This blog post, written by educator Sarah Morgan Smith, was first published on July 16, 2020. Today we are republishing it in honor of 175 years the first convention on women’s rights, held in Seneca Falls, New York on July 19, 1848.
172 years ago this Sunday Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and over a hundred other reform-minded men and women gathered in the sleepy village of Seneca Falls, New York, for what was to be the first national women’s rights convention. During the meeting, those present took Declaration of feelings, a summary of the grievances of American womanhood. Created explicitly on the model Declaration of Independencethe text asserts not only that men treat women unfairly, but also that they are entitled, by “the laws of nature and the God of nature,” to “occupy among the people of the earth a position different from that which they have hitherto held.” position, i.e. equality with men.
Its publication brought much public attention, mostly negative, to the convention attendees, and Stanton embarked on her first public speaking tour as an apologist for what was to become an organized women’s rights movement.
In her speech, which she apparently gave several times in different places, Stanton alludes to the still unusual character of a woman speaking to a mixed assembly of men and women. However, despite her own sense of uneasiness as a speaker, she has stated that she is driven by a “sense of right and duty” to address a pressing issue, which she describes as “the issue of women’s faults”. She also couldn’t delegate this task to a male colleague, she told the audience, since “the woman has to do the work herself; for only a woman can understand the height, depth, length and breadth of her own degradation. A man cannot speak for her because he has been brought up to believe that she is so materially different from him that he cannot judge her thoughts, feelings and opinions by his own.”
Note that Stanton’s statement is not a call for politics based on identity or personal characteristics. Rather, she subtly challenges the popular notion that men and women are so different that they demand “separate spheres” of influence and dominance, reminding her audience of the shared humanity of the sexes. In other words, if the men around her correctly understood in 1848 that womenthey are equal in human nature and dignity, then Stanton could potentially delegate the role of speaker on behalf of women’s rights. (On the other hand, if America’s men understood that women were equal in nature and dignity, she wouldn’t need to make a speech at all.) Essentially, Stanton says it’s all just male prejudice. what prevents women from being heard and understood.
Stanton’s assertion that equal and free people can always understand each other’s thoughts is precisely the reason why we study the past in the Teaching of American History using historical documents:
If we can understand the documents of the past, then our minds are free from the present. If they are free from the present, then they are also free from the constraints of gender, race, and socioeconomic status that characterize us here and now. That our minds are free from these things means that we share a common humanity. This means, in the most important sense, that all men are created equal.
– Teaching American History, Statement of Principles
In other words, when we engage in historical research in this way, we reaffirm our commitment to the core principles of American founding creed as set out in the Declaration of Independence, in a way that also enables us to understand the many different voices of our national past as relevant and relevant in our time… and learn from them.
Thus, Stanton could not have been more prescient when she wrote:
Among the many important questions that were put before the public, there is nothing more fundamental, affecting the entire human family, than what are technically called women’s rights. Every hint of the humiliated and inferior position occupied by women throughout the world is contemptible and insulting. From the man of the highest mental development to the most humiliated scoundrel roaming the streets, we are faced with ridicule and, of course, jokes bestowed on those who dare to claim that a woman stands next to a man, his equal, placed here by his God. to enjoy with him the beautiful earth that is her home as well as his, having the same sense of good and evil and turning to the same Being for guidance and support. So long has man exercised tyranny over her, hurting himself and dulling her powers, that few can muster the courage to face the storm; and the chain has been on her for so long that she does not know that there is a remedy …
We hope that by continuing to deal with the past in this way, American citizens in the present will recognize their own freedom and equality and respect the freedom and equality of others.
For more information on the Seneca Falls Convention and the ideology of the struggle for full gender equality throughout American history, see the Core Document volume, Gender and equalityedited by Sarah Morgan Smith.
You could use an ice cream maker, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry! Your blender or food processor will do the trick just fine.
My ricotta is lumpy. What did I do wrong?
You have to focus everything on mixing. Set that puppy to HIGH to get that silky smooth texture. It should take a few minutes to reach the right consistency, then you can strain the mixture to get rid of any unwanted lumps.
Can I use low fat or fat free cottage cheese in this recipe?
I recommend the full fat variety, with at least 4% milk fat I mean, you COULD use the low fat stuff but the ice cream won’t be as creamy as you’d like.
Can I replace honey with other sweeteners?
If honey isn’t your thing or you don’t have it on hand, try maple syrup, agave syrup, or even granulated sugar.
Can I add other mix-ins or seasonings to the recipe?
Yes, you have carte blanche (crème blanche?) here. Add your favorite mix-ins like nuts, fruit or candy pieces. Get creative!
Is this recipe suitable for people who are lactose intolerant?
Cottage cheese is quite low in lactose compared to other dairy products, but that would be a question for your doctor or dietician. There are also lactose-free ricotta alternatives, although they may not be suitable for making ice cream.
