Bachmann and John Quincy Adams

Bachmann doubles-down on a problematic historical claim.

Via ABC News:  John Quincy Adams a Founding Father? Michele Bachmann Says Yes:

Stephanopoulos: But that’s not what you said. You said that the Founding Fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery.

Bachmann: Well if you look at one of our Founding Fathers, John Quincy Adams, that’s absolutely true. He was a very young boy when he was with his father serving essentially as his father’s secretary. He tirelessly worked throughout his life to make sure that we did in fact one day eradicate slavery….

Stephanopoulos: He wasn’t one of the Founding Fathers – he was a president, he was a Secretary of State, he was a member of Congress, you’re right he did work to end slavery decades later. But so you are standing by this comment that the Founding Fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery?

Bachmann: Well, John Quincy Adams most certainly was a part of the Revolutionary War era. He was a young boy but he was actively involved.

While it is true that JQA was alive during the Revolutionary War era, he was a child during the period, as he was born on Jul 11, 1767.  As such, he was not quite nine years old when his father was helping draft the Declaration of Independence.   He was in college during the drafting of the Constitution and really cannot be considered as being one of the “Founding Fathers.”  His significance as a US politician was clearly in the generation after the Founding.

Beyond all of that, Bachmann is really presenting a problematic view of US history to claim, let alone double-down on the notion, that the Founding Fathers worked to end slavery.

And really, if she needs an actual example of a true Founding Father who did try to fight to end slavery, she should go with Benjamin Franklin.

However, even if one can find anti-slavery advocates in the early days of our history, it is a gross distortion to pretend that, as a group, there was an effort to end slavery in those days by those founded the country/framed the Constitution.  We need to be honest about our past.

For goodness’ sake, three of the most significant Founders, Washington, Jefferson, and Madison were all slave owners.

Of course, part of the problem here is that we, as a nation, talk about our past a whole lot more in terms of myth than reality (and our politicians doubly and triply so).  This is a shame, as while myth has its place, if we are actually going to learn and understand, we have to get beyond a faux understanding of our past.

Really, this rather reinforces, rather than diffuses, the notion that Chris Wallace was right to ask the “flake” question.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. mantis says:

    I don’t care if she gets some detail wrong about John Wayne. Celebrity biographies are not important knowledge for the president to have. Some accurate knowledge of our nation’s early history would be nice, though.




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  2. Bill Jempty says:

    I don’t care if she gets some detail wrong about John Wayne. Celebrity biographies are not important knowledge for the president to have. Some accurate knowledge of our nation’s early history would be nice, though.

    Yes like when the war of 1812 was fought.

    Cue the sarcastic laughter




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  3. mantis says:

    Here’s another gem:

    “I’m introducing myself now to the American people so that they can know that I have a strong academic scholarly background, more important I have a real life background,” Bachmann said.

    Strong academic scholarly background, eh? What’s your area of scholarship, Michele? Please say history.




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  4. anjin-san says:

    Celebrity biographies are not important knowledge for the president to have.

    No, but making up your “facts” as you go along is troubling….




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  5. G.A.Phillips says:

    No, but making up your “facts” as you go along is troubling….

    http://www.youtube.com/user/thor0001?blend=7&ob=5#p/a/u/0/HVMhz0tSllo

    lol…..




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  6. James Joyner says:

    @mantis: While I’m not a fan of Bachmann’s she does have a terminal degree–an LLM from William & Mary in tax law. She’s not an academic but she’s got not unreasonable claim to “scholar” status.




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  7. G.A.Phillips says:

    Adams acquired an education at institutions such as Leiden University. For nearly three years, at the age of 14, he accompanied Francis Dana as a secretary on a mission to St. Petersburg, Russia, to obtain recognition of the new United States. He spent time in Finland, Sweden, and Denmark and, in 1804, published a travel report of Silesia.[9]

    via wikipedia.

    He did much much much much as a kid for the founding of this country.

    I give him an honorary!

    And many of the founders wanted to end slavery or had spoke against it, there a lot more founders than just the few we talk about here.




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  8. mantis says:

    She’s not an academic but she’s got not unreasonable claim to “scholar” status.

    I would think someone who claims a “strong academic scholarly background” would have something published, at least. Don’t you? Otherwise all she’s saying is that she has an education.




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  9. @GA:

    He was a very smart kid, likely a prodigy. However, serving as a secretary does not a Founding Father make.

    And in regards to slavery: the whole fact that the ultimate compromise was one that allowed slavery rather undercuts any claims that the “Founders worked tirelessly to end slavery”–this is just a raw fact that has to be accepted if one wants to reside in reality.

