tv Lectures in History Pilgrims and History Textbooks CSPAN December 13, 2021 6:23pm-7:31pm EST
you can find them all on the c-span now mobile app or wherever you get your podcasts. download c-span's new mobile app and stay up to date with live video coverage of the day's biggest political rom live streams of the house and senate floor, and key congressional hearings, to white house and supreme court oral arguments. even our interactive morning program, washington journal, where we hear our voices every day. c-span has you covered. download the app for free today. >> up next, another class from our series lectures in history. >> the goal today is to think about how the pilgrims and the puritans who we've been talking about whole course long, became such a national part of our heritage, such a huge part of your history. what happened? how do we get from the fact of
their coming to these annual remembrances like at thanksgiving and to the important place of them in political speeches, reagan's calling us the city on the hill because pilgrims came here and so forth. how do we get from one place to the next? and the way we get there is through the work of history. so what we're going to be looking at today is after the united states becomes an independent nation, what happens to the development of historical writing, that is how does historical writing take off, how does it focus on certain national narratives, where do they develop, and what happens to maintain them, and really to disseminate them to a wide population. we talked last time, we talked before about collective memory, about this idea that nations have a kind of what's called temporal depth, this idea that part of what makes a nation a nation is the idea of shared memories, and part of those
shared memories is forgetting other memories, right, forgetting other aspects of history in order to cohere around a kind of story. so we talked about this whole part of collective memory and its relation to nationalism. here in a certain sense today we're going to see it at work, and that's what this lecture today is about. all right. so just to review where we've come from and where we're headed next. we've talked, of course, of american exceptionalism. we have talked about definitions of it, and just to review this sort of dual part to it, right, the passive sense of american exceptionalism, which is a kind of model, right, so in this definition, the position assumes that the u.s. has in some way achieved what other nations are seeking or that the u.s. is called to achieve, and so to model to others, what other nations are seeking. not in a certain sense to intervene. this is the passive model. the active model, this idea that the u.s. has been sent on a mission, right, position assumes that our calling is to spread our blessings and those can be
defined in a number of ways. some of the ways they get defined as religious liberty, self-government, capitalism, free enterprise, and part of the idea of the course is to see when the ideas get attached to american exceptionalism. the idea is that our call is to spread these things to the rest of the world. it's more of an active sense. and usually both of these senses, either of these senses can include a religious sense of chosenness, that we are called, someone, some divinity has called us to this position or set us apart, right, to be a model. there's often embedded a kind of religious sensibility of chosenness. what does it entail? well on the one hand it entails a comparative assessment. if you say the u.s. is unique, you are saying i have looked at other countries, compared the u.s. to other countries, and in x detail or y detail, it is unique. there's a comparative assessment that always comes in american exceptionalism.
more particularly, though, for our class, and for what we're talking about today, there's usually a historical claim, that is either implicitly or explicitly claims about america's unique virtues or benefits, usually entail claims about america's past. that is how we claim to have those unique virtues or this distinct national purpose in the world, and this is where collective memory comes to play such an important part. this is the part of american exceptionalism we're going to be spending our time on today. so obviously the u.s. has this revolution, declares independence, makes it stick, treaty of paris, ratification of the constitution, now you've got this situation, right, you've got all of these colonies, which were connected immediately to england, suddenly connected immediately to each other. they're one nation, right? except that for a long time they have not really seen each other as one nation.