Due diligence is a vital part of any business transaction. This ensures that all parties involved in a package understand the worth and implications of a deal, and avoids any potential problems down the road. The problem is that traditional homework processes typically involve showing physical documents with multiple interested parties by when, which can be difficult, time consuming and risky.
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Think about a virtual data place for due diligence, look for a single with user-friendly interfaces which can be compatible with pretty much all important devices and operating systems. It should support drag-and-drop uploads, single-sign on, automobile index numbering, and easy report arrangement and navigation. It may also be available to users from all over the world, which is crucial if your team involves professionals of numerous nationalities.
Several virtual info rooms have a ready-made investment due diligence checklist which you can use to determine what documents to upload for that specific deal. They can be customized to fit a company’s certain needs, and still provide advanced activity credit reporting that provides regarding how effort can be progressing.
Governor General C. Warren In the blink of an eye, I saw a problem, a flash of Confederate bayonets threatening the positions of the Army of the Potomac on Graveyard Ridge near the village of Gettysburg. Behind the Warren was Little Round Top, a rocky outcrop that army commander George G. Meade had ordered troops to use as an anchor for the Union defensive position. To Warren’s surprise, the only Union troops to occupy Little Round Top at 3:00 pm on July 2, 1863, were a small signal detachment. As Meade’s chief engineer, part of Warren’s job was to identify weaknesses in Union lines. What Warren saw was not just weakness, but an impending disaster. If the Confederates captured Little Round Top, they would be able to fire artillery all over the Union line. The Battle of Gettysburg, the success of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s second invasion of the North, and perhaps the outcome of the war hung in the balance.
Contemporary accounts of what happened next differ, but no one questions Warren’s vital role at this critical moment in the three-day Battle of Gettysburg. Although he had no troops of his own, he persuaded two Union officers to cooperate. First, Colonel Strong Vincent agreed to lead his men to the top of Little Round Top. They arrived at the crest of the hill just 15 minutes before the Confederate advance. They repulsed several attacks. Warren then secured artillery support and then returned down the slope in search of reinforcements. He found them in his former regiment, the 140th New York, commanded by Colonel Patrick O’Rourke. O’Rourke protested Warren’s authority to lead his troops up the rocky slope, telling Warren that he had other orders. Warren told O’Rourke that he would be held responsible. O’Rourke had learned to trust Warren’s judgment while serving under him in the 140th, so he led his troops forward and over the edge in a full-scale assault on the approaching rebels.
I first heard the story of General Warren’s heroism in 2013 when my son Ben and I attended a 150th anniversary event. National Military Park at Gettysburg. For us, it was a last minute decision. So many people came to Gettysburg that year that the only hotel we could find was an hour away. On July 2, we listened to a park ranger describe the actions of General Warren 150 years ago. I remember the look on his face when he told this story. Shaking his head in disbelief, he said, “You just can’t make it up.” I wondered why the Battle of Gettysburg delights so many Americans. Why do so many Americans flock to Gettysburg every summer to commemorate the battle that caused so much death and destruction? Was it just because of the subplots in the battle that seemed stranger than fiction?
These questions continued to haunt me the next day. That afternoon, Ben and I joined the re-enactors at Seminary Ridge, preparing to recreate Pickett’s Charge, the infamous climax of the battle. I asked a nearby park ranger if he knew how the number of re-enactors, both in uniform and without it, correlated with the number of soldiers in Pickett’s charge. He told me that the Rangers had been discussing the matter all day. Although they did not have an exact number, everyone concluded that the reenactors had doubled or tripled the number of Pickett’s soldiers.
One answer to the question about the Gettysburg pilgrimage is offered by Civil War historian James McPherson, author of the book The battle cry of freedomthe best one-volume about the war. McPherson argues that “The Union won the war mainly through victories in the West, but the Confederacy came close to winning in the East.” Many Americans are fascinated by how close the Confederacy came to winning the war at this small crossroads in Pennsylvania.
The Battle of Gettysburg raises numerous doubts. What if John Buford’s Union cavalry had not bought a few precious hours with their blood, allowing Meade’s army to reach Gettysburg on July 1, 1863? What if Stonewall Jackson hadn’t died from his injuries in Chancellorsville two months earlier? Was Jackson’s presence decisive? What if the bombardment of Confederate positions prior to Pickett’s attack disabled Union guns?
Perhaps the biggest “what if” battle involved General Robert E. Lee. What if Lee had taken the advice of Lieutenant General James Longstreet and tried to outflank Union positions from the south and east? Could he place his army between Meade and Washington, only 80 miles away? If that happened, would President Abraham Lincoln’s ensuing panic trigger negotiations with the Confederacy? Would this have led to foreign recognition of the Confederation by France or Britain? Lee repeatedly rejected Longstreet’s advice, saying, “The enemy is here and I’m going to strike him here.” To Lee, his men had proven that they could achieve anything he asked them to. At Gettysburg, he asked them to do more than any army of the day could do.