    @mantis: I must confess, that when I heard her say that during the Wallace interview that it did come across to me as a claim to scholarly worked (e.g., publication or the like) and more than just a claim at education (although figured she was just referring to her graduate degree).




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  10. jukeboxgrad says:

    steven:

    part of the problem here is that we, as a nation, talk about our past a whole lot more in terms of myth than reality

    This problem is reflected in the John Wayne business. He was not a heroic American. He was an actor who played a heroic American in movies. This is an important distinction, but it’s a kind of distinction that seems to not matter much to Bachmann and lots of other people.

    james:

    She’s not an academic but she’s got not unreasonable claim to “scholar” status.

    I agree. I think this makes it harder to understand why she’s so careless with her statements. In a way, it makes her carelessness even more remarkable, because it’s from someone who should know better.

    The comparison to Palin is interesting, because there are both striking similarities and striking differences. One of the differences is Bachmann’s genuine academic achievement.

    mantis:

    I would think someone who claims a “strong academic scholarly background” would have something published, at least. Don’t you? Otherwise all she’s saying is that she has an education.

    I agree that “scholarly” implies publishing, so maybe “scholarly” is a stretch. But she has more than just an ordinary education. She has a good education.




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  11. The amazing thing to me is that George gives her an out and she just doubles-down on the crazy.




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  12. Rick DeMent says:

    The notion that “the Founding Fathers” where of one mind about anything is the bigger problem here. I mean there were federalists and anti-federalists squaring off tooth and nail about everything in the constitution. Almost to a man, the founders walked away from the constitutional convention thinking that the constitution was a flawed document, and they when about immediately amending it officially and subverting it in their actions.




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  13. James Joyner says:

    @Steven and @mantis: “Scholar” means different things to different people–and the more accomplished one is, the higher the bar one sets. I’ve got a PhD and have published dozens of articles and presented dozens of papers at scholarly conferences. But I’m not sure I’m a scholar in the strictest sense of the word, in that I’ve published no books and few peer reviewed journal articles.

    On the low end of the totem pole, though, we use the term “scholar” to refer to people who make the junior high honor role. Even genuinely impressive achievements like being named a Rhodes Scholar doesn’t necessarily come with publication requirements; after all, a Rhodes Scholar tends to have merely a bachelor’s degree.




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  14. mattb says:

    The notion that “the Founding Fathers” where of one mind about anything is the bigger problem here. I mean there were federalists and anti-federalists squaring off tooth and nail about everything in the constitution.

    Great point… WR, if you ever are looking for the next project, imagine a “Hardball” style fictionalization of founding fathers squaring off on all of those fundamental debates.

    Seems like that could be a really killer web series — anyone know actors/historians good enough to do a sort of “founding heads” type program?




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  15. G.A.Phillips says:

    He was a very smart kid, likely a prodigy. However, serving as a secretary does not a Founding Father make.

    lolI understand and only wished to give an honorary:)

    And in regards to slavery: the whole fact that the ultimate compromise was one that allowed slavery rather undercuts any claims that the “Founders worked tirelessly to end slavery”–this is just a raw fact that has to be accepted if one wants to reside in reality.

    Ya I have a problem speaking clearly also, but I get her point. And I am not happy with the realities that became but, I think there is more to the story.

    Other prominent Founding Fathers who were members of societies for ending slavery included Richard Bassett, James Madison, James Monroe, Bushrod Washington, Charles Carroll, William Few, John Marshall, Richard Stockton, Zephaniah Swift, and many more. In fact, based in part on the efforts of these Founders, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts began abolishing slavery in 1780; 24 Connecticut and Rhode Island did so in 1784; 25 Vermont in 1786; 26 New Hampshire in 1792; 27 New York in 1799; 28 and New Jersey did so in 1804. 29
    Additionally, the reason that Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa all prohibited slavery was a Congressional act, authored by Constitution signer Rufus King 30 and signed into law by President George Washington, 31 which prohibited slavery in those territories.

    http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=122




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  16. Hey Norm says:

    Some of the comments above are troubling…part and parcel of supporters willing to re-write the history of Revere rather than admit a failure of their cult leaders. A comment like the John Wayne thing or the lexingto and Concorde thing are ignorable. A basic lack of knowledge and understanding about an important period of our history, especially when it alledgedly forms part of your governing philosophy, is inexcusable. Claiming the founding fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery is flat out wrong…it’s not a unique interpretation…it’s wrong.




