWARE OF HOW DIVIDED WE ARE NOW. AND I THINK LINCOLN’S EXAMPLE IS YOU DON’T IGNORE ALL THE PEOPLE WHO DON’T AGREE WITH YOU. YOU REALIZE IT’S GOING TO TAKE A COOPERATIVE EFFORT TO MAKE SOMETHING GOOD HAPPEN. AND SO YOU HAVE TO CRAFT YOUR POLICIES, YOUR MESSAGE TO REACH OUT IN OTHER DIRECTIONS. BLACKMON: I THINK THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM IS THAT IN THE PRESENT SITUATION THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA OVER THE PAST EIGHT YEARS HAS THIS IDEA THAT IN PARTICULAR HE HAS FACED THIS VERY OBDURATE AND UNWILLING TO COOPERATE, EVEN IF HE WANTED TO COOPERATE, REPUBLICAN-CONTROLLED CONGRESS DURING MOST OF THE EIGHT YEARS. THAT’S THE MOST CONVENTIONAL TELLING OF THINGS. IT’S ALSO THE CASE THAT FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE GOP THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA EARLY ON SAID THIS IS WHAT ELECTIONS ARE ABOUT, I’VE GOT A — I HAVE A MANDATE. AND HE WAS PERCEIVED BY SOME — GALLAGHER: I THINK HE EVEN SAID GO TO THE BACK OF THE BUS. BLACKMON: AT SOME POINT, YEAH. AND SO THIS IDEA THAT IN REALITY WE’VE HAD BOTH SIDES AND WENT ON THE DEBATE BUT BOTH SIDES CERTAINLY HAVE APPROACHED THIS WITH AT TIMES WITH WHAT LOOKED LIKE AN ICONOCLASTIC ATTITUDE. AND — SO LINCOLN BACK IN 1861, WHAT ARE THE — WHAT ARE THE ICONOCLASTS THAT HE’S FACING EVEN AMONG THOSE WHO ARE STILL WITHIN THE NATION? GALLAGHER: WELL, I THINK THERE’S ONE REAL SIMILARITY BETWEEN THEN AND NOW AND THAT IS THAT ACROSS THESE DIVISIONS PEOPLE EXPECTED THE WORST AND PROJECTED THE WORST ON THE OTHER SIDE. AND WHEN THE OTHER SIDE WOULD SAY SOMETHING THEY JUST DIDN’T BELIEVE IT AND SAID YOU’RE LYING. FOR EXAMPLE, LINCOLN CAME IN AND SET THE REPUBLICAN PLATFORM IN 1850 AND LINCOLN SAID HE HAD NO INTENTION OF INTERFERING WITH SLAVERY WHERE IT EXISTED. AND THE SLAVEHOLDING STATES SAID WELL, YOU’RE A LIAR. YOU GAVE A SPEECH IN 1858 THAT SAID A HOUSE DIVIDED CANNOT STAND. IT’S GOING TO BE ALL ONE THING OR THE OTHER AND WE KNOW WHICH WAY YOU WANT IT TO BE. SO YOU’RE A LIAR AND WE’RE NOT GOING TO LISTEN TO ANYTHING THAT YOU SAY. I THINK THERE WAS A GREAT DEAL OF THAT UNWILLINGNESS TO TAKE EVEN A SMALL STEP TOWARD THE OTHER SIDE THAT CREATED THIS VERY TOXIC SITUATION. I THINK WE HAVE SOME OF THAT NOW WHERE PEOPLE DON’T REALLY — THEY’RE NOT REALLY INTERESTED IN DEBATING. THEY JUST SORT OF YELL TALKING POINTS AT ONE ANOTHER AND THEN LEAVE. THE GREAT ISSUES IN LINCOLN’S TIME WERE ALL RELATED TO SLAVERY AND ESPECIALLY TO THE EXTENSION OF THE INSTITUTION OF SLAVERY INTO THE TERRITORIES. AND THERE WAS AN UNWILLINGNESS TO BELIEVE WHAT SOMEONE WAS SAYING BECAUSE YOU THINK YOU KNOW WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN OR WHAT THEY REALLY WANT AND THEY’RE JUST LYING TO YOU. AND LINCOLN CONFRONTED A GREAT DEAL OF THAT AS HE CAME INTO OFFICE. HE ALSO HAD A PROFOUND DIVISION WITHIN HIS OWN PART OF THE