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Old 21st January 2021, 01:56 AM   #1
The Atheist
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The 1776 Commission Report

Have you read it?

https://www.scribd.com/document/4911...n-Final-Report

tl;dr version: Please turn the clock back to 1776.

From apologetics for slavery to teaching children nationalism, it's a superb piece of propaganda, worthy of any Goebbels.

Produced by far-right "academics", no historians were employed to assist in reaching conclusions, and it has rightly been rubbished by actual historians.

I imagine it will make lousy toilet paper, which is a shame, being the only sensible use for it.

Genius touch releasing it on MLK Day!
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Old 21st January 2021, 02:11 AM   #2
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Biden's not wasting any time getting rid of it.

Quote:
President Joe Biden on Wednesday issued an executive order to dissolve the 1776 commission, a panel stood up by President Donald Trump as a rebuttal to schools applying a more accurate history curriculum around slavery in the US, Biden's transition team announced Wednesday.
CNN
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Old 21st January 2021, 02:12 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Have you read it?

https://www.scribd.com/document/4911...n-Final-Report

tl;dr version: Please turn the clock back to 1776.

From apologetics for slavery to teaching children nationalism, it's a superb piece of propaganda, worthy of any Goebbels.

Produced by far-right "academics", no historians were employed to assist in reaching conclusions, and it has rightly been rubbished by actual historians.

I imagine it will make lousy toilet paper, which is a shame, being the only sensible use for it.

Genius touch releasing it on MLK Day!
The commission was revoked on day 1. The report is tossed in the garbage can.

"(c) Executive Order 13958 of November 2, 2020 (Establishing the Presidentís Advisory 1776 Commission), is hereby revoked."
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Old 21st January 2021, 02:14 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Have you read it?

https://www.scribd.com/document/4911...n-Final-Report

tl;dr version: Please turn the clock back to 1776.

From apologetics for slavery to teaching children nationalism, it's a superb piece of propaganda, worthy of any Goebbels.

Produced by far-right "academics", no historians were employed to assist in reaching conclusions, and it has rightly been rubbished by actual historians.

I imagine it will make lousy toilet paper, which is a shame, being the only sensible use for it.

Genius touch releasing it on MLK Day!
I read part way through it. Honestly, I'm finding it interesting and, in its own way, worthwhile, but I suspect that in the latter sections, where it gets to things more applicable to modern politics, I suspect I'll find it less appealing. I haven't gotten to the section on "progressivism", but the fact that it is right next to "communism" and "fascism" in the table of contents makes me suspect that there's a bit of bias in the report.


Well, that and the fact that it was obviously Trump-serving propaganda from the start. However, I will withhold judgement until I've read farther in. In the first few pages, I haven't found anything extraordinarily offensive.
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Old 21st January 2021, 02:55 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I read part way through it. Honestly, I'm finding it interesting and, in its own way, worthwhile, but I suspect that in the latter sections, where it gets to things more applicable to modern politics, I suspect I'll find it less appealing. I haven't gotten to the section on "progressivism", but the fact that it is right next to "communism" and "fascism" in the table of contents makes me suspect that there's a bit of bias in the report.


Well, that and the fact that it was obviously Trump-serving propaganda from the start. However, I will withhold judgement until I've read farther in. In the first few pages, I haven't found anything extraordinarily offensive.
I just started reading it an I actually find it quite agreeable. There are a few twinge worthy statements. But it is mostly that we should not condemn Founding Fathers who were slave owners because that was the general practice at the time and if they insisted on opposing slavery the Union would not have happened and that we do not celebrate them as slave owners but because they established the principals that all men are created equal and that people can govern themselves through representation. Even though they did not form those principals perfectly, their establishment of those principals led to the possibility to end slavery of all types and freedom and representation for all.

I hear the dog whistles going off on certain points. But I also agree with the opposition to wanting to tear down statues of Washington and similar suggestions from the far left.

I will probably comment more when I have read the rest.
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Old 21st January 2021, 03:27 AM   #6
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How can anyone buy into this ******? Slavery may have been a "general practice" at the time, but white people were also "generally" aware that it was wrong and the fact that retaining slavery was so controversial at the time that the United States almost didn't happen is proof enough that the "Founding Fathers" would consider their future derision quite understandable. Most of them would have been pretty ******* surprised that the abominable practice continued as long as it did.