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  17. PJ says:

    @Steven:

    While it is true that JQA was alive during the Revolutionary War era, he was a child during the period, as he was born on Jul 11, 1767. As such, he was not quite nine years old when his father was helping draft the Declaration of Independence. He was in college during the drafting of the Constitution and really cannot be considered as being one of the “Founding Fathers.” His significance as a US politician was clearly in the generation after the Founding.

    Not according to the latest Wikipedia edits… 😉




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  18. @GA:

    I can take no claims of anti-slavery views seriously if the person in question owned slaves.

    @PJ:

    Keeping up with Wikipedia can be a challenge, to be sure.




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  19. Andre Kenji says:

    The problem is that, politically speaking, there wasn´t a group called “Founding Fathers” because they did´nt agree on anything.




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  20. Bernieyeball says:

    @ mattb: The late Steve Allen produced a series called Meeting of Minds http://www.steveallen.com/television_pioneer/meeting_of_minds.htm for PBS. It was not exclusive to USA Founding Fathers. He had roundtable talks with historical figures from different eras. I think Thos. Paine was in one of the plays.
    One source for insight on Constitution drafting is Madison’s Notes.
    http://www.constitution.org/dfc/dfc_0000.htm




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  21. G.A.Phillips says:

    I can take no claims of anti-slavery views seriously if the person in question owned slaves.

    Would you not consider how such slaves had been acquired, treated and freed. I try to put my self in the shoes of those born into things, be it slavery or ownership.

    Its very easy to 21 century quarterback:) but I try not to mostly now.




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  22. mantis says:

    “Scholar” means different things to different people–and the more accomplished one is, the higher the bar one sets.

    Ok, but I was responding the what she said. She didn’t say “I’m a scholar,” or “I’m scholarly.” She said “I have a strong academic scholarly background.” I hold more degrees (though not necessarily “higher” degrees) than Bachmann does (4-3), and I’ve even been published once, but I would not claim to have a “strong academic scholarly background.” That would be taking it too far.




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  23. Miscreant says:

    @mantis

    I would think someone who claims a “strong academic scholarly background” would have something published, at least. Don’t you? Otherwise all she’s saying is that she has an education.

    Why do you jump to the conclusion that she has not published anything? Many, if not most, tax attorneys I know have published articles about tax law.

    At any rate, if your criteria is that an individual needs to publish something in order to be “scholarly”, it appears then that President Obama does not fit that into that category, either. (And suggesting that one minor, anonymous legal “note” written as a student qualifies would be really stretching it).




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  24. mantis says:

    Why do you jump to the conclusion that she has not published anything?

    Where did I say she hasn’t?

    At any rate, if your criteria is that an individual needs to publish something in order to be “scholarly”,

    Not merely scholarly, but “a strong academic scholarly background.”

    it appears then that President Obama does not fit that into that category, either.

    Agreed. I would not say that President Obama has “a strong academic scholarly background.”

    (And suggesting that one minor, anonymous legal “note” written as a student qualifies would be really stretching it).

    He has published more than that, by the way. Just not scholarly works.




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  25. Miscreant says:

    “Where did I say she hasn’t?”

    You implied it:

    “I would think someone who claims a “strong academic scholarly background” would have something published, at least. Don’t you?”




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  26. mantis says:

    You implied it

    Perhaps, but I also searched the journal databases to which I have access (i.e. almost all of them) and came up with nothing. I didn’t state for certain that she hasn’t published, as it is possible, though very unlikely. What makes you think she has?




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  27. mattb says:

    @Bernieyeball –

    That Steve Allen stuff looks interesting, but I think the presentation ultimately leads to the same problem demonstrated here — ie the cult of the individual and the idea that they reflected the consensus of the day.

    What I’m imagining would be something far more contentuous, and as with WR, would remove the modern “host” — for example sitting Hamilton in a debate against Madison (blogging heads style perhaps).

    What would be other good matchups (and who would be good “second string” founding fathers who could join the mix)?




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  28. Barry says:

    Wall Builders is the organization of Barton, the noted Dominionist revisionist historian. Nothing that they say can be trusted.




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  29. @mattb:

    Perhaps something like this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPcbbW10T18




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  30. mattb says:

    @Steven — I cannot describe how full of win that is.




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  31. Muffler says:

    a 3 second wiki look up would be all it takes to know the answer and what us dumb is that you should have know that JQA was a child during the revolution as he was President basically at the time his father and Jefferson died of old age. Bachmann is scholar in the same way my cat is a bird – it’s not. Bachmann is the purest sign that the GOP had no farm league and it’s A team is past retirement. If they can’t field the best and brightest then those in control are fielding puppets.




