tv 1820 Missouri Compromise CSPAN October 17, 2021 4:51pm-6:00pm EDT
social media. follow us at c-span history. books my name is jon i'm the ceo and executive director of the kansas city public library system i want to thank you for joining us tonight for this latest installment our virtual sears signature public events as we commemorate missouri new bicentennial. missouri joined the union august 10, 1821. this period was an especially robust time for state
formation. indiana, mississippi, illinois, alabama and maine all acquired statehood. but with great respect to our brothers and sisters from illinois and indiana, their entrance into the union was not a headlight event. nor of course was it as divisive as what happen here in missouri. deciding the fate of missouri was a multiyear political crisis in which the nation was forced to reckon with the meaning of citizenship and freedom. compromised measures ultimately cleared the way for statehood for missouri but the issue was so heated, so intense thomas jefferson famously likened to a fire bell in the night that will awaken and filled me with terror. joining us tonight the editor of a new two-volume series that takes its title from that famous jefferson concern eight fire bell in the past missouri crisis published by the university of missouri press for the first installment is
available now the second is due out later this year hopefully in december. our first guest associate professor of history and assistant director of academic affairs at penn state university in kensington. he trained at temple university and the university of kentucky is the author and editor of a number of works including contesting slavery, politics of bondage and freedom in the new american nation as well as reading and expansion in the early american west. also joining us professor of history associate director at the institute on constitutional democracy at the university of missouri columbia. he holds a phd from harvard and author of the tierney newspaper politics and the early american republic in the first presidential contest the election of 1796 in the beginning of american democracy. video vargas had participated in any other bicentennial
activities you may have seen the traveling exhibit that jeff helped create the struggle for statehood which was a project sponsored by the missouri humanities council craig and jeff i want to thank you for joining us tonight. >> thanks for having us. >> thanks for inviting us. >> let's start in a way i guess at the end. is what missouri has become today in any way a product of the states origins? pics i'll get that to my friend and colleague from missouri. i mean absolutely without making too big a deal out of the origins and boundaries and things like that. there are lots of things that contribute to it. to me the defining thing about missouri is the first missouri compromise of 1820 that
started the process of actually letting us in the union that famously drew this line between slavery across the united states and put missouri on the wrong side of it. the area that was going to be free was the area north of missouri southern border. so it missouri it was grandfathered you might say. in other words missouri was allowed to keep its slave system even though were virtually guaranteed they were going to be surrounded on at least two sides and of course it ended up being on three sides by non- slave territory. originally used two sides, one side by a mountain range and the other. that's always set up the contradiction and that
missouri is like the source of slavery sticking up to people thought of as the zone of freedom. it's like a southern place in a northern climate. it is a place that is very southern in society as it was in the early 19th century. it continues to be in the early 20th century. on the other hand these big cities grew up on either side of it which people can debate about what kansas city. i compared st. louis to pittsburgh or baltimore or kansas city they would love to be dallas or denver. neither of them ate western cowtown and in eastern town, even by the time of the civil war one of those things about st. louis that ends up less
than 1% and slaves by the time the civil war while the rest of missouri it kept growing on the west side. but in st. louis it's shrinking as it fills up with germans. and then of course the place is split up save it for the union because st. louis germans were much better organized than the southerners who ran the state in the german sort of sees the state for the union. the unit with the help of the germans in st. louis stopped secession. then we have contradictions, the contradictions are kind of baked in that way. and so i think it totally goes back to the original circumstances to me. >> i think so too and i think you put that really well. one of the things, i am not a native missourian but when i arrived for the things told me
his kansas city is the northern most outpost of southern thinking or the eastern most outpost of western thinking we could continue to play those dichotomies a little bit. just as you rightly said it's a little bit this, a little bit that and perhaps we can trade that back for a full two centuries. let's just take half a second and unpack that a little bit more. can you each help our listeners understand what missouri was like in 1820? forward the demographics of the state? how would it be described i would guess? >> back to your previous question, i have a hard time drawing a straight line from 1820 until 2020. missouri in 2020 is an incredibly diverse place north to south, east to west, rural to urban. it's a much more homogenous a
place 1820 for go to missouri it's not american population is overwhelmingly white. it's overwhelmingly southern. 20% is enslaved white settlement is confined more or less to the missouri valley. take a look at early missouri and run up the missouri river there is a county on each side is where the settlements are were going down the mississippi and new madrid. the populations overly white it's committed to agriculture. most families are farmers pretty do have merchants and in most occasions that has food stock exports they are exported down the mississippi river were typically they go to feed people either on plantations and southern states were goes down to a place like new orleans.