so now you've got this problem, which is how do you formulate a national identity for all of these different colonies with all of these different cultures, and say we're, in fact, one nation. and that is the work of cultural nationalism. and it's called cultural nationalism because it takes cultural work to build up a national identity. it takes cultural embedding, text and speech and civic rights and rituals to create this identity. there's three distinct ways i'm going to look at here. there's more, of course, that could be said. three features in the rise of nationalism, right after the revolution and the beginning of the nation that we can think about. first is the idea of maps. we can know we're one nation if we're pictured as one nation, and what you begin to see happen in the early republic and early days of the new nation as you see maps show up everywhere. everybody keeps drawing the map of this one nation, with one set of political boundaries over and over and over. this happens, hanging on the
walls in taverns, put it on teacups. if you're surrounded by this map of yourself in relation to all of these others, right, then you will begin to perceive yourself as one with all of these others. so maps become one way of thinking about a national union and a national identity. and of course part of what we're talking about here, we raised this benedict anderson before the idea of an imagined community, how do you imagine yourself in community with people you will never meet. people that you have never met. people that you know very little about. yet, suddenly, you're one people with them. and maps are one way to imagine yourself as one people. the other thing that happens is rights. so you get the celebration of the fourth of july, for example, and this begins to happen all over the place, with civic speeches and so forth. in a certain sense, you practice yourself as one people. if everybody in all 13 colonies is practicing the fourth of july, they are in effect embedding the sense of
themselves as one people, united across the colonies, right, so maps is one way. rights is one way. and then the last way, again, the way we're going to focus on today, history. you right the stories of yourself as one people. you remember yourself as one people. so maps, rights, and history are ways of embedding or creating a kind of cultural identity. and so unsurprisingly, what you see happen is suddenly the rise of historical societies. most people don't think too much about historical societies, and yet they played this really important role in the early republic. the first historical society was massachusetts historical society, founded in 1791. and for our purposes, which was partly we're thinking about the rise of that city on a hill sermon, and how it went from winthrop to reagan, this is the society of first principle. we talked about no puritan knew
about the sermon in its day. nobody knew that winthrop gave this sermon. there's no record of it, right. they find it in 1838. where do they find it? the second historical society, the new york historical society. that's where it still is today. they find it there. and they send a copy of it to massachusetts, which is the first place where it gets printed. now, what you see happen in that basic development there is something more broadly happening, which is that these are societies founded to preserve american history and pass it on. why are they founded right after the revolution and the constitution? because what they're saying is american history, first of all, is a thing, and second of all, it's a thing we ought to preserve, and third of all, it's so important a thing that all the other nations of the world are going to want to know our history, so let's go ahead and collect it. keep it, publish it.
that's why you begin to see these places abound. the other thing that happens with these historical societies, we're going to see a bit more of this later in the lecture is there's a kind of sectionalism to them, which is to say boston and new york are not the same places. and boston's material is not the same material as new york. so you see the sort of early celebration of pilgrims and the puritans and so forth in boston. who do you think they're celebrating in new york? in the earliest days of this historical society, who are they celebrating? they have their big gala to open their doors, and they say, we want to hold it on the anniversary of what? hamilton gets remembered in terms of everybody's remembering the revolution, for sure. but where did the new york founding go back to? netherlands, the dutch, right, their first big gala is in 1809 to celebrate the 200 years since henry hudson and the coming out
of the dutch. you see the ways in which the historical societies have regional flare to them. and we're the dutch, you know, and each place begins to kind of emphasize its own history as part of the national story. but we're the dutch. and each place begins to emphasize its history as part of the national story. we're going to come back to this term in a little bit. what begins to evolve here is sectional nationalism. that is that my section is the sort of essential section of the nation for the nation. if you want to know about american national history, you first have to know about my section of the nation. we're the most important part. you get that sort of sectional nationalism. by the time the american historical association is founded in 1884, 200 of these societies had been opened across the various states.
and actually some of the biggest and strongest and most well-supported ones were here in the midwest, in wisconsin and iowa and such places. they really wanted to collect and know their history. the state supported these things. all right, so what's the significance of these things? one of the things is they collect the history. even in the idea that reagan is citing winthrop's sermon, what you begin to understand is these sort of unthought of, unknown places like historical societies are all embedded in the way we tell our nation's stories. reagan cannot call america a city on a hill without in effect the sermon being found. how is the sermon found? historical societies keep it and find it and print it. right? which is to say that the language of american politics embodies far more than just a set of beliefs or policy positions. it also contains a whole history of these libraries, these historical societies, archives and so on.
all sorts of individuals and institutions that have collected, preserved and passed on stories of our nation's past. here's the other important part to think about, though, archives, as much as they preserve, they also select. when these people went about founding archives, they thought, this is important. this is not important. right? just to give you a sense of this, there's a really important early native american intellectual leader and preacher well, jeremy, who found the national historical society dismisses this guy, treats him with disrespect. so okay occum's papers never end up in the massachusetts historical society, right? they're located later, and other people come back and say, this guy is important. we need to collect this guy's papers. in other words, preservation is selection. preservation is just to get back to the quote, in remembering, there is forgetting, right. so they preserve and they select.