Bottom line: We don't have to judge slaveowners based on our modern morality to find them evil. We can come to the same conclusion based on the morality of their time. The beliefs of unrepentant slaveowners in this regard were not the dominant beliefs of the time; that's as much a myth as the idea that the American Civil War was fought over "states' rights." Persistently repeating it doesn't make it so.
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Old 21st January 2021, 04:38 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
How can anyone buy into this ******? Slavery may have been a "general practice" at the time, but white people were also "generally" aware that it was wrong and the fact that retaining slavery was so controversial at the time that the United States almost didn't happen is proof enough that the "Founding Fathers" would consider their future derision quite understandable. Most of them would have been pretty ******* surprised that the abominable practice continued as long as it did.

Bottom line: We don't have to judge slaveowners based on our modern morality to find them evil. We can come to the same conclusion based on the morality of their time. The beliefs of unrepentant slaveowners in this regard were not the dominant beliefs of the time; that's as much a myth as the idea that the American Civil War was fought over "states' rights." Persistently repeating it doesn't make it so.
It was though, specifically about if a state had the right to outlaw slavery and give black people rights.
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Old 21st January 2021, 04:55 AM   #8
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Putting aside the many, many, oh so many, racist dog whistles for a moment. It is so poorly written. Did they start it the night before? It reads like one of Trump's speeches. A selection of buzzwords strung together by barely coherent sentences and self-aggrandizement.
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Old 21st January 2021, 06:08 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
I just started reading it an I actually find it quite agreeable. There are a few twinge worthy statements. But it is mostly that we should not condemn Founding Fathers who were slave owners because that was the general practice at the time and if they insisted on opposing slavery the Union would not have happened and that we do not celebrate them as slave owners but because they established the principals that all men are created equal and that people can govern themselves through representation. Even though they did not form those principals perfectly, their establishment of those principals led to the possibility to end slavery of all types and freedom and representation for all.

I hear the dog whistles going off on certain points. But I also agree with the opposition to wanting to tear down statues of Washington and similar suggestions from the far left.

I will probably comment more when I have read the rest.
Slavery was abolished in British colonies before the US did. The system set up by the founding fathers prolonged slavery.

ETA: The US was a sovereign nation. Compared to other European sovereigns, the US was woefully behind at the time of founding. Most had abolished slavery by the time of the ratification of the Constitution. It is more accurate to describe the constitution as insulating slavery rather than a system for it's end.

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Old 21st January 2021, 06:54 AM   #10
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John Newton, a man of that time, was a slave-trader. However, like some others, he eventually changed his views.
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Old 21st January 2021, 07:07 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Slavery was abolished in British colonies before the US did. The system set up by the founding fathers prolonged slavery.
And when they did finally give it up they came up with sharecropping, separate but equal, redlining etc. to continue avoiding actual equality.
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Old 21st January 2021, 07:18 AM   #12
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Not much point in discussing this anymore. The ink wasn't even dry on this revisionist, slavery-apologism propaganda before it was rightly thrown in the trash.
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Old 21st January 2021, 07:20 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Not much point in discussing this anymore. The ink wasn't even dry on this revisionist, slavery-apologism propaganda before it was rightly thrown in the trash.
And that is going to be one full trash bin by the end of the day.
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Old 21st January 2021, 07:28 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Not much point in discussing this anymore. The ink wasn't even dry on this revisionist, slavery-apologism propaganda before it was rightly thrown in the trash.
Biden's a democrat. I'm sure it wasn't thrown in the trash.

Instead, it was deposited into a recycling bin, to be reprocessed into toilet paper.
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Old 21st January 2021, 07:40 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
How can anyone buy into this ******? Slavery may have been a "general practice" at the time, but white people were also "generally" aware that it was wrong and the fact that retaining slavery was so controversial at the time that the United States almost didn't happen is proof enough that the "Founding Fathers" would consider their future derision quite understandable. Most of them would have been pretty ******* surprised that the abominable practice continued as long as it did.

Bottom line: We don't have to judge slaveowners based on our modern morality to find them evil. We can come to the same conclusion based on the morality of their time. The beliefs of unrepentant slaveowners in this regard were not the dominant beliefs of the time; that's as much a myth as the idea that the American Civil War was fought over "states' rights." Persistently repeating it doesn't make it so.


I agree. There is validity in judging people against the standards of their time and whether or not they helped or hindered movement towards a more fair, free and just society. Judged by todays standards Abraham Lincoln was very much a racist, but by the standards of his time he was somewhat enlightened on the subject. Both of these are secondary to what he actually did, which was to push the US forward towards a more fair and free society.