COUNTRY, THE PART THAT REMAINED LOYAL BETWEEN DEMOCRATS AND THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. THERE’S ANOTHER SIMILARITY BETWEEN THEN AND NOW AND WE SEE TWO GREAT PARTIES, TWO OLD GREAT PARTIES REALLY IN A SITUATION WITH PROFOUND UNHAPPINESS AMONG PEOPLE IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THEM. THE SAME THING HAPPENED IN 1860 WHEN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WHICH HAD ALWAYS BEEN A MAJORITY PARTY, JEFFERSON’S PARTY DOWN TO THEN. IT LITERALLY COULDN’T COPE WITH THE QUESTION OF HOW TO FINESSE SLAVERY IN THE TERRITORIES. AND IT DISINTEGRATED AS A NATIONAL PARTY. SOME PEOPLE MIGHT TALK ABOUT HOW THAT MIGHT BE IN PROGRESS NOW, WHO KNOWS? BUT THE PHENOMENON IS CERTAINLY SIMILAR. BLACKMON: YOU ALSO HAD AT THAT TIME IN THE LEADUP TO THE CIVIL WAR AND DURING THE CIVIL WAR, A KIND OF PERPLEXING DIVISION IN — EVEN AROUND SLAVERY. THE NUMBER OF FAMILIES THAT OWN A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF ENSLAVED PEOPLE IS RELATIVELY SMALL. GALLAGHER: VERY SMALL. BLACKMON: AND THE ECONOMIC INTERESTS OF SLAVERY EXPANDING INTO OTHER TERRITORIES PRESUMABLY WOULD HAVE BENEFITTED THOSE WHO WERE ALREADY IN THE BUSINESS OF SLAVERY AND ENSLAVEMENT SOMEHOW. AND THEN YOU HAVE THIS OTHER HUGE POPULATION OF SOUTHERNERS WHO DON’T OWN SLAVES AND ARGUABLY ARE DISADVANTAGED IN SOME RESPECTS BY THAT OR NOT? GALLAGHER: WELL, WE SAY THAT. AND THEY MIGHT BE DISADVANTAGED IN SOME WAYS ECONOMICALLY, ALTHOUGH NOT ALWAYS. THERE ARE LOTS OF RECIPROCAL RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN SLAVEHOLDERS AND NONSLAVEHOLDERS, WHITE NONSLAVEHOLDERS. BUT THEY ALL HAD A STAKE IN WHITE SUPREMACY. THEY ALL HAD A STAKE IN CONTROLLING BLACK PEOPLE. VIRTUALLY ALL THE BLACK PEOPLE LIVED IN THE SLAVEHOLDING STATES. THE SLAVE STATES WERE 98.8% WHITE IN 1860. SO YOU HAVE MILLIONS OF WHITE PEOPLE LIVING AMONG MILLIONS OF BLACK PEOPLE. THEY KNOW DON’T WANT TO BE SLAVES, WHATEVER THEY SAID LATER. AND THE QUESTION IS HOW DO YOU CONTROL THEM? SO WHETHER YOU’RE A SLAVEHOLDER OR NOT A SLAVEHOLDER YOU FEAR WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN IF BLACK PEOPLE REALLY TAKE IT UPON THEMSELVES TO CHANGE THE SITUATION. THERE WERE PEOPLE IN 1860 ON BOTH SIDES WHO GENUINELY BELIEVED THE NATION HAD EVOLVED INTO TWO SEPARATE CULTURES, REALLY SEPARATE CULTURES. THEY WOULD SAY SEPARATE CIVILIZATIONS. THEY REALLY BELIEVED THERE WERE FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THEM AND ALL OF THOSE WERE ROOTED IN SOME FASHION IN THE FACT THAT ONE WAS A SLAVEHOLDING SOCIETY AND ONE WAS NOT. AND — BUT THEY BELIEVED IT. AND WHAT THEY BELIEVED IS — DOESN’T MATTER IF IT’S TRUE OR NOT. IF THEY BELIEVED IT, THEY BEHAVED ON THE BASIS OF THAT BELIEF. BLACKMON: AND IT’S IRONIC THOUGH THAT AS TIME GOES BY THAT THE GREAT DISPUTED “WHAT DID THEY REALLY MEAN” QUESTION ABOUT THAT WHOLE PERIOD OF TIME