Military historians consider Gettysburg the turning point of the war. Although it dragged on for another two years, Li’s army never again invaded the North. Lincoln appointed Ulysses S. Grant as commander of the United States Army, and the rebellion turned into a war of attrition. A war that the Confederacy cannot win.
No one can predict what the United States would look like today if the seceding states won their independence. But we know that this would have delayed indefinitely the release of the four million souls who were enslaved in the 1860s. Enslaved people would continue to flee north to freedom. Tensions between the United States and the Confederate States would remain high – future wars are inevitable. Fortunately, this did not happen. The Union was victorious at Gettysburg and in the larger fight.
The legacy of Gettysburg is not only about the military outcome of the battle. It includes the vision of America formulated by President Lincoln in Gettysburg Address. It is a myth that Lincoln wrote the speech on the back of an envelope while driving to Gettysburg. Although he was not the keynote speaker at the ceremony, the honor went to Edward Everett, Lincoln was not going to come unprepared. Indeed, he began to develop the theme of his famous July 7 speech, when crowd celebrating the news of the Union victory gathered at the White House, urging the president to speak. “How long ago it has been—more than eighty years,” the President said, “since the Fourth of July, for the first time in the history of the world, a nation … proclaimed as a self-evident truth that “all men are created equal.” .'” Lincoln acknowledged the reason for the celebration of the crowd. The victory called for “a speech, but I’m not ready to make one worthy of the occasion.” At Gettysburg, eighty-odd years became “four-twenty-seven,” and the self-evident truth that “all men are created equal” became a statement under the greatest test.
By November of the same year, he was completely ready. The Emancipation Proclamation is almost a year old. African Americans responded to the call to join the fight for freedom and the Union, prompting Lincoln to admonish his friend James C. Conkling in August: “You say you will not fight for the liberation of the Negroes. Some of them seem ready to fight for you; but it doesn’t matter. Then fight solely for the sake of saving the Union. The victory at Gettysburg was followed by a similar triumph in the West, with Grant’s successful siege of Vicksburg. “The father of the waters is again walking calmly to the sea… The world does not seem so far away…” he said to Conkling. The war was no longer limited to saving the Union. It was about the principle of equality for all. In order for those who died at Gettysburg not to die in vain, there must be a “new birth of freedom”, a breaking of the chains of movable slavery.
Ray Tyler was a 2014 James Madison Scholar at South Carolina and graduated from Ashland University’s MA in American History and Government in 2016. Ray is a former director of education at TAH and is a frequent blogger.
Except Richard Nixon Two-handed-victory-finger-waving goodbye on the steps of Marine One as he prepares to leave the South Lawn of the White House in his last hours as president, John Dean hearing before Select Committee on Pre-Election Presidential Activities provided the Watergate scandal with his most iconic images. Dean’s testimony immediately took its place among other defining congressional hearings in American history: the 1922 kettle scandal trials, the 1948 Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss before the House Un-American Activities Committee, and the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings. year, and that’s just the name. A little. Other significant hearings will follow, including Oliver North’s testimony in favor of Iran-Contra in 1987, Anita Hill’s testimony at the 1991 Clarence Thomas confirmation hearing, and Hillary Clinton’s testimony at the Benghazi hearing in 2013.
The US Constitution nowhere explicitly gives Congress the power to initiate investigations or compel testimony as part of its legislative function, but such activity was an established feature of the British Parliament and the various assemblies of the American colonies by the time the Constitution was written. Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 makes the Senate responsible for “advice and consent” regarding the approval of treaties, as well as for the appointment of a number of public figures. In carrying out these duties, a wide range of research and investigative functions have been developed that (theoretically) allow Congress to understand and fulfill its broader constitutional duties. Such hearings and investigations have become one of the most visible platforms for public discussion, accountability and, of course, theater.
It was June 25, 1973, when recently fired White House Counsel John Dean first appeared before a select committee to explain his knowledge of and involvement in the growing Watergate scandal, as well as the president’s involvement. Formed in February last year by a unanimous vote in the Senate, a committee began its work to investigate alleged links between Nixon White House and the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate office complex in June 1972. actionsFBI Handbook, L. Patrick Gray, testified before another Senate committee – the Judiciary – to confirm him as J. Edgar Hoover’s first permanent successor (note: he was never confirmed). Gray reported that the Nixon White House took a particular interest in the FBI investigation into Watergate and that the FBI provided daily updates to Nixon officials. Gray also suggested that Dean “probably lied” to FBI investigators.
Gray’s testimony set in motion a chain of events that not only placed Dean on Senate Watergate Committee in June, but may have led to Nixon’s resignation in August 1974.