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  32. PJ says:

    And yet another thing that differs between Palin and Bachmann, the latter can admit that she misspoke. (At least some times.)




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  33. MarkedMan says:

    Whether Michelle Bachmann got this wrong or not would be trivial stuff, except I think it represents a real flaw in her character. Reality does not agree with what she wishes to be true, so she edits reality.




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  34. Miscreant says:

    “…I also searched the journal databases to which I have access (i.e. almost all of them) and came up with nothing. I didn’t state for certain that she hasn’t published, as it is possible, though very unlikely. What makes you think she has?”

    I’m not saying that she has, or she hasn’t- I was responding to your implication. But to answer your question, I have seen numerous tax-specific or business-specific articles which do not necessarily appear in the standard databases (especially if they are published by a law firm for business-related purposes, or updates on newly decided case in legal magazines).

    Also, you forget that she worked for the IRS. I wonder consider the in-depth publications provided by the IRS to taxpayers concerning tax forms, guidance, etc. to constitute publication. Problem is, because it’s from the government, you won’t see an attorney’s name on it.

    But all of this revolves around your argument that publication is necessary in order for a person to be considered to have a, “strong academic scholarly background”. I would personally view an individual with a J.D. and a Masters of Law, (something very few attorneys ever receive) in addition to an undergrad, applying an understanding about the complex minutia of tax laws and regulations- something which is way over the heads of 99% of people- to be “scholarly”. But that’s my interpretation.




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  35. @Miscreant:

    Of course, the kinds of publications you are describing would not be considered “scholarly.”

    (Just a point of clarification).




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  36. @mattb:

    I cannot describe how full of win that is.

    Indeed. 🙂




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  37. PD Shaw says:

    From a Lincolphile perspective, there is no problem with anything she says. First, we would place Quincy Adams in the founding generation, as someone who served in the Washington Administration, and was part of the common culture and experience of the first five Presidents. That is to say, it was Jackson that created a new era that posed a challenge to the principles of the founding generation, much to the dismay of every living President that went before.

    Second, Lincoln commonly employed founder’s intent arguments in support of his views on slavery. The Declaration of Independence, Washington’s freeing of his slaves, the embarrased silence in the text of the Constitution on slavery, the provision for ending the slave trade, the abolition of slavery in the Northwest territories, Jefferson’s proposal for emancipation in the Virginia Constitution — all of these are more indicate a belief that slavery is a moral wrong that should ultimately be eliminated. Those seeking to expand slavery were acting contrary to the founder’s intent.




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  38. CourageMan says:

    PD Shaw is correct. Mr. Taylor’s claim “the whole fact that the ultimate compromise was one that allowed slavery rather undercuts any claims that the ‘Founders worked tirelessly to end slavery’ ” is only a “raw fact” if one thinks the abolition of slavery was on the table in 1776 or 1787. Once you accept that it wasn’t (the Declaration would not have been signed, the Convention would have broken up), then it’s perfectly defensible that the Founders did what was possible to put slavery on a path to marginalization.




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  39. then it’s perfectly defensible that the Founders did what was possible to put slavery on a path to marginalization.

    Well, that is what some of the Founders and Framers hoped would be the case, and others didn’t.

    As such, I still don’t see in your comment (nor via PD’s comment, for that matter) any affirmation for the claim “the Founders worked tirelessly to end slavery.”




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  40. Miscreant says:

    “I would think someone who claims a “strong academic scholarly background”…”

    scholarly

    Definition

    schol·ar·ly[ skóllərlee ]

    ADJECTIVE 
    1. 
    learned: possessing or showing a great deal of knowledge, especially knowledge of an academic subject

    2. 
    of scholars: relating to scholars or to formal study
    “scholarly journals”

    3. 
    according to principles of formal study: in keeping with a rigorous and systematic approach to acquiring knowledge or to setting out the results of study

    http://www.bing.com/Dictionary/search?q=define+scholarly&FORM=DTPDIA




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  41. PD Shaw says:

    He was in college during the drafting of the Constitution and really cannot be considered as being one of the “Founding Fathers.”

    The Constitutional historian Richard Bernstein names John Quincy Adams as one of the Founding Fathers in his book, Founding Fathers Reconsidered.




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  42. CourageMan says:

    How about the following formulation: “some did and those who didn’t tended to plead self-interest and/or have a bad conscience about it.” See for example, Jefferson’s “wolf by the ears” comment.