in the choices they make, they shape not only what we do say about america's past, but what we can say about america's past. because if you want to tell the story, you've got to go find the text and the records. all you've got available are the texts and records that have been preserved, right, so this is the kind of significance of these historical societies and archives. it's one thing to save everything, one thing to preserve everything, how does the public get to know everything? these folks are saying, we're going to collect the records, and keep the stuff, and later historians can tell the story. in other words, they divided these two jobs up. they said, you know what, somebody else can put it all together into a grand narrative as long as they've got the stuff. we're going to keep the stuff. that begins to happen. there's a new interest in history that gradually rises. each decade from 1790 to 1830,
historical works, including historical fiction, accounted for a quarter or more of america's best sellers, 85% in the 1820s. that is when you see this real true burst of interest in american history. in addition to that, you have these new state laws, so the state laws are not only that people have to go to school but that when they go to school, they have to study american history, right, so there's already this kind of push on the state level to study history. because of the state laws, because of the burgeoning population, you have tons more students. this is a handy statistic to demonstrate this. in new york, the number of schoolchildren grew from 176,000 in 1816 to 508,000 in 1833, that's 17 years later, that's enormous growth of pure number of students. and unsurprisingly, the market for new american history
textbooks suddenly booms. so gross sales of american produced textbooks from 1820 to 1855 increased from 750,000 to 5 1/2 million, outperforming the nearest genre of book by over five to one. that is, textbooks are what's selling in early america. that's more than just history textbooks, but history textbooks are a big part of this genre. if you write a textbook, you've got to decide where you're going to start. where does the story of america begin? and remember, this is the question we asked on the first day of class, where do you begin the story of america, what's the origin of america. and we looked at a variety of different answers to that question that a person could come up with. you could start with native americans, columbus, jamestown, may flower, the declaration of evolution. remember, that each of these answers has an implication about
what you mean by america, right. each of these answers, if you start with native americans as the beginning of america, you've got a much broader sense of diversity, of all the people who ever lived here, unbounded by any certain political geography or boundaries. columbus means that america, as we know it today, begins with europeans encountering native americans, or the discovery from the european point of view of america. the jamestown answer, of course, emphasizes english roots to however we define america. and the declaration, of course, is the nation. and then we ask this question about how come the pilgrims and the puritans are on this list at all. we have heard this story many times, every thanksgiving but when we come to think about this as an origin of america, it doesn't make a lot of sense. they're not the first people here, they're not the first europeans here. they're not the first english people here. they're not the first english settlement here, so what makes them a kind of origin, right?
well, one of the reasons why they become this sort of influential and important origin is because they could be used to give america a sort of noble identity or a noble cause, so we hear that the pilgrims came for freedom or for god or self-government or for all three of those things, because they came for those reasons, that's what america stands for ever since, right, and because that kind of language could be given to the pilgrims much more easily than it could be given to, say, jamestown, then jamestown gets sort of moved aside or erased or ignored so that we could start with the pilgrims and be committed to these things as our essential identity. and so what you see often happening is that you get this kind of contrast built in, right. well, when the pilgrims came, it was unlike when the spanish came because what the spanish did was totally horrible.