little bit differently. what i was trying to say though is that so the people who moved here from kentucky and kentucky and virginia to tennessee and maryland, they were being forced to move there because they are people either owned or expected to own. so they are basically going to this place to create a continuous place but when you ask them what was it in the early 19th century of course it was part of the french empire and run by the spanish for a few decades but you was on the
long-term dominated by the french who had a sort of society as we say that was based on -- it starts around the same time new orleans does in the early 18th century and remains in new orleans until the lease and purchase and even then it grows sort of slowly and it's after the war of 1812 that a bunch of people start moving here and if you look at it you remember the names in those exact order. craig wrote a book state-by-state some maybe he can remember the exact order but it's louisiana illinois alabama welcomed into the union so there's end most of those people are moving the vast majority of
the population is going after 1814 or 15 because the war of 1812 was taking place the west a lot of it is fighting the british when the british allied as a native rebellion and now what is known as alabama and then there's the british in the northwest and that keeps the population from growing very rapidly at least the white population. suddenly there a couple of battles in canada where the british and tecumseh are defeated and to create. andrew jackson gets into things in the south with the creek war and the battle of new orleans and the indian military power in
mississippi gets shattered. the british are out of the picture there so they are just thousands and thousands of whites and in the southern part of whites and people are being forced to move to that area. that kind of background in missouri, missouri thought they were doing exactly what people have done in alabama and mississippi which in missouri they didn't have much land and much more productive and much more valuable. missouri was a little cheaper because of the cold climate so their expectation was they were just going to have another probably not as rich a place in society as the one in alabama but nonetheless followed along that same thing and it was a
place where slavery art existed. i'm probably going on too long but in the north they were civilized debates about it more than people realize but especially as people in the northeast pennsylvania new york and england hundreds of thousands of them are moving west to and when they are moving west one thing that the north and the south agree on is the future of the countries in the west. only in one case does it start new plantations of sugar and cotton plantations. and nearly case of the expectation we will go to the new england style or the northern style family farm. and they have -- it's clear they didn't know a lot about what was
going on in missouri. the things that they knew about of course is only east of the mississippi and north of ohio. it never lasts set this president of the northern area is the northern side that was probably going to be their territory and there wasn't going to be slavery and they also expected that there would be only whites. so long story short when you get to the point where the war of 1812 veterans in congress after the war there are a lot of people and their scandals about the fact of and places in
virginia at one time they all thought slavery may be on the way out. certainly north they were thinking that because in the north one of the things that happened was there had been a bunch of -- slavery had been abolished by the constitution. it's abolished in new england and there are laws put in in new york and pennsylvania and new jersey and places like that. basically by the time missouri is a state in 1818 they are to have the slave states in the free states formed. there are two parts of the country the one part where slavery is on the way out and one part where slavery is growing and you don't agree on what the future is going to be so missouri is kind of, missouri is where they realized that and
were they both reached for the same place. of course the title of the event attached as an amendment that says no further slaves and a lot of the white missourians reaction to that is. >> we got the recognizable commercial agriculture that craig described and recognize a lot of other states. agricultural community populated largely by southerners and we have all the factors that you mentioned, the war and the increase of slavery and economic factories and microcreations
factors but this episode in missouri where it all comes to a head involves a number of major players. john quincy allen's, jon jay and you just mentioned james talmage. what is in fact a national conversation about what to do about missouri? >> i would say something larger than missouri which is why so intention is to and statehood in missouri which is an entirely routine matter for you mentioned earlier statehood and it comes perilously close to falling apart in 1820 from the result of the missouri crisis and as was alluded to earlier what the missouri crisis was really about is the question about the future of slavery in the united states.