    It’s important to realize three other things — (1) slavery was a widespread institution in the late 1700s and its injustice was not at all self-evident; (2) racist justifications for slavery tended to come after the Declaration (after all, only once we’ve said it’s “self-evident” that “all men are created equal” is slavery a moral problem); and (3) we’re in more danger (as Stephanopoulos’s incredulity and the post-interview reaction suggests) of replacing plaster heroism with an equally false narrative — that the Founders were a bunch of slave-holding racists.




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  43. @PD:

    Be that as it may, I still would argue with the assignation.




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  44. PD Shaw says:

    Could you argue the point without demeaning the opposing point?




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  45. @CourageMan:

    that the Founders were a bunch of slave-holding racists.

    Several thoughts occur, but let me get to the fundamental one: if one is part of a system of chattel slavery that justified its very existence by the fact that the white man was superior to the black man, and therefore had the right to own the black man, I am not sure that there is a purer example of racism in all of human existence.

    The problem is: some of our Founders fall into that category. Is that all there is to know about them, no. I profoundly admire James Madison, but that doesn’t make the fact that he owned slaves go away.

    And really, it is an utter fantasy (and revisionist at that) to argue that the Founders, fought to end slavery. No, they didn’t. Some wanted it to go away, but had to compromise on the topic. That fact doesn’t make the slavery part of the discussion any less heinous.

    The fact that Jefferson lamented having to have slaves to maintain Monticello does not absolve Jefferson of the sin of slavery, now does it? “Gosh, I hate slavery, but I could not maintain my lifestyle if I were to live the courage of convictions” is hardly an admirable position to take.




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  46. @PD:

    How is the following demeaning?

    While it is true that JQA was alive during the Revolutionary War era, he was a child during the period, as he was born on Jul 11, 1767. As such, he was not quite nine years old when his father was helping draft the Declaration of Independence. He was in college during the drafting of the Constitution and really cannot be considered as being one of the “Founding Fathers.” His significance as a US politician was clearly in the generation after the Founding.




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  47. @PD:

    BTW, where in the cited book is JQA called a “Founding Father”? Google books doesn’t locate it (I am curious).




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  48. CourageMan says:

    “if one is part of a system of chattel slavery that justified its very existence by the fact that the white man was superior to the black man”

    As I said, racist justifications for slavery tended to be made later than the Founding generation. It was a post-hoc justification that the Declaration made necessary because of the truth it declared self-evident. For much of human history, slavery was not considered morally problematic (its champions included Aristotle) and was not even arguably racist.

    “The fact that Jefferson lamented having to have slaves to maintain Monticello does not absolve Jefferson of the sin of slavery, now does it?”

    No, it doesn’t. Now … where did I say that? The wolf’s ear point really is not about “maintain[ing] my lifestyle” and you know that.




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  49. On balance, slavery has been justified in terms of an inferior/superior dichotomy (certainly that was the case for Aristotle). When it comes to the African slave trade, that inferior/superior delineation was based solely on race. Again, it is hard to find a purer expression of racism in all of human history.

    . Now … where did I say that? The wolf’s ear point really is not about “maintain[ing] my lifestyle” and you know that.

    No, you didn’t say it, nor was I intending to imply that you did. My point was simply that, ultimately, that was Jefferson’s dodge. He could have freed his slaves, but he didn’t and the bottom line was that the only way to live the life he lived was to keep those slaves.




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  50. PD Shaw says:

    Prof. Taylor at page 179 JQA is listed, he puts together a list in the Appendix, composed of signers of the Declaration of Indendence, participants at the Constitutional Convention, and others who played a “pivitol role” in the creation of the United States (like James Monroe, Thomas Paine, John Jay and JQA).

    I don’t believe there is a definitive list; it’s just an historical argument. My bias is that this is how a Lincoln supporter would organize the history: JQA was a founder, his leadership in the early anti-slavery movement was uniquely rooted in the Northern understanding of the sectional compromise made at the Constitutional Convention. That the founding generation did more to end slavery (including abolition in several states/colonies) than at any other time before the Civil War. That they felt that they had set the country on the path to ending slavery.




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  51. @PD: Thanks for the page ref.

    In regards to this:

    the founding generation did more to end slavery (including abolition in several states/colonies) than at any other time before the Civil War. That they felt that they had set the country on the path to ending slavery.

    This is too comprehensive state, I would argue. There were some of that generation that fought to end slavery (and, in fact, did in some parts of the country). But other parts of the generation did not at all work to end slavery.