but what the pilgrims did is came for this. that's what defines america. or you can say, yeah, people came to virginia, but those people were sort of bad settlers, and that's not what america stands for. that's not the true origin of america. that happened, but the real origin came just a little bit later. identity and origin are mixed up in purpose. does that make sense? the other reason we get to talk about the pilgrims is because the people who write the textbooks happen to be mostly from new england, and this gets back to the kind of sectionalism built into national history. by 1860, new england was only 10% of the u.s. population, but it was roughly half of all textbook writers. that dominance gave them a key role in shaping the story of
america that would come out. and this is going back all the way to the puritans themselves. the puritans would frequently right history of themselves and new england, so this was a long tradition in new england of writing histories, well into the 20th century, they dominated historical writing. why do we talk about the pilgrims and puritans so much? because the people who wrote history happened to come from new england in the 19th century. that's one reason. so then you get these massive commemorations of the pilgrims. and we looked at these slides before, so i'm going to go very quickly through these. this is just to remind you, these sorts of images, these sorts of poems begin to emerge en masse. call it holy ground, they have left unstained what there they
found, freedom to worship god. so you get the sense that the coming of the pilgrims began something totally new in the world, and that newness had to do with religion, civil liberty, all the ways you can put together freedom and god began with the pilgrims and puritans in new england. this thing totally new. and so, of course, you get also all these paintings that celebrate them. we looked at these paintings before. we saw this sort of religious dimension, the heavenly light shining on the mayflower or a more civil liberty version where it's mostly with each other, this compact and idea of self-government and the mayflower or this noble and heroic and yet domestic and agricultural sense of origins. and of course these other sort of famous, the landing of the fathers, the fathers, our fathers, are the beginnings of our people, and of course all the way up through 1914, the first thanksgiving and images of
a kind of peaceful settlement, right, to be contrasted with others. you also get these pilgrim societies, so what the new england societies and pilgrim societies do, basically we talked about if civic rights are one way to build a national identity, civic rights can be one way to spread a regional identity. so you get new england societies developing in places like new york and charleston and all over the place, and what they are is basically everyone from new england gets together, especially if you're wealthy and male, and you get together and celebrate the fact that you're from new england. and how are you going to celebrate the fact you're from new england? you're basically going to remember the pilgrims. that's how you celebrate the fact you're from new england. so they would have these elaborate feasts in december to celebrate the pilgrim landing and the mayflower compact and every december they will get together and celebrate anew their pilgrim or gins.
you get the native american before, the english civilization after, coming with pilgrims, right? so commemorations become all-important. just to make sure that it's not overemphasized, there's lots of commemorations going on. in 1825 you commemorate bunker hill n. 1826, 50 years since the declaration of independence. anyone who knows july 4th, 1826? >> john adams and an incredibly famous guy, thomas jefferson. >> that incredibly famous dude. so on the 50th anniversary of the declaration of independence, john adams and thomas jefferson,
both die. and you have all of these speeches celebrating, of course, the revolution, the declaration, right? so commemoration through the 1820s is a big, booming business. there are speeches and memorials and commemorations all the time. this is, again, the building of a public history. memorials and monuments are super important. it's how a people makes their identity and remembers it in all of these civic rituals, in all of these ways of sort of building a culture identity. well, one of those commemorations happens in 1820, because, of course, it's 200 years since the landing of the pilgrims. so one thing to keep in mind is up until 1820, the pilgrims were celebrated, but mostly in new england. that is, if you're from charleston, you're like, the pilgrims, who? why is this important to me, right? and in 1820, partly through the
work of this guy, daniel webster, the pilgrims start to become nationalized, they start to become a national origin story. and this speech he gives in 1820 is one of the ways that begins to happen. so daniel webster, does anybody remember who daniel webster is? did you guys cover daniel webster before? okay, so this guy was super important. major orator, senator. his sort of infamy is he signs off eventually in 1850 on the slayed law and he becomes the great trader of new england and that leads to uncle tom's cab nn 1851. so that's sort of where he ends. he dies in 1852, shortly after that. in 1820, he's still very much on the rise. he's a very important senator, speaker, house represent, lawyer. he's super important on various
supreme court cases throughout this period, and he's known as sort of the great orator of the north. so if you have the big commemoration ceremony, you're going to ask the best speaker to speak, and of course he does his job. what he does is basically he re-writes the history of america through the pilgrims, and what he does is he imagines the spread of their virtues, what they gave us, et cetera, transmitted from heir, to heir, so he closes his speech by imagining gratitude, commencing on the rock of plymouth, transmitted through the sons of the pilgrims until it loses itself in the pacific seas. one person comes away from it and says it was like his face was shining like the gods, like
moses, and he said my whole head was going to explode with a rush of excitement. john adams reads this speech and he says this is the best speech he's ever read. he says it's going to be read 500 years from now, it should be read at the end of every year, it should be sent to all the schools. and of course it does end up getting sent to all the schools. so one of the things you have as well is the sense in which the pilgrims are the origin of america because, as they say in this -- as he says in this speech, the moment they arrived, democracy arrived with them, the moment they arrived, christian institutions came with them. so you see this sense of an origin as a kind of pure origin. the moment of arrival as the sort of key step, the key beginning in the whole history of america. and he, of course, catches that forward all the way to the present day. what you see happen after that is the spread of all this stuff through education, all right. and education is this important way of thinking about how do you
get ideas from someone like just a speaker and a speech, like webster's, to a much broader population or public, right? one of the ways you do that is through education and through textbook. and one of the first sort of histories of america, even though it's this sort of pilgrim-centered history of america, is webster's. so what you begin to see happen is webster's speech is sent around to schools, mainly in new england, but schoolchildren read it, they memorize sections of it, they recite it. this is how they come to know their history, right? so this is one of the sort of important moments transmitting his version of america to a broader population. so what we're going to talk about for a little while is this sense of the importance of education in this period. so one of the things that happens -- this is really important to think about, okay?