IS WHETHER THE CIVIL WAR IS REALLY ABOUT SLAVERY OR NOT. GALLAGHER: RIGHT. BLACKMON: AND YOU’VE WRITTEN AND SAID BEFORE THAT OBVIOUSLY THE CIVIL WAR WAS OVERWHELMINGLY ABOUT SLAVERY BUT THEN POST-WAR ALL THE CONFEDERATE LEADERS SAY NO, IT WASN’T AND RIGHT UP TO THE PRESENT WE STILL HAVE THIS VERY ACTIVE DEBATE IN WHICH MANY PEOPLE SAY NO, IT WASN’T ABOUT SLAVERY AT ALL. GALLAGHER: THE COMING OF THE WAR WAS ABOUT SLAVERY. CAUSATION WAS ABOUT SLAVERY. BUT IN TERMS OF MOTIVATION MOST WHITE NORTHERNERS WOULD HAVE SAID THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WAS UNION. NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WAS EMANCIPATION. BUT AFTER THE WAR FORMER CONFEDERATES TRIED TO DISTANCE THEMSELVES FROM SLAVERY IN THAT REGARD BECAUSE THEY KNEW THEY WERE OUT OF STEP WITH WESTERN CIVILIZATION. AND IF THEY WANTED A FAVORABLE HEARING BEFORE THE BAR OF HISTORY THEY COULDN’T SAY WHAT THE TRUTH WAS. OUR REPUBLIC CAME ABOUT ONLY BECAUSE WE WERE TRYING TO PROTECT SLAVERY. NOT JUST THE ECONOMIC SIDE OF IT BUT THE SOCIAL CONTROL PART OF IT AS WELL. BLACKMON: YEAH, AND THIS THING THAT WE BELIEVED ABSOLUTELY THAT THE ELECTION OF THIS MAN, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, SPELLED, WOULD BRING AN ATTEMPT TO BRING AN END TO SLAVERY. GALLAGHER: ABSOLUTELY, ABSOLUTELY BELIEVED THAT THAT’S WHAT HE WANTED AND OF COURSE, HE DID WANT THAT. I MEAN, THEY WEREN’T WRONG ON SOME LEVEL. LINCOLN DID HATE SLAVERY BUT HE, REACHED OUT EVEN TO WHITE SOUTHERNERS IN STATES THAT HAD SECEDED. THAT’S SOMETHING THAT DOESN’T SEEM TO BE HAPPENING MUCH NOW. HE REACHED OUT TO THEM AND SAID LOOK, WE SHARE THINGS. AND HE EVOKED REVOLUTIONARY HERITAGE, HE EVOKED THE MEANING OF THE UNION TO EVERYBODY WHO BENEFITTED FROM THE WORK OF THE FOUNDING GENERATION, THE REVOLUTIONARY GENERATION WHO SHED THEIR BLOOD. HE CLOSED HIS FIRST INAUGURAL WITH THAT VERY LYRICAL TRIBUTE TO THE UNION. THAT WAS AIMED AT PEOPLE ALL OVER THE NATION. HE KIND OF CRAFTED HIS MESSAGE ABOUT THE UNION TO MEET DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE POPULATION. HE REACHED OUT IN EVERY DIRECTION. THERE’S NOT A LOT OF THAT GOING ON RIGHT NOW, I DON’T THINK. OR I DON’T DETECT IT. BLACKMON: SO IN MANY RESPECTS IT IS A CASE OF ASTONISHING CAPACITY TO COMPROMISE IN WHAT LOOKS LIKE THE MOST DIVIDED , UNCOMPROMISING MOMENT OF ALL. BUT ACTUALLY, IT’S NOT. GALLAGHER: HE’S TRYING. HE IS ON A VERY TREACHEROUS PATH FOR A POLITICIAN. I MEAN, HOW CAN I CALIBRATE THIS SO I DON’T OFFEND THESE CERTAIN KEY GROUPS. THAT’S WHAT HE’S DOING IN THIS FIRST YEAR. AND THE WAY THAT HE DECIDES TO THAT IS TO ABSOLUTELY — I’VE SAID THIS ALREADY BUT I’LL SAY IT AGAIN — HE ABSOLUTELY FOCUSES ON UNION. IN HIS FIRST INAUGURAL. IN HIS MESSAGE TO THE CONGRESS IN JULY. IN HIS FIRST ANNUAL MESSAGE TO CONGRESS IN DECEMBER. IT’S ALWAYS UNION, UNION, UNION. WITH SPECIAL SECTIONS AIMED TO THE BORDER