jeff mentioned james down and the representative from new york. he had grown up in the hudson valley and his family was a slave owners. slavery was more or less eradicated from new york and white people would have to pay the price for emancipation but he doesn't abolish slavery over the course of his lifetime. when you look at 1822 is really 19 and 1820 the excesses of slavery. the projections of it in united states is at all america's equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. they were so apparent that they believed the united states -- because of the low-lying fruit
for jared -- james talmage. compared to place like virginia and in the places where you had slavery in virginia he believed missouri was a place where the united states could slip make slavery no longer able to expand in missouri or anywhere in the united states after 1819 in 1820. the hope there is a could no longer expand. somehow or another we had to do something about slavery. it may happen next year they are after that but he can force southern states to do something about slavery. as far as talmage is concerned in white northerners it's an
incredibly kind and generous -- jamestown mage freed slaves who lived in missouri in 1820. the provision he puts in there which is the children of slaves will become free once the aid -- reached the age of adulthood so dull work for free is placed at the end of 20 or so become free so to 50 year process is what james talmage is looking out. as far as northern whites are concerned it's a reasonable proposal that every white person who for the last 50 years said that slavery was awful and don't know what they will do about it here's an opportunity to actually do something. the response that southern whites have to that is entirely unexpected. response that missourians have is -- the response that white missourians and white
southerners have is one of absolute outrage. that's why it ends up lasting for two years because it's not like missouri to give up the future of slavery in the united states but the future of slavery in the united states and 1820 is a semi- continental union. but there is anticipation the united states to become an empire. there's expectations united states will -- perhaps even with the mexicans in and expectations united states has to do something about slavery now or it will never feel to do anything about it. that's why this turns into a contentious two-year long crisis and it clearly falls apart in 1820s 20s. >> yes met intense and effectively established a national conversation and talking about the future of slavery how much, is a too broad
to say would have gotten international attention? did they know this is playing out on a global scale? >> i don't know how much was reported in the newspapers. as far is in washington every one of them writes about what's going on in the united states. one that comes particularly to mind is portugal. the united states is going to follow. so james talmage said the world looks to the united states and the exemplary of liberty in the exemplar of democracy and the exemplar of a constitutional republic and the united states are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites. what precedes this in 18181819
is a group of british travelers go to the united states after 1850 and they are read widely in the united states and all these british authors say the same thing about the united states deny this is wonderful in and the constitution is one thing but the problem is slavery exposes americans as the hypocrites as they are as they aren't slavery undermines the policies of the state and that's followed by like a rock review of books in 1820 like the edinburgh review. james talmage jr. is conscious of this playing out on the national stage. the philadelphia intellectual rights it -- in response and in 1820 he changes because he
recognizes what the minority is done to united states. >> was talmage a savvy political operator? did he know he was putting southern whites in the position where they would have to maybe i mean linking geography and morality potentially? what he and the other politicians who would have supported this where they, with their any political unintended consequences that they were aiming for? >> that was his problem that he was not established. >> talmage seems to be more of a googly eyed centrist because he
was in a modern perspective he was in congress very long and one of his speeches was a rip snorting support so he wasn't like a consistent moralist and all kinds of things. but in answer to your other question john it's not like, it's kind of a slow moving meter world at that time but they certainly didn't know they thought they were doing this absolutely. they were just tired of the british being able to tweet them like that -- tweak them like that. in terms of savvy political operators there certainly probably were some people -- i mean this is hard to pick out because one of the southern reactions to this common to all
this will that impact in fact the idea was the federalist at the party of hamilton and alexander hamilton and john adams in such was kind of like circling the drain at this point because they had a little problem with disloyalty and the appearance of disloyalty during the war so we are pretty much done as a national thing. so the operating theory with a lot of the southerners was okay this is just the federalist plot making a comeback. they are trying to divide the north and south because that's the way they are. they had tried out criticizing slavery some during the water. one of the proposals of the hartford convention to review the new england states he got together. they kind of demanded various things. the reform of the three-fifths
clause is one of the things that asked for it. so for a lot of the reaction to the missouri crisis the federalist and a particular figure whose famous at the time and not so much anymore rufus king. rufus king and i'm trying to think an equivalent speaker to rufus king. i would say john mccain if john mccain were alive. he was like a diplomat who was a senator and you'd been around politics since the revolution and he give some speeches against missouri and the slavery in missouri that has become widely and he becomes the federalist presidential candidate and rufus king was pointed to as the ringleader of this northern section of the
federalist plot. it's very hard to say whether that's actually true or not. there's actually a lot of debate among historians included in the book including volume one of a 2-volume set. >> craig, a pianist would have have on the subject of who won in missouri? >> that depends on your perspective of it. >> donald ratcliffe story at oxford he writes an essay and i'm going to have to look at the book rather than trying to remember. it's the surprising politics of the missouri politics were john ratcliffe is on the north and the antislavery side one. he wants you to know that no one really liked the results of this. especially in the north.