the founding fathers, people like daniel webster, those folks, what they often said, even arch rivals like john adams and thomas jefferson agreed on this is that liberty and learning go hand in hand. that basically you will not be able to maintain liberty in a republic if the people themselves are uninformed. so this is the idea they keep talking about called an informed citizenry. you've got to have an informed citizenry. if you don't have an informed citizenry, the whole experiment is going to collapse. let me give you a vivid example of that. there's a guy named ebenezer hazard, great name. he goes around the south collecting records here, there and everywhere, right? and what he's doing is working with jeremy belnap to collect state archives. he writes a letter to congress and says we've got no archives,
we've got nothing to collect these papers, no place to house them, no place to publish them or keep them. if you help me out, i'll go do that work. continental congress considers his letter and grants him $1,000, which is a lot of money in those days, to go do this. and it also says to all the sort of state representatives along the way, look, help this guy out, make copies of records. copies, by the way, are hand copies. ebenezer hazard is going to make these things and he's copying them out by hand, right? but think about that. it's 1778. the american revolution is not yet over. the treaty of paris is 1783. so basically in the midst of the war itself, continental congress is like we need to give a federal grant for historical archives to keep these papers. that's one of the things they're thinking about. when the massachusetts historical society is founded, it's chartered as a public utility, like your gas. they're thinking about this stuff as public utility, as
essential benefits, as absolutely necessary for the maintenance of liberty. liberty and learning went hand in hand for these people. yeah, zach? >> where was the continental congress getting revenue to fund this? >> that's a good question, because we don't know whether this $1,000 ever got from the continental congress to ebenezer hazard. yeah, yeah, yeah. so where is the money actually coming from, right? but the point is they take this letter and they said this is important, we need to support this, right? all right, so here's basically webster's point to that effect. he says, we confidently trust that by the diffusion of general knowledge and good and virtuous sentiments, the political fabric may be secure, as well against open violence and overthrow as against the slow but sure underlying of licentiousness, which meant everybody doing what they want.
one of the most important things to consider is that webster is a wig, and as a wig, he does not exactly trust the mass population, right? and so here you can see this sort of mentality of saying, look, we've got to -- we've got to have learned leaders, but we also have to have an informed citizenry and we can't let everybody go off and do whatever they want. that's a sure way to end this thing in disaster. all right, so one of the questions to think about here is, to what extent that still applies. to what extent do you think a kind of informed citizenry is necessary for the maintenance of liberty or democracy or any of the rest of it? i don't want to spend too much time thinking about this, because in a certain sense it's a very broad question. it's the kind of question that leaders often think about, and there's lots of different ways. but if there's a general kind of
sense of what you guys talked about, i would love to hear some of the sort of immediate thoughts that you had in relation to this question. can democracy survive without an informed citizenry? if it requires an informed citizenry, what is the information that's needed, should the education include history, and if so, what kind of history should it emphasize or include? what are immediate thoughts you guys have, gut reactions to these questions? >> we kind of talked about how with democracy, something that's essential is like the government having the consent of the governed to be a government. and like part of that consent is education about what people are voting on, what people -- like their civic duty is in that sense. and so at least at the bare minimum there needs to be education about like the things, how people can participate in the democracy, and a lot of that comes from the development of, like, the american democracy.