John Dean joined the Nixon White House in 1970. A staunch supporter of Nixon, he soon assumed an important position in the president’s inner circle. He became aware of the connection between the White House break-in and the Watergate (there were two) almost immediately after they happened, and shortly thereafter participated in the interception and destruction of evidence. Nixon also pushed Dean to play a leading role in the cover-up, especially by engaging in risky business in an attempt to buy the silence of the unpredictable Watergate robbers. It was only after Gray exposed him at the FBI confirmation hearing that Dean began to realize that Nixon and others—especially John Ehrlichman and H. R. Haldeman—were likely to make him the scapegoat for all this confusion. He secretly hired a lawyer and began working with a Senate committee on April 16, 1973.
Nixon very quickly discovered Dean’s “betrayal” and began pressuring Justice Department officials not to grant immunity to any government officials testifying before a Senate committee. On April 30, the same day that Nixon was forced to demand the resignation of fellow Watergate insiders, John Ehrlichman and H. R. Haldeman, he fired Dean. The die was cast. A Senate committee granted Dean immunity on May 16, making his public testimony all but inevitable.
The seriousness of Watergate in the public mind grew slowly but steadily, especially after Nixon’s second inauguration. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein Washington Mail wrote about the controversy from the beginning, uncovering shocking revelations using anonymous sources. But real public concern arose only after the conviction and sentencing of the “White House plumbers” on January 30, 1973. Public interest in the scandal grew steadily. By the time Dean appeared before the committee in June, the Americans were already on the line.
Together with his main interlocutor, Senator Sam Ervin Jr. Dean put on a powerful, if understated, show. As her Nixon biographer John A. Farrell put it, “For five days the whole country was chained to itself, while (Dean), dressed and coiffed like a straight junior partner, with his blond wife sitting stiffly behind him, recounted the horrors in dispassionate detail. White House and try to hide them.” He detailed his own and Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate cover-up and revealed the administration’s longstanding penchant for “dirty tricks” of all kinds. When he testified about document destruction, money laundering and bribery, he detailed the infamous and growing “cancer of the presidency.”
While Dean’s testimony helped mobilize public opinion, from a legal standpoint it had no real impact. It was Dean’s word against Nixon. That was until Nixon discovered Nixon’s recording system against the backdrop of Senate committee testimony. Alexander Butterfield— and after a lengthy legal effort to force the release of the taped conversations in the Oval Office — “hard evidence” emerged to support Dean’s claims. By that time, public confidence in Nixon had almost completely eroded, and his days as president were numbered.
(Insert headline “Nixon Resigns”) There is little doubt that Dean’s appearance before the Senate Watergate Committee fifty years ago marked something like the beginning of the end of Nixon’s presidency. This is a watershed moment in this scandal, if not in the wider history of presidential malfeasance. It also illustrates the strange and uncertain state of congressional public hearings in both American jurisprudence and the courts of public opinion.
The views in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the policies or positions of the National Defense University, the Department of Defense, or the US government.
Central Intelligence Act 194974 years ago this summer, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was not created; The agency was established in 1947 on a small plot of a giant National Security Act of 1947. However, the 1949 Act set the stage for what the agency would become in later decades by exempting it from public disclosure of its operations, budget, and staff. The fact that almost two years passed between the founding of the agency and the passage of legislation allowing it to conduct its activities without public disclosure may seem surprising to those familiar with what the CIA will be doing, but this delay speaks to the ambiguity and uncertainty within Congress, the executive branch, and the national security establishment on what kind of agency the CIA should be and what should be expected of it. It took a long and winding road to come to the point that something like the CIA Act of 1949 could become law.
When the CIA was created, there was no special intelligence tradition in the United States. While examples of espionage can be found throughout U.S. history (for more information, see the TAH volume, US foreign policy before 1899), there was no consistency in American intelligence arrangements; as with the army itself, the federal government tended to collect what it needed on an ad hoc basis in the face of a crisis. The situation began to change when, at the end of the 19th century, the army and navy created their own intelligence services.th century, but they tended to focus on their specific technical areas and were feared by officers as a dead end career path. The so-called “Black Chamber”, jointly funded by the US Army and the State Department, lasted from 1919 to 1929 and made significant cryptological advances before being shut down. Secretary of State Henry Stimson. Stimson’s apocryphal claim that “gentlemen don’t read each other’s mail”, whether he actually said it or not, reflected the usual U.S. attitude towards espionage as something tasteless and unpleasant, as something that the corrupt and corrupt states of Europe practice, and not something democratic. must approve.