STATES, OTHER — I MEAN, HE’S HE’S KEEPING THE WHOLE PICTURE IN MIND AND OF COURSE ALIENATING SOME PEOPLE AS HE GOES ALONG INCLUDING RADICAL REPUBLICANS IN HIS OWN PARTY AND ABOLITIONISTS WHO WANT HIM TO GO FASTER ON EMANCIPATION. BLACKMON: WERE THERE ANY OTHER ISSUES AT THE TIME? DID ABRAHAM LINCOLN HAVE ANY OTHER LEGISLATIVE AGENDA? GALLAGHER: THERE WERE. THE REPUBLICAN PARTY HAD AN AGENDA OF WHAT WE WOULD CALL A SORT OF MODERNIZING CAPITALIST VISION OF WHAT THE UNITED STATES WOULD BE AND IT INCLUDED REFORMING THE BANKING STRUCTURE, CREATING A NATIONAL BANK. TARIFFS THAT WOULD PROTECT INDUSTRY, THE HOMESTEAD ACT, THE INTERCONTINENTAL RAILROAD, ALL OF THOSE THINGS. AND THEY ACTUALLY PASSED THEIR ENTIRE LEGISLATIVE AGENDA, AT LEAST MOST OF IT, IN 1862 AND EARLY 1863. SO THAT’S GOING ON AND IRONICALLY IT’S THE DEPARTURE OF ALL THE SOUTHERN DEMOCRATS TH MAKES THAT POSSIBLE TO PASS THAT LEGISLATION. SO IT HELPS THE REPUBLICANS IN THAT REGARD THAT THE NATION IS DIVIDED. BLACKMON: YEAH, SO IT’S ANOTHER ARGUMENT FOR THAT IF YOU SIMPLY REFUSE TO BE A PART OF A DECISION-MAKING PROCESS THEN YOU MAY WELL IN FACT JUST ALLOW IT TO BE DECIDED FOR YOU. GALLAGHER: GET THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT YOU WANT. SO THERE’S ANOTHER AT LEAST THIN ROPE CONNECTING THEN TO NOW BLACKMON: AND SO WHAT WE’VE SEEN OVER THESE LAST EIGHT YEARS HAS BEEN MORE A VERSION OF WE’RE NOT GONNA TAKE OUR MARBLES AND GO HOME, BUT WE’RE GOING TO HOLD ON TO OUR MARBLES AND JUST SIT HERE. WE’RE NOT GOING TO DO ANY TRADING AND NOTHING IS REALLY GOING TO HAPPEN AND THEN WE’RE GOING TO BE VERY FRUSTRATED THAT A PRESIDENT BEGINS TO ATTEMPT TO EXPAND HIS EXECUTIVE POWERS AND RULE MORE BY FIAT. GALLAGHER: AND IF YOU WANT ANOTHER WAY TO TIE THAT POSITION TO NOW, I MEAN, LINCOLN’S USE OF EXECUTIVE POWER WAS BREATHTAKING IN SOME WAYS AND DEEPLY OFFENDED EVEN SOME IN HIS OWN PARTY AS BEING INIMICAL TO CIVIL LIBERTIES. I MEAN, HIS SUSPENSION OF THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS. HE DID A NUMBER OF THINGS. HE SAID, WELL, WE NEED TO DO THESE. WE’RE IN A CRISIS. I’M A PRESIDENT. I HAVE THESE POWERS ACCORDING TO THIS. THEY ARGUED ABOUT THOSE THINGS TOO THEN, JUST AS WE DO NOW. DID HE EXCEED HIS POWERS? MANY IN HIS PARTY THOUGHT SO. IN THE END, CONGRESS RATIFIED EVERYTHING HE DID. CONGRESS WASN’T IN SESSION IN THE EARLY PART OF THIS CRISIS. BLACKMON: THE OTHER NOT JUST A THREAD BUT THE THICK ROPE THAT CONNECTS THAT PERIOD AND THIS PERIOD ALSO TIES INTO THIS CURRENT DEBATE THAT WE’VE HAD GOING ON VERY HOTLY IN THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS AROUND THE IMAGES OF THAT TIME AND THE SYMBOLS AND THE ICONOGRAPHY OF THE CONFEDERATE ERA. THERE WERE PEOPLE WHO WERE BOTHERED THAT — THAT FOR A LONG TIME THAT SOUTHERN STATES CONTINUED TO FLY THE FLAG OR HAD THE CONFEDERATE BATTLE FLAG ON THEIR STATE FLAG AND SUCH. THAT ISSUE HAD SOME