so that was kind of what we were talking about. >> so basically classes in civics or like the school of house rock -- how does a bill become a law, right. or basically how do you go about participating in this thing we have called the government. >> we agreed that education is important for the survival of american democracy. i think we kind of had two big points. the first is that, you know, we don't have democracy everywhere in the world. there's something that's going on here that's working. and we need to be able to recognize what that is, why it's working, and what would be the sign if it was starting to fail or erode. and for us, we talked a lot about the constitution. and first thing that people think about when they hear the constitution is the bill of rights. don't get me wrong, i'm a big fan of the bill of rights. the bill of rights is great. the constitution is a lot more than the bill of rights. there are a lot of things in the constitution that protect individual liberty and freedom. we talked about like checks and balances, separation of powers, a bicameral legislature, federalism, all of those things we think are crucial to america.
>> again, everybody should read the constitution and figure out how this thing is supposed to be put together. rachel? >> we also talked about how like there's a general saying that when you don't talk about history, like it repeats itself. people forget certain things. i think, especially given the timing, like the american revolution, they were trying to preserve these things, like nobody ever thought they would win. so the fact that that was so important to them that they wanted to preserve like certain aspects of their history i think shows that they really didn't want what had happened, like the tyranny and like king george and all of that stuff, they didn't want it repeating itself. and we still talk about that today. but today things are -- like the citizens are formed very differently. people read the news on their phone, and that's what they base their decisions off. i think there's like this idea that we have to keep history alive, but it's just kept alive in a very different way today. >> yeah. thinking about the way people
inform themselves today, right. we're very aware of misinformation now. the idea that you could -- it could be a fake article or fake whatever on facebook, right, and i'm not going to say fake news because there's real news that is really done by real experts and so forth. anyway, but this idea that information and misinformation do go hand in hand. this is true back then, too, thinking about how do you trust a source, right? maybe one of the things people need to be educated in is how do i know when to trust a source. how do i know when to trust what i'm hearing. thinking through that kind of scrutiny. jacob? >> people must be made to understand that if you want to be an informed person, then you must take responsibility to be informed, to read many books, many articles, sit down with a cup of coffee and just start
reading. don't complain about it, don't make excuses to weasel your way out of reading, because if you do, then you're useless. if you're not willing to do the work and put in the effort, then, you know, it's just all talk. >> right. i think one of the other things your point is raising is what is the balance between individual responsibility to be an informed citizen and the kind of systems or structures that we can have in place so as to inform people as they're growing up and as they're becoming a citizen in this nation. what kinds of systems or structures are in place? to think about this simply, in the era that we're talking about, common school becomes state law, right? they're beginning to think about what are the basic things that everybody has to know, right. well, as you begin to pass the laws that send people to school, you've got to begin to think about what they ought to be learning in those schools. these are the kinds of questions that they're shaping at this particular moment.
one more. >> yeah. what we were talking about is the idea of what deserves to be taught, that like american history -- of course we should know american history, more so than world history, even though i don't know -- i think i had the expectation that other people understand american history. you just expect that other people know, whereas, i don't know anything about the structure of parliament. like that's not something i feel like i'm expected to know. >> right. >> but that like part of the reason why we want an informed citizenry is for voting and like electing people into office. dins happening, were deciding in our opinion unlike what to do with his country that we should know understanding of -- and history is just our own history. >> educated a lot of thoughts about her misinformation or our lack of knowledge of responsibilities and intervention that had been made in the middle east just understanding the cultures there in the various things that they have. and thinking through what you
say about one of the ways to think about civics, someone thing we could say is everybody should hundreds an understanding or can government and you can also say everybody ought to be able to think about the civics in general by looking at the varieties of ways that government works because that might actually enable you to have some scrutiny of the american civic system. scrutiny of the american civic system. and i just want to use that example and think about -- when we are talking about perry miller and the influential role he had, this historian of the mid 20th century. he also knew about education and i just want to use his sense of this tension here and think about one of the tensions that andrew aligns the questions of what should be taught. so he says one of the goals of education in american societies, is the sense of diffusion. of making accessible, of