World War II changed this dynamic, as it did many other things in American society and government. After the US entered the war Office of Strategic Services was created under the guidance William “Wild Bill” Donovan. Donovan took on a number of responsibilities and pushed for his new organization to become a vital part of the American defense establishment. Although his organization is often referred to as the direct ancestor of the CIA, the path from one to the other was not an easy one. The OSS was disbanded immediately after the end of World War II; partly this dissolution was due to petty bureaucratic concerns. The military intelligence services were outraged at the idea of a separate civilian agency, and J. Edgar Hoover feared that the OSS would become a rival to his FBI. Donovan was trusted by Franklin Roosevelt, but not by Harry Truman. These opponents capitalized on the distrust that many Americans had in the idea of an intelligence agency and the fear that it would create an “American Gestapo”, but did not create one. Donovan and many OSS veterans continued to champion their vision of a broad, active intelligence service, but most of them had to do so outside the civil service. The components of the OSS were either transferred to other departments or closed.
However, even without the OSS, Truman and his advisers recognized the importance of coordination among existing intelligence units. After the shock at Pearl Harbor, American distrust of the government intelligence service had to compete with the determination that the United States would never let such a surprise attack hit them again. Instead of the OSS, the Truman administration established Central Intelligence Group (CIG) led by the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI). The DCI name outlived the CIG; while future DCIs were often referred to as “Director of the CIA”, this title reflected the fact that the DCI had the responsibility of coordinating the activities of each agency and organization, which included what became known as the Intelligence Community (IC). (This changed after 9/11 with the introduction of the Director of National Intelligence.)
The CIG was the idea of a “clearing house” for intelligence management, a place where the product collected by the rest of the IC would be interpreted and analyzed. However, problems with the concept quickly became apparent. Funding for the CIG came from various departments that included elements of the IC, rather than directly from Congress. This has always been a secondary priority. His high positions were considered career killers; the creation of the CIA in 1947 was supposed to change this dynamic, but it remained a weak agency.
At the same time, tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union became increasingly serious, intractable, and public. As the United States began its efforts to contain the Soviet Union, and Soviet control over Eastern Europe grew stronger, proponents of Donovan’s OSS ideal began calling for efforts to transform the CIA from a purely analysis agency into an espionage agency. and secret activities. Many in the government agreed, and the CIA began to conduct limited covert operations; although its founding charter was short, the last clause of its duties directed it to carry out “all other functions and duties” related to intelligence, in accordance with the instructions of the National Security Council, a stretchy phrase that was the legal basis for the further activities of the CIA. However, DCI Roscoe Hillenkotter was considered a weak leader and during his tenure the CIA was often criticized for being ineffective.
George Kennan, the architect of containment, called for what he called “political warfare”; psychological operations, influence campaigns, and the like to put the Soviet Union on the defensive. He led the creation of the indirectly named Policy Coordination Office (OPC), jointly funded by the State Department and the CIA, but functionally independent of both. Its leader, Frank Wisner, began to think not only about Kennan’s containment doctrine, but also about trying to push back the Iron Curtain through unconventional, covert warfare. However, the OPC also suffered many failures, although its failures were much more secretive than those of the CIA. All the while, the international situation became increasingly threatening, especially after the coup in Czechoslovakia in 1948, backed by the Soviet Union, which solidified the stalemate between Western and Eastern Europe.
The American public’s wariness of the intelligence services became a secondary consideration to the need for an organization as active and powerful as Wild Bill Donovan wanted. The Central Intelligence Act of 1949 was a decisive step in achieving this goal. When Hillenkoetter was replaced after the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950 by Dwight Eisenhower’s former chief of staff, Walter Beadle Smith, the agency has acquired an experienced, serious DCI. Smith used the increased power he gained from the 1949 act to bring the OPC under his tight control. He also brought in more OSS veterans, solidifying the CIA as his successor.
One of these OSS veterans became Smith’s deputy and successor. Allen Dulles. During the long reign of Dulles from 1953 to 1961, the CIA became everything Donovan could dream of thanks to the Central Intelligence Act of 1949. However, the legacy of this change is, to say the least, controversial. Within the agency, operations began to absorb more and more resources, and the operations department became far more powerful than the analysis department, undermining the agency’s primary purpose. The lack of disclosure has allowed the executive branch to use the agency for a variety of purposes, from funding cultural organizations to fight communists in the realm of ideas, to extreme medical experiments on unsuspecting American citizens, the most notorious of which is doses of LSD to humans. determine its usefulness as a brainwashing tool. It was used to overthrow governments that were thought likely to become communist. Despite very real and noteworthy successes in espionage and analysis, the CIA became more famous or infamous for its covert activities and was increasingly controversial in the United States.
The CIA Act of 1949 was passed when the threat from the Soviet Union was perceived as extreme, but as that threat dwindled in the 1970s, more calls for oversight arose. When it emerged that the CIA had been monitoring the anti-Vietnam War movement in the United States in violation of its charter, Congress opened an investigation into the agency. They ended up creating new oversight mechanisms, which also sparked controversy, to try to strike a better balance than the 1949 law created between the need for security in a dangerous world and the need for constitutional government to be held accountable for its performance.