EMOTION BUT THE MONUMENTS WERE A CONFEDERATE GENERALS AND BATTLEFIELDS WERE SORT OF ACCEPTED OR NOT THOUGHT MUCH ABOUT BY A LOT OF PEOPLE. WHAT’S THE BROADER REASON FOR THAT, IN YOUR VIEW? GALLAGHER: WELL I THINK THE — I SEPARATE THE FLAG FROM THE MONUMENTS. I THINK THE FLAG HAS NO PLACE IN ANY GOVERNMENTAL BUILDING OR AT ANY LEVEL, LOCAL, STATE, NATIONAL. I THINK IT SHOULD NOT BE THERE. BLACKMON: WHY IS THAT? GALLAGHER: WELL, I JUST THINK IT SENDS THE WRONG MESSAGE. WHY WOULD IT BE THERE? WHY SHOULD IT BE THERE? IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH NOW. IT’S AN ARTIFACT FROM HISTORY AND A DEEPLY DIVISIVE ARTIFACT FROM HISTORY, SO WHY? AND THE ONLY STATE — I MEAN, THERE’S STILL ACTUALLY ALABAMA’ FLAG AND FLORIDA’S FLAG ARE STILL BASICALLY THE ST. ANDREW’S CROSS BUT THE ONE THAT REALLY IS OBVIOUSLY THE CONFEDERATE FLAG IS MISSISSIPPI STILL AND I’M SURE THEY WILL REVISIT THAT AS A STATE. SO PUT THAT ASIDE. THE MONUMENTS I THINK HAVE COME BACK TO THE FORE BECAUSE THEY ARE A WAY INTO OTHER ISSUES. I DON’T THINK THE MONUMENTS ARE THE MAIN ISSUE THAT PEOPLE ARE WORRIED ABOUT. I THINK THAT THEY USE THE MONUMENTS TO START A CONVERSATION ABOUT ALL KINDS OF OTHER THINGS THAT THEY ARE REALLY INTERESTED IN. THAT’S MY OWN TAKE ON IT. EVERYBODY DOESN’T AGREE WITH THAT BUT I THINK THAT’S WHAT’S GOING ON AND I THINK THAT THESE PERIODIC ERUPTIONS ABOUT THE MONUMENTS GO BACK — IT’S SORT OF LIKE GROUNDHOG DAY FOR ME. I MEAN, THEY COME UP AND I’VE SEEN IT MANY, MANY TIMES IN MANY PLACES ON UNIVERSITY CAMPUSES AND ELSEWHERE AND THE ARGUMENTS ARE USUALLY THE SAME ON EACH SIDE. SO THERE’S A SAMENESS THERE. I COULD SCRIPT BOTH ARGUMENTS PRETTY MUCH FOR THEM. BUT HERE, I THINK THIS TIME THEY SEEM TO BE TIED TO, I THINK, BROADER ISSUES OF INEQUALITY AND BROADER ISSUES RELATING TO BOTH ECONOMICS AND SOCIAL THINGS THAT ARE BROUGHT UP AFTER THE FLASHPOINT OF THE MONUMENTS PROVIDES THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO SO. BLACKMON: AND SO THAT COMPLICATES THE ARGUMENT THAT IS IT HERITAGE OR IS IT HATE TODAY BECAUSE IN SOME SENSE MANY OF THESE MONUMENTS, PARTICULARLY THOSE THAT HAVE INSCRIPTIONS ON THEM THAT SAY THINGS THAT ARE PROBLEMATIC BY TODAY’S STANDARDS TO THOSE WHO DIED IN DEFENSE OF THE GREATEST SOCIETY THERE EVER WAS. GALLAGHER: ABSOLUTELY. BLACKMON: AND SO YOU HAVE THIS COMBINATION OF YES, ON THE ONE HAND IT IS HISTORY AND IT IS HERITAGE OF A CERTAIN GROUP OF PEOPLE. ON THE OTHER HAND THERE IS AN EMBEDDED — GALLAGHER: I DON’T EVEN THROW IN HERITAGE. FROM MY PERSPECTIVE FORGET HERITAGE. FROM MY PERSPECTIVE IT’S HISTORY AND I OPPOSE TAKING DOWN MONUMENTS. I USE THESE MONUMENTS FOR LOST CAUSE TOURS THAT I GIVE THAT GET AT NOT ONLY THE CIVIL WAR BUT MEMORY AND THE 20TH CENTURY. I THINK SANITIZING THE PAST IS A MISTAKE. I THINK IT’S ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL TO CONFRONT OUR PAST INCLUDING THE