it was highly reviled and a term that historians know that the average person probably doesn't know is the 19th century comes out of the missouri crisis. dove face. dove face you could use it for anyone who cowered in the face of a bully or cowered in the face of a challenge. specifically northerners who. >> we have other stories. go ahead. >> we can drill into that a little bit because you are talking about a contemporary difference in understanding of events. craig a few moments ago said there were all these unexpected reactions to the talmage amendment or the proposal but let's jeff: that a question.
if nobody and maybe that's too strong if nobody likes that what was the profession click southerners did really like it and northerners did really like it. >> why people in the majority liked it. >> it's a two years in. they get it but not everyone would like it. southern whites accepted it as they don't want to compromise at all. they want to place any restrictions on slavery and the missouri compromise allows the missouri to become a state. southern whites see this is the best possible outcome in their concern is if they don't solve it right now it'll be the issue beating 20 elections are run in
northern politicians are going to run on vote for me and then you have the new congress and the senate that will act on those restrictions. southern whites don't like it but they accept it as the least worst possible outcome. there is one southern congressmen who writes the reality is if we are smart about this we will never ever allow white people to settle in. we don't have to worry about that. very few people are happy about this other than white people. >> it what's interesting if you take that unhappiness and that ill leave in the text version of the story the missouri compromise is to be portrayed in practice to live as the politics
that the conference was avoided not forever but still. iran number i think i learned when i was a high school kid there is the example of the genius of the american political system. in your work you suggest that is a little slack, let's say that. the method interpretation of the missouri compromise in the 1950s post-world war ii you see the destruction of the first half of the 20th century and a lot of scholars and historians and the like they regarded as the genius of the political political system up and put the missouri compromise and perhaps it is but in 1820 that's not how it's understood. the missouri compromise does prevent the state from falling apart and as a historian i don't
have an answer to that. but people who lived through it at the time they would perpetuate slavery for another 40 years in the united states and the thing about the missouri compromise is it was a last chance for the united states to do something meaningful about slavery and a mite somehow in some way leave slavery at the gradual evolution in the united states. that doesn't happen in the result of that is 40 years later you have the american civil war which this is another issue the way historians and scholars think about it when we came of age in american civil war the reality of the american civil war is the deadly destructive war up to that point. the only way to end slavery in the united states was by having
the most deadly drawnout war that ever happened. at that point if you have a genius for compromise. i don't see it as a --. >> what i remember being taught john when i started telling people we are working on this book about the missouri crisis first they don't know which crisis we are talking about and then they know that people think it was burger center something and the other thing that would come up is that's when i decided to ballot the northern side and that's one of the things that comes out of the book. that is next to what happens.