For the past four years I have had the privilege of teaching a course in American Indian history in a double enrollment group. While I enjoy teaching this course, it can be difficult to find original sources. This year I had the opportunity to use Ashbrook’s Basic Papers. Native Americans, edited by Jace Weaver. This edition contains concise documents that provide useful contextual information. One of the documents from this collection that I used this year was Document 42.United States vs. Sioux NationJudge Harry Blackman, Judge William Rehnquist, June 30, 1980
An important condition for teaching American Indian history is the emphasis on the language of treaties. These documents form the legal basis for interaction between sovereign Indian peoples and the government of the United States of America. These agreements were often used by indigenous peoples in an attempt to obtain rights and lands codified and enshrined as law in the Constitution (Article II, Section 2). Too often, the United States government has broken the promises made in these documents.
Supreme Court decision in United States vs. Sioux Nation, presents students with a case that demonstrates the legitimacy of treaties in federal courts. This is a relatively recent decision that goes back to the history of westward expansion and the efforts of the indigenous people to preserve their sacred sites. The treaty at the heart of the case is the Treaty of Fort Laramie of 1868. This treaty reflects the strong position of the Lakota and their Cheyenne and Arapaho allies at the conclusion of the Red Cloud War. This conflict was known for U.S. Army defeats such as the Battle of Fetterman, a battle that killed 81 soldiers and made a name for a young Oglala warrior named Crazy Horse. The United States was forced to sue for peace, and as a result of the treaty, the Great Sioux Reservation was created, which included the sacred Black Hills.
The terms of the Fort Laramie treaty were generally favorable to the Lakota and their allies. It is important for students to understand how the American Indian peoples resisted westward expansion and how they were notably successful in Red Cloud’s War. The United States agreed to remove several forts from the Bozeman Trail, and the Great Sioux Reservation effectively represented all of present-day South Dakota. The inclusion of the Black Hills was critical from a Lakota perspective. The Black Hills were a sacred place and they were determined to uphold it. Article XII of the treaty states: “No treaty for the assignment of any part or part of the clause herein described, which may be general, shall have any validity or effect with respect to the said Indians unless signed and signed by at least three – a quarter of all adult male Indians employed or interested in the same. This provision provided protection against an alternative minority-brokered deal with the government, as had happened among the Cherokee decades before. The Treaty of Fort Laramie of 1868, negotiated from a position of strength, provided the Lakota with lands that preserved their people for the future.
Circumstances had changed by 1877, when new agreement was enshrined in law between the Lakota and the United States. General George Custer led a military expedition to the Black Hills in 1874 and discovered gold. A wave of illegal miners flooded the Great Sioux reservation, prompting the Lakota to defend their land. The Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, in which General George Custer met his ignominious end, hardened American attitudes towards Indian bands living off the reservations. Subsequent U.S. military campaigns against the Lakota and Cheyenne greatly reduced indigenous autonomy, saw Sitting Bull flee to Canada, and the killing of Crazy Horse at Fort Robinson, Nebraska. This was the context in which the US Congress modified the terms of the previous 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie and took the Black Hills from the Lakota, greatly reducing the land base of the Great Sioux Reservation. Only ten percent of adult males agreed to these new terms, a violation of the original contract, which required three-quarters of adult males to agree to any change.
The Lakota never agreed to the “forcible confiscation” of the Black Hills, their sacred site, in 1877. They sought redress in Congress and launched a series of lawsuits that eventually led to a Supreme Court decision in 1980.
Referee Blackman wrote an 8-1 majority decision. Blackman was quick to point out that the case involved the Black Hills and the establishment of the Great Sioux Reservation under the terms of the 1868 Fort Laramie treaty. Blackman then demonstrated that the 1877 law had “the effect of repealing the earlier treaty of Fort Laramie. Blackmun reached this conclusion based on the wording of the original treaty, specifically Article XII, which stated that three-quarters of all adult Indians had to agree to any cession of land. Blackmun’s writing in this part of the majority is clear and concise. It is based on treaty language and effectively illustrates the historical grievances of the Lakota people.
Blackmun and colleagues also concluded that the 1877 Act did not result in “a simple change in the form of investment in Indian tribal property.” Rather, the Act effected a “seizure of tribal property” that had been set aside for the “exclusive occupation of the Sioux under the Treaty of Fort Laramie, 1868.” The court ruled that the United States government must pay just compensation, including compound interest, to the Lakota people for the capture of the Black Hills.
In his dissent, Justice Rehnquist argued that Congress in 1978 overstepped its constitutional limits when it passed legislation allowing a new trial in the midst of the Lakota Nation’s litigation against the U.S. government. According to Rehnquist, this was “nothing other than the exercise of the judicial power enshrined in Art. III courts which cannot be exercised by the Legislature. While Rehnquist’s point is noteworthy, he continued: “It seems unfair to me to judge in the light of ‘revisionist’ historians or the mores of another age the actions that were taken under the pressure of time more than a century ago.” actions in 1877. This opinion is contrary to the recognition of the legitimacy of treaties. Moreover, it shows a lack of sympathy for the real situation of the Lakota people at the present time. The Black Hills has become a major tourist destination thanks to the construction of Mount Rushmore. The fact that such a structure is a desecration of a shrine is only part of the story. Reservations such as Pine Ridge, Rosebud, and Standing Rock, where the Lakota live, are among the poorest places in the United States. The claim that “revisionist historians” had somehow misinterpreted the wording of the Fort Laramie treaty struck my students as disingenuous and further evidence that obtaining treaty rights from the government would be an uphill battle.