BIGGEST WARTS IN OUR PAST. AND I THINK THESE HELP US DO THAT. THE HERITAGE ARGUMENT — I MEAN, I HAVE NO PATIENCE WITH THAT. BUT I’M WARY OF STARTING DOWN A ROAD WHERE YOU PULL DOWN MONUMENTS BECAUSE I THINK THAT COULD GO IN DIRECTIONS THAT MANY PEOPLE WOULD BE VERY TROUBLED BY. BLACKMON: BUT THEN LET’S ALSO CURATE WHAT IS THERE. I MEAN, BECAUSE IN SOME SENSE GALLAGHER: YEAH, I AGREE WITH THAT. BLACKMON: YEAH, EXPLAINING. BECAUSE IT IS TRUE THAT EVERY TIME A GOVERNMENT WORKER GOES OUT TO THE CONFEDERATE MONUMENT IN FRONT OF THE COURT HOUSE ANYWHERE AND SWEEPS THE LEAVES AWAY FROM THE BASE OF IT THERE’S A LITTLE EXPENDITURE OF THE PUBLIC’S FUNDS THAT GO INTO THE PRESERVATION OF THAT MONUMENT. AND IN A SENSE, IT’S A REEXPRESSION OF THE SPEECH OF THAT MONUMENT. THAT IT’S BEING TAKEN CARE OF AND KEPT THERE OVER TIME. AND SO IT DOES SEEM LOGICAL TO ME THAT ANOTHER PART OF THE SOLUTION MIGHT BE SIMPLY THAT THERE MIGHT BE SOME SORT OF A WELL THOUGHT OUT WAY TO PUT A SIGN UP OR SOMETHING THAT SAYS HERE’S WHY THAT MONUMENT IS HERE. GALLAGHER: I AGREE COMPLETELY. I AGREE COMPLETELY, AND I KNOW AND I HAVE HAD LONG AND VERY FRIENDLY AND USEFUL DISCUSSIONS WITH GOOD FRIENDS WHO SIMPLY HAVE A VERY DIFFERENT VIEW THAN I DO ON THIS. THEY BELIEVE THE MONUMENT SHOULD COME DOWN. AND I UNDERSTAND THAT PERSPECTIVE. I JUST THINK IT’S MORE IMPORTANT TO KEEP THEM BECAUSE I THINK IF YOU GET RID OF ALL OF THEM THEN IT’S PRETTY EASY NOT TO TALK ABOUT THAT AT ALL. AND I DON’T THINK WE SHOULD STOP TALKING ABOUT THAT. BLACKMON: AND THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS, FOR INSTANCE, HAS GONE FURTHER THAN ANYONE ELSE. ACTUALLY VOTING TO REMOVE A IN A PLACE THAT WAS A CITADEL OF NOT JUST DURING THE CIVIL WAR BUT BECAME A REAL CENTER OF CONFEDERATE REMEMBRANCE IN THE YEARS AFTER THE WAR. AND SO IT’S REALLY A RADICAL THING FOR THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS. GALLAGHER: AND IT’S A REALLY BIG MONUMENT. THE LEE ONE THERE IS HUGE. BUT IT’S NOW BEING LITIGATED OF COURSE. AND THAT WOULD HAPPEN IN MANY OF THESE PLACES, I THIN NOTHING — ALL OF THIS IS VERY COMPLICATED AND THE MEMORY IS COMPLICATED, THE USES. WE HAVE — WE LIKE SIMPLISTIC UNDERSTANDING OF THE PAST. WHO ARE THE GOOD GUYS? WHO ARE THE BAD GUYS? AND IT’S NEVER — IT’S ALWAYS COMPLICATED. WHICH IS ONE ARGUMENT THAT THOSE WHO WANT TO TAKE DOWN THE MONUMENTS. THEY SAY IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT KIND OF EXPLANATORY TEXT YOU PUT UP AROUND THEM. THE KEY THING IS THAT THE ROBERT E. LEE STATUE IS STILL THERE. BLACKMON: YEAH, THAT THAT’S THE THAT’S THE NAZI STATUE ARGUMENT. GALLAGHER: THE NAZI STATUE ARGUMENT. BLACKMON: WE WOULDN’T TOLERATE GERMANY LEAVING UP A — STILL HANGING A GIANT SWASTIKA OVER A STADIUM IN NUREMBURG SO WHY WOULD WE TOLERATE THAT ETERNALLY? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT WHEN PEOPLE DRAW TO THAT? GALLAGHER: I HAVE NO PATIENCE WITH THAT WHATSOEVER. THE CONFEDERACY IS NOT NAZI GERMANY. IT JUST ISN’T. IF THE CONFEDERACY IS NAZI GERMANY THAN WHAT IS NAZI GERMANY? PEOPLE MAKE EASY ALLUSIONS. “OH, THAT’S JUST LIKE THE NAZIS.” NO, IT’S NOT JUST LIKE THE NAZIS. IF IT’S JUST LIKE THE NAZIS WE NEED TO COME UP WITH NEW NAMES OF WHAT THE NAZIS WERE BECAUSE THEY WERE DOING THINGS THAT THE CONFEDERACY WAS NOT. I DON’T LIKE THOSE ANALOGIES. THEY DON’T WORK FOR ME. BLACKMON: AND THAT’S AN IMPORTANT ROLE FOR A HISTORIAN TO PLAY. THAT THESE OVERDRAWN PARALLELS CAN BE JUST THAT AND PARTICULARLY THE IDEA THAT — I GET FRUSTRATED WITH THE FREQUENCY WITH WHICH PEOPLE WILL SOMETIMES SAY THAT SOMETHING THAT IS HAPPENING TODAY IS THE SAME THING AS SLAVERY. GALLAGHER: JUST LIKE SLAVERY. NO, IT’S NOT. I TALKED ABOUT THAT IN CLASS THIS MORNING. IT’S NOT JUST LIKE SLAVERY. YOU CANNOT SELL MY CHILDREN. THAT’S SLAVERY. YOU CANNOT TEAR MY FAMILY APART, SELL MY CHILDREN — NO, IT’S NOT. JIM CROW WAS TERRIBLE. JIM CROW DENIED HUMANITY IN MANY WAYS TO PEOPLE. CERTAINLY EQUAL RIGHTS. IT IS NOT JUST LIKE SLAVERY. IT’S NOT. BLACKMON: AND SLAVERY IS NOT GENOCIDE. GALLAGHER: IT’S NOT. THAT COMES IN — I DON’T WANT TO BELABOR THIS, BUT THE CONFEDERACY DOES NOT HAVE WIDE SCALE EFFORTS TO EXTERMINATE PEOPLE, WHICH NAZI GERMANY DOES. SLAVERY IS A BRUTAL INSTITUTION. BUT ITS POINT IS — THEY MAKE MONEY FROM IT. THEY DON’T WANT TO DESTROY THE INSTITUTION THEY’RE MAKING MONEY FROM. SO YOU JUST HAVE TO SEPARATE NAZI GERMANY FROM THE CONFEDERACY. YOU JUST HAVE TO. BLACKMON: LET’S GO BACK TO WHERE WE BEGAN THIS WHOLE EPISODE AND THAT WAS THIS TAKING NOTE OF THIS INCREDIBLY DIVIDED TIME THAT WE HAVE IN AMERICAN LIFE THIS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION THAT REALLY IS ABOUT VERY SERIOUS THINGS. IT IS HUGELY AFFECTED BY THE SENSE OF DIVISION BY THE COUNTRY, A SENSE OF POLITICAL BITTERNESS, BUT IT IS ALSO ABOUT VERY SUBSTANTIVE DIFFERENT VIEWS ABOUT HOW THE AMERICAN ECONOMY SHOULD EVOLVE OVER TIME. MAYBE MORE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS THAN WE’VE SEEN IN A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN QUITE SOME TIME. SO PRESIDENT OBAMA, QUITE FAMOUSLY, WHEN HE CAME INTO OFFICE PUBLICLY DISCUSSED HIS REVERENCE FOR LINCOLN AND HE WANTED TO EVOKE THE “TEAM OF RIVALS,” THE TITLE OF DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN’S BOOK ABOUT LINCOLN, AND IN THE END WAS TEASED A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHETHER HE REALLY WAS AS LINCOLNESQUE AS HE IMAGINED, WHETHER HE REALLY DID PULL OF A TEAM OF RIVALS. BUT IF YOU WERE SITTING DOWN WITH WHOEVER THE NEXT PRESIDENT IS AND YOU WERE GOING TO SAY AS YOU APPROACH THIS EVEN MORE NOW DIVIDED TIME AND YOU WERE TRYING TO REACH BACK TO THE ERA OF LINCOLN FOR SOME LESSONS THAT WOULD HAVE VALUE TODAY, WHAT WOULD YOU REACH BACK TO? WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THAT