    Likewise, there was a mixed bag on whether the Framers and their allies definitively saw the country on a path to ending slavery. Quite frankly, a lot of them simply punted with Article 1, Section 9 (not to mention the 3/5th compromise and Article IV, Section 2).




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  52. ponce says:

    I can take no claims of anti-slavery views seriously if the person in question owned slaves.

    Jefferson spoke out against slavery in his original draft of the Declaration of Independence..but it was edited out:

    he has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. this piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce: and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.




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  53. Socrates says:

    “The Constitutional historian Richard Bernstein names John Quincy Adams as one of the Founding Fathers in his book, Founding Fathers Reconsidered.”

    See, this is the problem. It’s been pointed out over and over. For some reason, it becomes impossible to admit to a mistake, so instead, Bachmann (or Palin) and her defenders have to adjust history, or the facts, in such a way as to be able to say that Ms. Bachmann (or Ms. Palin) was correct.

    John Quincy Adams was not a “Founding Father”. It’s pointed out here, and elsewhere, plainly, that he was a child when the nation was founded.

    It isn’t a matter of opinion. There’s no wiggle room to make your current political heroes seem credible. It is a fact.

    It doesn’t matter who has written a book claiming that John Quincy Adams was a “Founding Father”. He was not. The author is wrong – that’s not my opinion, it is a fact.

    Bachmann is unable to admit to a mistake. When confronted with the facts, she doubles down. Her defenders are happy to just make stuff up on her behalf. Why is that?




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  54. G.A.Phillips says:

    Wall Builders is the organization of Barton, the noted Dominionist revisionist historian. Nothing that they say can be trusted.

    lol…

    Ya, studying American history most of his life and owning more original founding and early american letters, writings, books, etc etc etc, than anyone can probably imagine makes your statement what?

    Thanks for the liberals hate Christian contribution the our discussion it was very helpful.




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  55. ponce says:

    Her defenders are happy to just make stuff up on her behalf. Why is that?

    Isn’t that the whole point?

    Aren’t these turds of idiocy being spat out by the fringe right candidates really just shibboleths?

    Every two years the Republican Party has to convince tens of millions of middle and working class Americans to vote against their own interests and its first step is always to destroy rational discourse.




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  56. mattb says:

    Again crappy history from @courage:

    For much of human history, slavery was not considered morally problematic (its champions included Aristotle) and was not even arguably racist.

    First of all the structure of “slavery” in Greece and even Rome was very different from as it was practiced previously (n the near East) or later in the Americas. Nor was the treatment of slaves in Rome always the same.

    So for example Roman slaves were ultimately able to sue owners for mistreatment. Further, when freed (a more common practice than in the Colonial and Pre-Civil war US), the children of slaves (though not the slaves themselves) were treated as full citizens of Rome.

    As far as the argument that slavery wasn’t morally in question or about race prior to the declaration — that’s utter BS for two reasons. First, its a slight of hand in that “race” as we understand it today had not emerged as a social category. But that doesn’t negate the fact that “peoples” were a key social category and the justification for repression and slavery was always couched in Moral and typically biblical terms.

    As to there being no question, I humbly submit the Las Casa v. Sepúlveda Debates (circa 1550) which were fundamentally about the (racial) potential of a people and the moral philosophical foundation for mass slavery, torture, and forced conversion. These arguments firmly established the natives as not being equal to the Spaniards and therefore able to be enslaved. The basis for the enslavement was biblical texts.

    Similar moral arguments, based on the inferiority of a “people” would continue to be used throughout Europe and the spreading colonies. The key shift that occurred with the enlightenment was primarily a move from “we’re doing it for their own “religious good” to “secular good” (i.e. we’re protecting these primitives from themselves).




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  57. Muffler says:

    The idea that the Founder worked tirelessly to eliminate slavery at the same time they were trying to tie the States together is like saying they worked tirelessly eliminate the economy. The southern states were the powerhouse of the economy until the industrial revolution. It was the advent of the industrial revolution that contributed to the strength of the Northern influence against slavery. Otherwise it might never have happened.




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  58. DMan says:

    It’s worth noting, before she said,

    “the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States….Men like John Quincy Adams, who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country.”

    She said,

    “It didn’t matter the color of their skin, it didn’t matter their language, it didn’t matter their economic status, it didn’t matter whether they descended from nobility or whether they were of a higher class or lower class. It made no difference. Once you got here, we were all the same.”

    I’m not sure why rewriting history is so important to these people. I feel like they have a singular learning approach, which appears to be that you can’t learn from mistakes, but instead only from false narratives that seek to emulate the greatness of our infallible historical leaders.