it's like they are taken hostage and a worse is the chief dove face from maine in massachusetts the guy who would lead john holmes ahmad the leaders of the movement that needs to have somewhat willingly but forcefully to be the spokesperson for why we should compromise. this whole thing has been taking on oxygen by the south. even then maine becomes a state before missouri does. one aspect we didn't talk about and some people think the genius of the american system is that the senate stops things. one of the things in the details we didn't mention was, just amendment. , just amendment passes the
house. their antislavery bills that have been put in at different times before including by talmage what was shocking about the missouri one it passed the house and there was a huge turn over the previous election for the reasons so suddenly it passes on the senate side because that's what the senate does. >> then congress adjourned. so it's unresolved. that is when it was made a national issue. >> that's when it becomes the first national debate since the constitution and maybe the first national debate ever in the sense we think of that now where people are writing books and
holding meetings about it including especially in the northern cities and that's where some of the big names of the mentioned including john jay and he gets involved and other big names from the founding that he could come up with to try to get them to come out. that's eight or nine months of debate on this before congress has the whole missouri debate over again. >> in thinking about missouri or missouri's peculiarities slavery was popular in missouri as it was in alabama and other southern states. in that matter at all and jeff and i have a colleague who's written a book about slavery and has a different take on what slavery was like there. is that matter?
or was that slavery was slavery was slavery. >> diane has an essay where she makes the argument that slavery is slavery is slavery. in a debate especially on the southern side there is a lot about missouri and how the climate was so much better than it was in the deep south and there was literally it was argued that it was the most humane thing to allow slavery in missouri because otherwise people would eat sold for far worse. you can find quotations of long the lines of those. >> thomas jefferson does --
>> it's really shocking how common it is and you can and a missouri newspaper at that time and you'll find someone giving some version of that. >> are in a speech by a southerner. >> that special idea about missouri slavery is because the climate is different and because of the small-scale thing which is what diane's book is about. a smaller scale even though there are few large plantations. more people are farmhands and they are doing pretty much every job that you can do the people are doing but as diane shows the small-scale slavery has some of its own special problems such as
the phenomenon of the lonely farmer who buys a slave and has a concubine which is the kind of thing that happens on a small scale. sexuality can happen. forced sexual can happen all throughout slavery but small-scale slavery people get trapped in ways that if you are in an area where there hundreds of thousands of virginia or south carolina most of the african-americans might be but they have this whole village of people. in missouri it could be out the middle of nowhere with just a handful of people or just themselves. >> that's not the case in
virginia. >> where focused on slavery and rightfully slow -- so and the world that slavery played in the battle but did they engage other groups of americans for example or were they not part of this equation? the. >> not directly but indirectly. if a your end missourians to 1810 not many native american people live in missouri. missouri becomes the majority territory in 18111912 when louisiana becomes a state bird is called upper louisiana that it becomes the missouri territory. it becomes the missouri territory in 1812 after the war and most are of african-american descent and live close to the
mississippi river and just a few settlements in a few farms. there aren't that many native american people living there. the state of missouri is native american country and its unquestionably controlled by powerful nations of the confederacy and the like. after the war of 1812 william clarke is a superintendent for indian affairs. the united states government -- he basically rips off an enormous amount of land from the americans and puts it on the market. we have this great chapter in the book by cambridge university and between 18151819 boone counties probably the greatest
population burst in the world. it's a misinterpreted treaty. they basically stole the land from native americans. they played a direct role in this but there is another chapter were at jalan by the name of ed green writes about missourians themselves are can send about slavery. their biggest concern is it will further accelerate the possession of native american lands. the main purpose of statehood is the government itself but the main purpose is to accelerate the expansion in missouri. >> craig since we are talking to kansas city people tonight we should say the thing almost the
first thing missourians to is make it possible for the kansas city area to exist. thomas hart benton on indian affairs committee abolishes what's called the indian factory system which it was part of and then of course they go after very rapidly after the so-called flat purchase which is basically a part of the state that is kansas city. >> white missourians liked it and that's articulated. >> native americans did not like missouri statehood. >> i mean it's a provocative argument that ed green misses and volume two and ed is wanting to argue edward crane was wanting to argue that basically
he thought it was about slavery but it was actually about native american possession. it's what's really behind some of this. obviously both things that there's a lot more. the natives are more in the crosshairs in of this than anyone realizes and it's pretty bad. basically it's like most of the northside of the river is stuff that delivers a certain treaty on the northside of the river. so it clears away and clears it out. >> i asked you earlier about a high school version and the understanding of the missouri compromise and maybe another one and will explore this a little bit more another one could have
been the missouri compromise led directly to the civil war. it was an inevitable outcome of what happened. how about that one? is that is as flatter unnuanced as the american political system? >> the missouri crisis prevents united states from falling apart. the united states does fall apart in 1860. the missouri crisis as a last opportunity to do something no matter how small and the fact that it was already compromised didn't result in much of anything. it allows white northerners and white southerners to grow
[inaudible] >> in fact it says this is a new wants the doesn't it coach while in high school or college. in some ways the nicest in the meanest thing you could say about the missouri compromise is it saved the union for 30 years and the country cleared the slavery stuff out for a little while and put on the back burner nationally and allow the creation and one of the reasons martin van buren, martin van buren in his new york and virginia allies in the wake of the missouri crisis that starts to put together will be now call the democratic party. they talk about a dozen alliance the planters of the south on the plane republicans of the north. they talk specifically about the whole idea.