United States vs. Sioux Nation is an important case to study. The Black Hills are sacred to the Lakota, but they’ve become kitschy Americana, with motorcycle rallies and a stone building dedicated to the men who helped take over the native land. In upholding the validity of the Fort Laramie treaty, the Supreme Court in United States vs. Sioux Nation confirmed the importance of treaties and their place in American Indian studies. The language of the 1868 Fort Laramie treaty and the lands of the Great Sioux Reservation continue to matter, as the protests over the North Dakota Access Pipeline have shown. Ultimately, the fact that some of the poorest Americans continue to refuse fiscal compensation for taking over the Black Hills, now valued at more than $2 billion, illustrates the centrality of the land and the spiritual power of the Black Hills to the Lakota people.
Reed Benson is a 2018 MAHG Graduate and teacher at Cass Lake Ben High School in Cass Lake, Minnesota.
As important as the constitutional event, the Thirteenth Amendment’s abolition of slavery initially did less than its supporters had hoped, largely due to the resistance of President Lincoln’s successor Andrew Johnson to Congressional Reconstruction, as well as the adamant resistance of the Southern establishment. The Congressional response to these obstacles led to Fourteenth Amendment. With three sections more than the Thirteenth Amendment and more NINE once a word, the fourteenth is the longestmajority difficultand most disputed changing our constitution.
Many of the original proponents of the Thirteenth Amendment considered its key provision (“neither slavery nor involuntary servitude … shall exist in the United States”) sufficient expression of principle to guide Reconstruction. They recognized slavery as the root of disunity, so the proclamation of the Thirteenth Amendment seemed to be a fundamental platform to address both philosophical and institutional issues—to transform, in the words of Representative Thaddeus Stevens, “the entire fabric of Southern society.” Because slavery permeated that fabric, condemning it could redefine constitutional questions. powersfrom rights,and from compound in southern society. But the southern establishment stubbornly resisted any significant changes, intending to preserve the status quo as much as possible. Even before the amendment was ratified, southern state governments began to introduce black codes that legally subjugated African Americans and often denied them the protections enshrined in the federal Bill of Rights. Scattered application of the Bill of Rights was constitutional in an 1833 Supreme Court case. Barron vs. Baltimore, which determined that the Bill of Rights applied only to federal law and not to state or local government action. In addition, the black codes often used the Thirteenth Amendment exemption (under which the “punishment of crime” allowed governments to impose forced labor) as a loophole for criminalize acts protected by the Bill of Rights when committed by blacks (eg, public gathering beyond certain numerical thresholds, carrying weapons, public speaking or preaching without permission, etc.). The practice angered congressional Republicans, who pledged to work out a legally binding response.
Enter Representative John Bingham of Ohio, now known as the “Father of the Fourteenth Amendment”. Bingham served eight years in Congress, fighting against the expansion of “slave power” in the South, before losing his seat in the reorganized district after the 1862 election. During a recess in Congress at the height of the Civil War, Bingham’s friendship with fellow Whig-turned-Republican Abraham Lincoln led to him taking various legal positions in the administration—a job that ideally placed him back in the Republican wave. accompanying Lincoln’s re-election in 1864. Even before the outrages of the black codes, Bingham was convinced that Reconstruction would require “(constitutional) restraints of the States in favor of the personal liberty of all citizens of the Republic”. This conviction made him a logical supporter of the new Reconstruction Amendment.
In February 1866, Bingham proposed his new amendment stating that “Congress shall have power to make all laws necessary and proper to secure to the citizens of every state all the privileges and immunities of citizens in several states, and to all persons in several states shall be afforded equal protection of life, freedom and property. However, Bingham’s Republican colleagues hesitated, fearing harsh language and not convinced that they had enough of a majority to pass and ratify it. However, convinced of the dire need to counter the Southern backlash, they turned to an intermediate remedy that could protect freedmen by upholding their rights and role in a post-emancipated society: the Civil Rights Act of 1866. This volley against black codes came close to Bingham’s vision. , establishing a national definition of citizenship and asserting “full and equal” legal protection that supersedes “any law, statute, ordinance, ordinance or custom to the contrary”. By this act, they hoped to ensure that neither hostile laws nor normswill hinder the necessary course of civic equality.