    Anyway, all this got me to thinking if Bachmann’s immigrant ancestors were treated as great as she contends all American immigrants entering this country throughout our history were.

    It appears she was born in 1956 into a family of Norwegian Lutheran Democrats. And here’s some info on the Norwegian immigrants into America:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_American

    It actually seems like Norwegian Americans were in fact treated very well in America. This stuck out to me:

    In a letter from Chicago dated November 9, 1855, Elling Haaland from Stavanger, Norway, assured his relatives back home that “of all nations Norwegians are those who are most favored by Americans.”

    I thought this was also really interesting and might explain her affinity towards JQA:

    To a great extent, this early emigration from Norway was borne out of religious persecution, especially for Quakers and a local religious group, the Haugianerne.[4] The ship landed in New York City, where it was at first impounded for exceeding its passenger limit. After intervention from President John Quincy Adams, the passengers moved on to settle in Kendall, New York




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  59. jukeboxgrad says:

    GA:

    Ya, studying American history most of his life and owning more original founding and early american letters, writings, books, etc etc etc, than anyone can probably imagine makes your statement what?

    Barton has a history of inventing quotes. This is documented in detail here.




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  60. G.A.Phillips says:

    jukeboxgrad I understand that liberals try to smear all history that is not rewritten with a secular progressive bent, you do not need to provide links. I study history also, I look up what he and others say for myself.

    Once again, you will have a hard time finding anyone that has as many original sources, personally owned and life time dedication of study into early American history.

    Why don’t you stick to what I injected into the conversation and argue against that, I don’t feel like pointing out a rules violation. Can’t remember what number it is anyway.




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  61. jukeboxgrad I understand that liberals try to smear all history that is not rewritten with a secular progressive bent, you do not need to provide links

    You might want to look at the link, as it points to examples of Barton simply making stuff up. No minor thing, that.




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  62. mantis says:

    jukeboxgrad I understand that liberals try to smear all history that is not rewritten with a secular progressive bent, factual, you do not need to provide links.

    In other words. Lalalala, I’m not listening to you!




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  63. PD Shaw says:

    Prof. Taylor, your points of reference are entirely too Southern. Here is some of what the founding generation did:

    1777 Constitution of the Vermont Republic bans slavery.
    1780 Pennsylvania passes An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery, freeing future children of slaves. Those born prior to the Act remain enslaved-for-life. The Act becomes a model for other Northern states.
    1783 Massachusetts rules slavery illegal based on 1780 constitution. All slaves immediately freed.
    1783 New Hampshire begins a gradual abolition of slavery, freeing future children of slaves, and all slaves in [year].
    1784 Connecticut begins a gradual abolititon of slavery, freeing future children of slaves, and all slaves in [year].
    1784 Rhode Island begins a gradual abolition of slavery, freeing future children of slaves, and all slaves in [year].
    1787-89 Northwest Ordiance prohibited slavery north of Ohio River.
    1799 New York State passes gradual emancipation act freeing future children of slaves, and all slaves in 1827.
    1804 New Jersey begins a gradual abolition of slavery, freeing future children of slaves. Those born prior to the Act remain enslaved-for-life; all the Northern states have not abolished slavery
    1808 United States—import and export of slaves prohibited after 1 Jan.

    There are other founders beside the Virginia aristocracy. And the primary problem with the country wasn’t the Founding Generation, it was the Jacksonian Democrats, who rejected the Declaration of Independence as a founding document, promoted expansion of slavery, and establish a pro-white majority party.




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  64. your points of reference are entirely too Southern

    But if we are speaking of the “Founders” and “Framers” in their totality, one has to take the Southern contingent into consideration–especially the Virginians.




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  65. Hey Norm says:

    From the Biography of John Adams by David McCullough, and a description of June 17th 1775 and the battle of Bunker Hill – speaking of Abigail; “…she was intent to see for herself…and with the bombardment at Bunker Hill ringing in her ears, she had taken seven-year-old Johnny by the hand and hurried up the road to the top of nearby Penn’s Hill.”
    I’m sorry Bachmann loyalists…this is not the image of a founding father a few months after Lexington and Concord. Which happened in New Hampshire.




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  66. G.A.Phillips says:

    You might want to look at the link, as it points to examples of Barton simply making stuff up. No minor thing, that.