NEW PRESIDENT? GALLAGHER: WELL, THE FIRST THING I WOULD DO IS NOT COMPARE MYSELF TO LINCOLN. THAT’S THE VERY FIRST THING I’D DO BECAUSE THAT’S GENERALL LOSING PROPOSITION. BUT WHAT I WOULD DO IS IDENTIFY WHAT THE PRINCIPAL PROBLEM THAT YOU’RE GOING TO BE DEALING WITH IS. LAY IT OUT. AND THEN I WOULD BRING INTO THE EFFORT TO DEAL WITH THAT LEADING FIGURES WHO MAY NOT AGREE WITH YOU. THAT’S WHAT THE TEAM OF RIVALS WERE. YOU HAD A VERY CONSERVATIVE EDWARD BATES FROM MISSOURI, YOU HAD WILLIAM HENRY SEWARD, SALMON P. CHASE, MUCH MORE LIBERAL THAN LINCOLN ON THE QUESTION OF EMANCIPATION, FOR EXAMPLE. BRING THESE DIFFERENT VOICES, THESE CLASHING IDEAS IN SOME WAYS TO THE PROCESS OF DEALING WITH WHAT YOU HAVE IDENTIFIED. THIS IS WHAT I’M GOING TO DEAL WITH. AND IT IS SO SERIOUS THAT I’M GOING TO REACH OUT TO PEOPLE I KNOW DISAGREE WITH ME IN SOME WAYS AND WE’RE GOING TO FIND A WAY TO MAKE THIS BETTER. AND IN LINCOLN’S CASE, IT WAS TO PUT THE UNION BACK TOGETHER. THE NEXT PRESIDENT IS GOING TO FACE THE KINDS OF THINGS YOU SAID. LET’S SEND A MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES THAT YOU’RE SO SERIOUS THAT YOU ARE ACTUALLY GOING TO TOLERATE IDEAS DIFFERENT THAN THOSE YOU HOLD YOURSELF IN AN EFFORT TO FIND A SOLUTION. BLACKMON: THE CASE HAS BEEN MADE BY SOME HISTORIANS OF THE PRESIDENCY AND SUCH THAT TRULY GREAT PRESIDENTS CAN ONLY OCCUR IN THE CONTEXT OF A GREAT CRISIS, AND SO THAT IF A PRESIDENT DOESN’T FACE A GIGANTIC CRISIS, THEN THEY WILL NEVER EMERGE AS A TRULY LEGENDARY SORT OF PRESIDENT. BUT SO, IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO IMAGINE THIS IN REALITY, BUT IF ABRAHAM LINCOLN HAD SOMEHOW HAD NOT HAD THE CIVIL WAR TO CONTEND WITH, WHAT KIND OF PRESIDENT WOULD HE HAVE BEEN? GALLAGHER: I DON’T HE WOULD BE TO US WHAT HE IS NOW. BECAUSE IT REALLY IS THE THREAT TO THE VERY EXISTENCE OF THE NATION THAT LETS LINCOLN BE THE TOWERING FIGURE THAT HE IS. I THINK THAT’S RIGHT. THE ONLY PRESIDENT WHO’S A GREAT PRESIDENT WHO DIDN’T FACE A SPECIFIC CRISIS WAS WASHINGTON, AND THERE, EVERYTHING HE’S DOING IS SETTING A PRECEDENT, SO HE’S IN AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT CATEGORY. BUT OTHER THAN WASHINGTON? ALL THE OTHER ONES WHO ARE RECKONED GREAT DEALT WITH A TREMENDOUS CRISIS. BLACKMON: GARY GALLAGHER, THANKS FOR JOINING US. GALLAGHER: ENJOYED IT. THANK YOU. BLACKMON: WE HOPE YOU’LL JOIN THIS CONVERSATION WITH AMERICAN FORUM ON THE MILLER CENTER FACEBOOK PAGE, OR BY FOLLOWING US ON TWITTER, @DOUGLASBLACKMON OR @AMERICANFORUMTV. TO SEND US A COMMENT, WATCH OTHER EPISODES, DOWNLOAD PODCASTS, GET A TRANSCRIPT, OR TO READ MORE ABOUT THE MOST IMPORTANT FIRST YEAR CHALLENGES THAT HAVE FACED MANY PRESIDENTS IN THE PAST, VISIT US AT MILLERCENTER.ORG/AMERICANFORUM. I’M DOUG BLACKMON. SEE YOU NEXT WEEK. [CAPTIONING PERFORMED BY THE NATIONAL CAPTIONING INSTITUTE, PONSIBLE FOR ITS