bringing knowledge in and out to people. communicating to people. education aims at the diffusion of information, a profoundly democratic conviction that the schools should be so conducted as automatically to produce what america wants, and quote. so if america wants more workers, schools should be able to train more workers. so schools produce what america needs or wants, this diffusion. but he said that there is this tension of another underlying need for discovery. that's another reason why, not just to pass things honor to produce whatever society needs its needs to produce, but find out what it didn't know. in doing so, education is often facing the task, this is where -- a bestowing reputation upon and reputable ideas that it could not otherwise ignore. that is to say, educators do not just replicate society they also change it. and this gets back to this
question of, it's one thing to say every student should learn american civics, so as to participate in american civil society. so it's another thing to say that every american should learn to set americans civil society to other civil societies to scrutinize the best way the government should be run. right? the first of those is a kind of sense of diffusion. we need to train up citizens in the society. the second in the sense of discovery. we need to figure out what is the best possible system of government. which means nothing is free from scrutiny. all right? however much we might honor it. and that is what i think was -- what we are talking about in this current -- in this moment. in the early 1800s is this idea of the increase of schooling, the increase of education, the rise of textbooks. and this general sense of what are those texas going to include? what are they going to educate people in? how do they produce the kind of informed citizenry that they need? which brings us to emma
willard. anyone heard from -- mo alert? from new york? no? no? it's a shame. the so, emma willard -- this is great actually. i expected that. and i want to introduce you to emma willard. so who was she? she was this very innovative teacher, school founder, proponent of women's education, and textbook writer. she was so famous in her own day -- first of all, the textbooks that she wrote sold over 1 million copies, which is a good payday. so even though she founded the school in troy, new york pierre, today it's called the mueller school, it still exists, a very good school what's she became most known for in, a certain senses her textbook, her history of the united states was reprinted 53 times over 45 years and translated into german and spanish. she was so well-known that when she died in 1870 her death was
reported. she had obituaries in baltimore, brooklyn, boston, and several other cities and towns. everybody knew emma willard. and in fact, her ideas for female education, she wrote this plan for female education when she presented the new york state legislature in the 18 90s basically called the plan. and that was what galvanized stood. and this led to the school she founded in troy. but she also said that plan all over and pierre -- in columbia, they found -- founded a seminary called the seminary school. and was all over the place. so she was active and wanted to be establishing athens, greece. she was internationally famous to. so i'm i want to read all four papers and letters, the stuff that she -- there's a great arc of a four pictures there. this is just when you walk into
the library of the school. this is a single copy of all the different editions of her books. these are all by emma willard. in this cabinet. what's your argument for familiarization? i want to lay out the argument real quick and show how it relates to these common concerns of the era. her argument was basically that female education would not only make the nation greater but it would make the nation last. willard called on patriotic countrymen to follow her advice and establish a broad system of women's education in the consideration of national glory. which was basically saying is, look, if you leave women only the gentle arts, only homemaking, whatever, you are basically on educating half -- you're leaving half the population as uninformed citizens. we need to fully inform the citizenry, that includes the women. so what is -- what this argument reveals is we need to think more about, is
this -- first of all, in the sense, there are a lot of people still in the 18 teens and 1820 is worried about whether this american republic was going to last. look, all they had was the republics of history. and all of those republics had not lasted. right? so mostly what they were thinking about was how do we make this last as long as possible before doesn't last any more? and basically, what's emma wheeler wants to say is, you make it last longer by educating the women. by making a fully informed citizenry. so, what some people saw education as absolutely essential to making the republic last. now, she is influential in the model of female adjudication that she develops that spreads throughout the nation, some of her pupils will found schools themselves across the country. that's one thing to know about her. but i won't dwell on that. i want to dwell on her sense of history. how does she go about writing
history. one of the more famous things that she does is she brings to textbooks visualization. so, think about the textbooks that you guys have in high school or whatever. you guys remember they had these giant maps, of america, they have colored parts for this kind of colonization, colored part for that colonization, for that group living there, that group living there. a sense of developing history through maps. she starts that. but and what she basically wants to say is, by the visual, students can grasp so much more of american history so much more quickly. in fact, she is so committed to this idea of just grasping the visual history of america, that she tries to figure out how can i make a single image that will be the whole history of america up to the present day? and this is the image she comes up with, a tree. the couple of things to notice about this tree.