it's not have slavery become a national division but we could argue about tariffs and we could argue about natives. just not slavery and that becomes the next. it's like the democrats versus the whigs. those of whom have a non-northern and southern wing and if you have experienced a political battle it's not until the missouri compromise is repealed. maybe they don't realize quite what it is. that's when all breaks loose. >> i guess you could say the missouri crisis saved the union. it allowed slavery and allowed
it to come into being and allowed 30 years of development. >> in some ways and your question predisposes the united states as this nation that was a single creation from the beginning but the reality is when the united states was formed they didn't expect it to be a nation. its purpose is to gain independence from great britain or be loosely allied to some federation. 1787 a new constitution and they don't expect that to work. the united states is to big and too diverse and too divided. the point they make is the united states is finally on the
verge of falling apart or at least thinning out and regions and sections. jeff and i do a lot on this but into the 1820s bears -- to break off florida in the southland. we have a constitution in 1787 partly because new england states are ready to leave the united states and form their own separate confederacy with commercial trading with nations like spain. i do want to think of bay ferry the missouri crisis is what led to the civil war. the united states was inherently and stable from the beginning and it's not that the united states is good or bad or poor acting like that. it's just so big and so diverse
and so vast. people who live united states speak the same language and if you speak to somebody from maine or georgia -- so the united states is constantly on the verge of falling apart just because of what it is. we look as the united states not falling apart is kind of a genius and a falling apart as a tragic thing. the way i look at is it's utterly unsurprising. many of the founding fathers agree with that opposition. george washington feared that he would follow todd and thomas jefferson did. >> that's what "a fire bell in
the past" says. this is the early american perspective. it to carve off of colonial empires so you look at it in different ways. by the way i have to say hi isaac my son is watching out there in kansas city and he's a big fan of the kansas city public library. thanks for watching. >> one thing is interesting to me is the missouri compromise in the missouri crisis those engaged apologies about american history. so given what you have answered were there in a prominent voices of the time from the 1820s that were saying holy cow this is the end of the revolutionary era or this is the end to the events of the great events of
the revolution. were any people making those pronouncements or predictions about what it meant at the time? >> i would say john quincy adams said something to that effect in his diary. he wants to become president of the united states and the pricing is dire in 1824 don't address this now we are just a bunch of lying hypocrites. the united states is going to fall apart or what -- a part of me kind of deserve it is the wave he looked at it. people are saying this is the end of the revolution -- >> that is what jefferson is saying. that's a statement because that's a statement that is solicited from him that everyone quotes to mr. holmes.