The US founding fathers simply kicked the can down the road. The US may not have been formed at all had slavery been outlawed from the very start. Once you get past American creation myths, I wonder of that would have truly been worse than what happened.
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Old 21st January 2021, 07:46 AM   #16
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So the discussion about what standard against which we judge the founding fathers begs the question of, what standard is actually being used and by whom?

What are 5th graders learning about the founding fathers? Are they actually being taught that the ff were evil or anything? Or are they being taught the truth about the situation?

As a parent of a 6th grader, who was in 5th grade last year and learned some American history and did learn about the ff, I certainly didn't hear him talk about how they were evil.

I am not sure I understand the point of the 1776 commission. What was it's objectives, and what problem was it even attempted to fix?
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Old 21st January 2021, 07:47 AM   #17
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What exactly is this thing? Looks to be about 20 pages of text, including pictures. I've written longer papers in school; what was this thing supposed to be used for? It reads like something you'd find at a visitor center's information booth. Too short for a text, too long for racist graffiti. What was it for?
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Old 21st January 2021, 07:51 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
What exactly is this thing? Looks to be about 20 pages of text, including pictures. I've written longer papers in school; what was this thing supposed to be used for? It reads like something you'd find at a visitor center's information booth. Too short for a text, too long for racist graffiti. What was it for?
Jerk off material for white nationalists.
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Old 21st January 2021, 07:54 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
So the discussion about what standard against which we judge the founding fathers begs the question of, what standard is actually being used and by whom?

What are 5th graders learning about the founding fathers? Are they actually being taught that the ff were evil or anything? Or are they being taught the truth about the situation?

As a parent of a 6th grader, who was in 5th grade last year and learned some American history and did learn about the ff, I certainly didn't hear him talk about how they were evil.

I am not sure I understand the point of the 1776 commission. What was it's objectives, and what problem was it even attempted to fix?
The truth is the ones who owned slaves are evil.
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Old 21st January 2021, 07:56 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
What exactly is this thing? Looks to be about 20 pages of text, including pictures. I've written longer papers in school; what was this thing supposed to be used for? It reads like something you'd find at a visitor center's information booth. Too short for a text, too long for racist graffiti. What was it for?
Historians have had the temerity to suggest that the Founding Fathers were not perfect, and have not been adequately worshipping them. This document, prepared by experts in government and political science (no historians) who are big fans of Trump, reminds everyone how wonderful the Founding Fathers were, and it's not fair to mention that they created a system of government that perpetuated the system of slavery and excluded women from participation because, hey, all their friends were doing it
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Old 21st January 2021, 08:04 AM   #21
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This post might be a little out there.....let me know if this is too wild.


The argument that it let the union form doesn't account for alternative scenarios. Whatever non-slave owning government left together after a failed Constitutional convention would view the others as foreign countries. Their history would be about the country that existed.

We do it now. We don't talk about the 15 colonies (including Quebec and nova Scotia). People don't form attachments to history that is not, "theirs" even when the "their" distinction is arbitrary.
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Old 21st January 2021, 08:11 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
Historians have had the temerity to suggest that the Founding Fathers were not perfect, and have not been adequately worshipping them. This document, prepared by experts in government and political science (no historians) who are big fans of Trump, reminds everyone how wonderful the Founding Fathers were, and it's not fair to mention that they created a system of government that perpetuated the system of slavery and excluded women from participation because, hey, all their friends were doing it
Conservatives are big on creation myths, and typically hold creation myths surrounding the creation of the US on par with biblical creation myths. Any suggestion that the ff were not free of sin and divinely guided offends them.
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Old 21st January 2021, 08:30 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
So the discussion about what standard against which we judge the founding fathers begs the question of, what standard is actually being used and by whom?

What are 5th graders learning about the founding fathers? Are they actually being taught that the ff were evil or anything? Or are they being taught the truth about the situation?

As a parent of a 6th grader, who was in 5th grade last year and learned some American history and did learn about the ff, I certainly didn't hear him talk about how they were evil.