    It’s a hit peace collection by a bunch of secular humanists/atheists of the separation of church and state cult variety. Who’s word should I take on authenticity, hmm, let me think…who would know whats questionable and who might be misinterpreting things and making things up, hmmm…who might have been mistaken, hmmm….:)

    In other words. Lalalala, I’m not listening to you!

    lol ya I am not listing to him. What do you listen to mantis? Have you ever read or heard anything that Barton has taught?Looked through his footnote, the great volume of them he gives?Looked them up?
    Or just repeat what you heard from some other liberal. Like I mostly always get around here.

    There are many good teaches the likes of him that I learn from. Most don’t even come close to personally owning the types of resources he does, but, and, I mostly use him for an example because of the reaction I get. lol, like I do with Glenn Beck.

    Dang this is kinda fun tonight, but got to go and gather my tools, back to building cranes and contributing to society and creating it’s infrastructure… I’ll try to come play later and please inform sam that I will be paying outrageous taxes again with my own money lol…..so one of the three rules attacks he uses on me is poop:)




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  67. Hey Norm says:

    Barton is a religious zealot who has admired his work is rife with error. So GAPs endorsement makes sense.




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  68. jukeboxgrad says:

    Barton himself admitted that he had been promoting quotes that had no “original primary source,” and he was forced to tell his readers that those quotes should no longer be used:

    with the remaining quotes listed below, we recommend that you refrain from using them until such time that an original primary source may be found

    Barton has also been caught claiming that he never said something that he actually said (“that wall is a one-directional wall”). See here.




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  69. jukeboxgrad says:

    More proof of Barton’s shoddy work is here.




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  70. G.A.Phillips says:

    It’s a hit peace collection by a bunch of secular humanists/atheists of the separation of church and state cult variety. Who’s word should I take on authenticity, hmm, let me think…who would know whats questionable and who might be misinterpreting things and making things up, hmmm…who might have been mistaken, hmmm….:)

    And every liberal historian should be disregarded for doing what you claim about Barton a million fold and for having no grasp of of gee, just about anything historical. LOL I don’t see many here that can even understand simple phrases in the Constitution and Declaration or out in the world and in their books and writings for that matter. Man argue against the material and stop with the Alinsky. I thought that’s what we was doing around here now. or make jokes, I will except that in place of argument. Simply bashing masterful Historians because what you find on some attack blog created by Judeo/Christian influence deniers is poop.

    Barton is a religious zealot who has admired his work is rife with error. So GAPs endorsement makes sense.

    When you accept reality and admit that your a religious zealot I will take you seriously.




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  71. mantis says:

    Lalalalala, I’m not listening to you!




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  72. hey norm says:

    Barton is to history as A.J. Strata is to science. Cherry-picked facts, deliberately mis-interpreted data, and some just plain made-up stuff to round it all out.

    “…When you accept reality and admit that your a religious zealot I will take you seriously…” That’s so funny I’m so not religious I don’t even acknowledge atheism as a legitimate intellectual position. But I think it does point up your inability to form and express coherent thoughts.




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  73. Ebenezer Arvigenius says:

    Simply bashing masterful Historians because what you find on some attack blog created by Judeo/Christian influence deniers is poop.

    It takes some cheek to call the words of the man himself ” some attack blog created by Judeo/Christian influence deniers”.

    I mean, while the openness does him credit, it doesn’t change the demonstrable (and admitted) fact that he operated with invented sources.




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  74. R. B. Bernstein says:

    I did write THE FOUNDING FATHERS RECONSIDERED, and I do argue there that John Quincy Adams was a founding father, given that he served in diplomatic posts during the administrations of George Washington and John Adams. But, at the same time, JQA did not tirelessly work against slavery for his entire life. His record is rather mixed on slavery, though it got better when, as an elderly man, he served in the House of Representatives (1830-1848). The record of the founding fathers more generally on slavery is pretty shoddy, as any good history — such as those by Don Fehrenbacher, Donald L. Robinson, and Paul Finkelman — would show.




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  75. @R. B. Bernstein: I appreciate you joining the conversation and clarifying your position. I tend to reserve the label “Founding Father” to the specific individuals engaged in the founding process, such as leader in the run-up to the Revolutionary War, the leaders in said conflict, and those engaged in the the process of the drafting and ratification of the Constitution.

    Still, the more salient point is, as you note:

    But, at the same time, JQA did not tirelessly work against slavery for his entire life. His record is rather mixed on slavery, though it got better when, as an elderly man, he served in the House of Representatives (1830-1848). The record of the founding fathers more generally on slavery is pretty shoddy, as any good history — such as those by Don Fehrenbacher, Donald L. Robinson, and Paul Finkelman — would show.

    Agreed.




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