The motivation to return to a more permanent amendment process came faster than expected and from an unexpected place: President Johnson in March 1866. veto US Congress Civil Rights Act. Calling the bill “fraught with evil,” Johnson chided its expansion of citizenship and insisted that it interferes with market forces that reshape the civil order more naturally. Although Republicans in Congress knew that Johnson did not share the boldest parts of their vision for Reconstruction (which they outlawed), they were surprised by his rebuff. Encouraged, they rallied a supermajority to override Johnson’s veto—the first major override of a veto in the history of the federal Congress—and quickly returned to discussing the amendments.
By early May 1866, Congress had the Fourteenth Amendment up for debate in near-final form. Congressional records show that then, as now, the greatest energy was focused on the first section:
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to its jurisdiction are citizens of the United States and the state in which they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which infringes upon the privileges or immunities of the citizens of the United States; no state shall deprive anyone of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; and not deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law.
This section would have enshrined the principles of the Civil Rights Act in the Constitution—in the words of then Representative (and future President) James Garfield, “lifting (the Civil Rights Act) beyond the reach of political strife, beyond … the conspiracies and machinations of any party.” Senator Jacob Howard from Michigan repeated Bingham’s insistence that Title 1 nationalize the “personal rights guaranteed and enforced by the first eight amendments” of the Bill of Rights—a process we now call registration. In addition, Section 1’s establishment of birthright citizenship overturned the infamous 1857 Supreme Court ruling Dred Scotta decision that found blacks ineligible for citizenship and therefore protected by federal law.
The remainder of the Fourteenth Amendment became the vessel for dealing with the various complications of Reconstruction. Section 2 introduced a new representation formula that eliminated the obsolete three-fifths clause of the original Constitution and punished states for denying any male citizens the right to vote by proportionally reducing their representation in Congress (alas, this clause was ignored in practice after Reconstruction). overthrown, and Jim Crow caught up with the South). Section 3 placed restrictions on former rebels who held political office before the war. Section 4 dealt with financial matters, prohibiting the payment of the Confederate debt, guaranteeing the payment of the Union debt, and denying any future compensation to former slave owners. Finally, Section 5 repeats the language that closes the Thirteenth Amendment, reaffirming the enforcement powers of Congress.
Opposition to the amendment during the debate focused largely on threats to states’ rights as well as white rule. Representative Andrew Rogers (D-NJ), the most quoted opponent of Congress, criticized the amendment as “a disengagement program … most dangerous to freedom … (which) destroys the elemental principles of the states” and America’s status as “a government for white men and white women” . Senator (and future Vice President) Thomas Hendricks (D-IN) found new threats to federalism in the Fourteenth Amendment enforcement article that he somehow didn’t see in the same Thirteenth Amendment words: “When these words were used in (the Thirteenth ) amendment they (seemed) harmless; but (now) they required such force and scope … that Congress could … crown the federal government with absolute and despotic power. But such complaints were a marked minority. The Republicans drafted the amendment on the basis of compromises between their radical and moderate factions, and the urgency to counter political and social resistance was pressing. The Fourteenth Amendment was passed by both houses of Congress by a clear supermajority: the Senate on June 8, 1866, by a vote of 33 to 11, and the House of Representatives on June 13, 1866, by a vote of 120 to 32.
More than any amendment before or since, the US Constitution has become a different document since the Fourteenth Amendment. His various positions have been reinterpreted over time, his role in American life has changed along with the power and influence of interpreters. The amendment’s scope was not limited to empowering freedmen and deterring Confederates at short notice: the first major Supreme Court decision on the Fourteenth Amendment was actually about a white butchers’ association in New Orleans. Cases in the slaughterhouse (1873). Just over a decade later, after the Court announced its rejection of Reconstruction, it extended the protections of the Fourteenth Amendment. corporations as legal “persons” is a key source of legal protection and controversy to this day. During the Civil Rights Movement, activists and legal strategists demanded that the federal government exercise the Fourteenth Amendment’s enforcement powers and reconsider the amendment’s roots based on equal citizenship—both emphases that had lain dormant since the end of Reconstruction. These demands helped set the legal conditions for the wider rights revolution of the 1960s.
The Fourteenth Amendment permeates current political events, manifesting itself in predictable and unpredictable ways, in mainstream and marginal arguments, across the political spectrum, in discussions about debt limit, vote suppression, positive action, citizenship by birth, January 6, 2021 Capitol riot, and more. It is not surprising that, given the many issues it raises, many Fourteenth Amendment supporters consider it (as legal scholar John Witt puts it) to be “mini constitution” itself, embedded in the original. The historical context and contemporary applications of the Fourteenth Amendment show that addressing the challenges and realizing the opportunities for reconstruction required a rethinking of the federal constitution, a process that continues to this day.
Malik Ali, a James Madison Scholar and a 2017 graduate of the Master of Arts in American History and Government, is a Distinguished Teacher of Tucman History at the Branson School in Ross, California.