I am not sure I understand the point of the 1776 commission. What was it's objectives, and what problem was it even attempted to fix?
It was mainly an attempt to counter this "problem" (from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1776_Commission):

Quote:
Trump first spoke of giving students a "patriotic education" on September 2, 2020.[5][6] He reiterated his intention to establish the commission in a proclamation on October 6, 2020.[7] The commission was conceived partly as a response to The New York Times' 1619 Project,[8] which explores American history through an African-American framing.[9][10] Various federal laws prohibit the federal government from regulating school curricula, which are determined by school districts under rules established by state governments. However, the federal government influences state and local decisions through funding.[11]
The Wikipedia "1619 Project" page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_1619_Project
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Old 21st January 2021, 08:33 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
What exactly is this thing? Looks to be about 20 pages of text, including pictures. I've written longer papers in school; what was this thing supposed to be used for? It reads like something you'd find at a visitor center's information booth. Too short for a text, too long for racist graffiti. What was it for?
Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
Historians have had the temerity to suggest that the Founding Fathers were not perfect, and have not been adequately worshipping them. This document, prepared by experts in government and political science (no historians) who are big fans of Trump, reminds everyone how wonderful the Founding Fathers were, and it's not fair to mention that they created a system of government that perpetuated the system of slavery and excluded women from participation because, hey, all their friends were doing it
Right, I get that. But I mean what actually is the thing for? I mean, most Americans could crank out 20 pages of American history off of the top of their heads, on their lunch break. I don't see why a commission was needed. And more to the point, what was its intended use? Like a reeducation Cliff Notes for Educators or something?
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Old 21st January 2021, 08:34 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
The US was a sovereign nation. Compared to other European sovereigns, the US was woefully behind at the time of founding. Most had abolished slavery by the time of the ratification of the Constitution.
Can I get a source on this claim?

ETA: I'm only seeing halting progress on the European continent prior to 1800 in the relevant wiki.
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Old 21st January 2021, 08:40 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Can I get a source on this claim?

ETA: I'm only seeing halting progress on the European continent prior to 1800 in the relevant wiki.
By this it seems to be pretty much entirely wrong

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-s...61464920070322

Though it does leave out that republican france abolished slavery in 1794 but that was rescinded by Napoleon in 1802. So france abolished slavery twice, in both 1794 and 1848.
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Old 21st January 2021, 08:48 AM   #27
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A couple of weeks ago I saw some video of a guy wandering through the halls of the United States Capitol carrying a bullhorn and shouting "Defend the Constitution". The people with him seemed to echo the sentiment.

To me, that scene suggests that there is a deficiency in our educational system.
It doesn't seem to me that these people had a proper understanding of the principles embodied in the Constitution of the United States.

In general, I have heard an awful lot of talk about the Constitution in the last few months from people who seem to not have a real working grasp of the principles contained therein.

I still haven't finished the document, but I somehow doubt that it will have recommendations that will address those problems. Nevertheless, in the first several pages, which I have read, it emphasizes the importance of understanding those principles, and that is something I think is sorely lacking in American society today. Hopefully I'll have some time to finish it today or tomorrow.
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Old 21st January 2021, 08:55 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Can I get a source on this claim?

ETA: I'm only seeing halting progress on the European continent prior to 1800 in the relevant wiki.
The map at the top of that page shows most of Europe abolished in blue and green.
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Old 21st January 2021, 08:56 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
A couple of weeks ago I saw some video of a guy wandering through the halls of the United States Capitol carrying a bullhorn and shouting "Defend the Constitution". The people with him seemed to echo the sentiment.
Ah but was he clear about which constitution he was trying to have defended? You just assumed it was the American one.
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Old 21st January 2021, 09:09 AM   #30
The Don
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
The map at the top of that page shows most of Europe abolished in blue and green.
They may have abolished it at home, but they positively encouraged it in their colonies
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Old 21st January 2021, 09:20 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Can I get a source on this claim?

ETA: I'm only seeing halting progress on the European continent prior to 1800 in the relevant wiki.
The map from the wiki link seems to show most of Europe having abolished slavery by 1776.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeli..._abolition.svg
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Old 21st January 2021, 09:24 AM   #32
The Don
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
The map from the wiki link seems to show most of Europe having abolished slavery by 1776.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeli..._abolition.svg
Russia may have abolished slavery in 1723 but they didn't free the serfs until 1861 (and as late as 1892 in Kalmykia) so take that map with a grain of salt.

edited to add....

Great Britain abolished slavery at home in 1772 but it was still legal in the British Empire until 1834.

Likewise, slavery was finally abolished in the French colonies in 1848.