that's why holmes tried to get a statement out of jefferson, the founder of the party saying this is a big concern. so i think there are people saying that but more of this could be the end and it's kind of more of the sigh of relief. i think one of the arguments of the anti-slavery era all these things that happen just before this that travels in the edinburgh review ended up to one is the declaration of independence has a lot of high civilians in 1819 eco-'s are kind of a reason that is not
that big of a deal that's when you think about how all these people saw a document like that there was a fancy illustrated edition of the declaration to you could put on your wall and it had little pictures of the founders on it. it's one of the first things like that has ever been published. it was very widely seen around 18 nineteenths of people were thinking it has all men are created equal. people are thinking about the revolution and it's an interpretation of the revolution and a lot of people probably say and i would agree with that as a matter fact that according to a certain northern hopeful interpretation the declaration of independence was a debate and we were in the revolution and continuing the legacy of the revolution to stop slavery right
here. the thing that comment and his friends were doing. >> give me one other example the other way. he's a slave owner and he writes a letter to his son-in-law and he says the revolutionary generation which i was part of we wanted to get rid of slavery. so what he does not moment is he renounces the anti-slavery legacy and whatever anti-slavery existed from it. >> if you start to think about the revolutionary heritage it's very complicated. there's a lot of slavery stuff in there but a lot of thing that
are heavily protected in the evolutionary property as documents. unfortunately those two things conflict in the question of slavery in 1819. so it's very difficult. >> we just have a couple of minutes left and i want to thank the audience for your questions. the answer to many of them is yes. the southerly nature of the missouri settlement, wealth was a factor in the cultural diversity of missouri was a part of it of these different political ideas and debates. i was in grade school in the american bicentennial 1776. i remember our class recreating the drums and yankee doodle and
the liberty bell out of popcorn or whatever it was. one thing is that was -- on steroids. but thank you for creating a project that the mystery bicentennial has a much different feel. it's much more authentic and your work on this project helped give us a much more nuanced understanding of what the missouri crisis was all about and what it means to this particular state not only in 1820 in 1821 but 18 -- 2020 and 2021. my last question would be what is the take-away? what was embedded in this experience that the missouri crisis, i mean what does it lay bare? what is the take-away when we
look back 200 years and really figure out what this meant to the formation of this state and its formation? >> i will take a quick stab at it. it's aspirational in many ways and being a diverse place. it's different in 100 different ways. and the take away for me from this is that we think of the estate is being small and homogenous and it never was and never will be and for me to united states isn't one thing. he can never be one thing. there's someone argue whether
the 1619 project captures american history or of the project captures american history but i don't think either of them do. the united states is a big diverse place and there will always be conflict. even what we are seeing today is one of the reasons we have in some ways it's inevitable but it's also unsurprising. >> it's a take away. i will look at the missouri take away which is that like a lot of the contradictions that we see throughout the nation as a whole what i hope what i did in this book and i hope people can get out of this is this is something
is that there are all these things that people want whether it's has fielded thing or a bitterly critical thing in the truth is it's somewhere in between and it will only be able to deal with the past or the future if we realize it's all a bit mixed up together and you shouldn't be going to history to look for your moral model. i don't mean to sound trite but the moral models are -- and history is something that we need to realize is a way to learn about the contradictions and the contradictions that are humanity. if you love the state of missouri then you have to say it's a good thing it came out in
her do some pretty good things along the way. maybe they are more cultural sometimes than they are political but nevertheless what i love about missouri history in all honesty it's not something you can fool yourself with. you are looking at it and they don't present it back in the day as wonderful. in some ways missourians when they put up the banner to celebrate there is a banner to put up to celebrate missouri stated in downtown st. louis craig help me remember.
>> it's a and image eliminating from the back. in slave states we say thank god i'm in missouri. >> celebrating and you've got the guy in missouri. so what do you do with that? it's something you can't sugarcoat your way around. okay there are some things, this is not like where you can only look at george washington from a certain angle and see the good stuff. this is something else and i think it's closer to the way most history actually is. maybe it's a little bit of the
dark thing for me to say is the take-away. >> it's a's been a great conversation i want to thank our guest john craig hammond and jeffrey pasley i want to encourage our viewers to pick up their book once again volume one and volume two "a fire bell in the past" the missouri crisis at 200 published by the university of missouri press brett thank you ever wanted thank you jeff and thank you
>> or c-span.org/history. >> good afternoon everyone it is my great privilege and honor to introduce matt he is a native of houston mississippi he received a ba in general business in a d.a. and history from the university of mississippi and ma from louisiana monroe he has worked at petersburg national battlefield, the national