Last edited by The Don; 21st January 2021 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 21st January 2021, 09:52 AM   #33
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I can't help but notice, reading the responses in the thread, that the document is mostly about constitutional principles, and the discussion is about slavery.

The principles described by Locke, Montesquieu, Jefferson, Hamilton, and others exist quite independently of slavery, and are worth knowing, whether or not any individual or government, today or in ages past, ever successfully implemented those principles, or indeed whether or not they even attempted to do so.
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Old 21st January 2021, 10:10 AM   #34
BobTheCoward
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Russia may have abolished slavery in 1723 but they didn't free the serfs until 1861 (and as late as 1892 in Kalmykia) so take that map with a grain of salt.

edited to add....

Great Britain abolished slavery at home in 1772 but it was still legal in the British Empire until 1834.

Likewise, slavery was finally abolished in the French colonies in 1848.
But in this case, the US wants to play with the big boys and not colonies.
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Old 21st January 2021, 10:14 AM   #35
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Kind of a moot point what other countries were doing. Several states in the US had already abolished slavery before the constitutional convention. Abolition of slavery was not something that was beyond the realm of imagination to any of the founders.

Arguments for abolishing slavery were rooted in the same Lockean philosophy that undergirds the founding of this country and something the founders were intimately aware of.
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Old 21st January 2021, 10:20 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Russia may have abolished slavery in 1723 but they didn't free the serfs until 1861 (and as late as 1892 in Kalmykia) so take that map with a grain of salt.

edited to add....

Great Britain abolished slavery at home in 1772 but it was still legal in the British Empire until 1834.

Likewise, slavery was finally abolished in the French colonies in 1848.
I don't see that as germane. The point being made was that when the US constitution was written slavery was already something most major nations had decided was wrong/evil. The fact that some of the special interest groups of the day managed to convince those governments to keep allowing it in places where people didn't have to look at it doesn't change this. The ff HAD to know slavery was evil, and should have found a way to avoid entrenching it in the US constitution.
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Old 21st January 2021, 10:25 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
It was mainly an attempt to counter this "problem" (from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1776_Commission):



The Wikipedia "1619 Project" page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_1619_Project
The 1619 Project deserves tons of criticism and is full of falsehoods, but that doesn't mean the exact opposite of it is true. I forsee the horror-show that is the 1776 Commission being used to boost acceptance of the 1619 Project stuff, despite the fact that historians are hugely critical of both. At least the 1619 Project is well meaning I guess, and more importantly, actually does contain a lot of good information mixed in with the crap.
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Old 21st January 2021, 10:29 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I can't help but notice, reading the responses in the thread, that the document is mostly about constitutional principles, and the discussion is about slavery.

The principles described by Locke, Montesquieu, Jefferson, Hamilton, and others exist quite independently of slavery, and are worth knowing, whether or not any individual or government, today or in ages past, ever successfully implemented those principles, or indeed whether or not they even attempted to do so.
We can't allow that to be taught in the schools. The emphasis must be about slavery and how wicked the US was and is for that matter. How evil the founding fathers really were etc.

Also in case you didn't know. The US war with Japan in WW II was largely due to the US policy of aggressive expansionism in the Pacific. (No kidding this view is actually taught.)
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Old 21st January 2021, 10:31 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I can't help but notice, reading the responses in the thread, that the document is mostly about constitutional principles, and the discussion is about slavery.

The principles described by Locke, Montesquieu, Jefferson, Hamilton, and others exist quite independently of slavery, and are worth knowing, whether or not any individual or government, today or in ages past, ever successfully implemented those principles, or indeed whether or not they even attempted to do so.
There are some major exceptions but for the most part the US constitution didn't really do much more than restate principles that were already present in English Common Law. It did remove the unelected lords and replaced in with Senators appointed by the individual States. It also replaced a King with an elected President but that was something that was actually debated.
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Old 21st January 2021, 10:34 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I can't help but notice, reading the responses in the thread, that the document is mostly about constitutional principles, and the discussion is about slavery.

The principles described by Locke, Montesquieu, Jefferson, Hamilton, and others exist quite independently of slavery, and are worth knowing, whether or not any individual or government, today or in ages past, ever successfully implemented those principles, or indeed whether or not they even attempted to do so.
This is the thing - the principles behind the US Constitution are definitely worth knowing - it is also worth knowing that the US has often fallen short of those principles, arguing that they really dont apply to "those people" because "reasons."

The idea is to teach a complete history, ie both sides, vice a one sided, propandistic view.
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