first of all, you see left and right, it's the same kind of imagery that you have been the membership of [inaudible] this so-called native wilderness before hand. english town settlement, after. so it's the sense of that kind of chronological development that she wants to tell. what does each branch of this tree then do for her? what it does for her is it establishes a turning point. and you will see, i'll show you in the next slide, that a lot of this tree basically maps on to her table of contents and what she wants to say is, if you know the turning points of history, you are 90% there. the rest is filler. right? basically, if you know the key moments everything else that happens in between the key moments is fine. so, what are the key moments?
of course, it's very hard to read i, know this is columbus's discovery. 14 92. this is gilbert's patent. so this beginning of exploration and here is 16 20. what is missing from the tree? what is not there? jamestown, right? we are not gonna talk about the south. this is not a turning point in history. even though it's the first permanent english settlement in america, for her, it is not a turning point. it is not a thing that every people has to remember the beginning of jamestown. instead, what everyone has to remember is the beginning of plymouth. pilgrim landing. so what you get between here and here, the 1578. it's the counts of basic
expirations. including the spanish, the portuguese, and the english and others. jamestown gets wrapped up with the finding america. you found america, you begin america, with these findings. and that's how you can build into history all these turning points that allow you to move chronologically, but assert origins at different moments. now, i told you before, as i giveaway my example, i gave away my example a few days ago. 1600 -- everyone remembered it, it was a turning point in history, 16 34, six dean 43, what happened in this year? we talked about this a few days ago? who came together. but confederation? yes? >> it was, wasn't it some of the new england colonies?
>> correct. for new england colonies come together, in 1643, they say they will unite for their common defense. this becomes, in the 19th century, one of the key turning points because it is one of those moments of union between the colonies that is pre-figuring or looking forward to a much broader union of colonies that will come in 1776. people are celebrating with 1643. today, we do not remember that at all. this is public memory, cultural memory changing overtime. it doesn't remain static. collective memory is a dynamic thing. some things are remembered in one generation and forgotten another. here, you see the table of contents. i want to draw your attention to here because this again, draws out the sense of not just the confederation but also the importance, a critique to mo
willard, of textural history. that these various important texts are -- that are written overtime are reported. why is this important? the landing of the pilgrims in plymouth after having founded -- framed on board the mayflower, the first written political compact of america. if you call something first, you can, in a sense, anything that has happened before, right? by simply come calling something first. also, what is essential here is that she focuses on the written compact, that's what matters. this pre-figures a written political social compact that is going to come later to frame the nation. these are how the stories of the nation are being written. just to review that, what do these epochs and origins allow her to do? each is a break, each break can be a possible beginning.
effectively, what it allows her to do is to say, yes, i am moving chronologically through american history, but here are the moments to dwell on. here is the origin of something you, at each of these key turning points. columbus is a section to himself, then the first epoque is these put -- all these discoveries. jamestown is in the era of discovery but not in the era of the first political compact of america. that's with the pilgrims. okay, what did she say about these pilgrims? when they come, this is what she writes about them, in no part of the history of the american -- the united states, perhaps you could save the world, does the i have the philanthropist rest with more interest, then on the account of the little devoted band now commonly spoken of under the touching appalachian of the pilgrims. they possessed a much higher cast of moral elevation, then any who had before sought the new world as a residence. keep in mind how often we have seen this. what stay with us, electricity.
so this idea of more elevation, they came here unlike anybody else. i everybody else came from gold, these people came for god. that was the basic sense of contrast. the hope of gain was the motive the former settlers. the love of god was there's and there are characters and institutions -- that love of liberty. i want you to think about this. building into this idea of sense of germs or seeds that much are. we are going to see that again next week. this idea of germs. that a nation is what it is an infancy and just grows or matures into what it was planted as our began as. and those correct views -- fully developed in the american constitution. this is the origins of the pilgrims. so you could see the wishes
establishing that. she is famous for introducing maps into american history. this is her introductory muck. it is not called the first map of american history. this is the first map. that one's next. the second one. so the introductory map is just basically, it's a bunch of names. you could see the way in which this kind of history makes native americans into the backdrop against which the story begins. they're just part of the setting. this is just a setting. it's the introduction. this is what the world looked like before it began. and you could see the way in which this kind of history maps very well at the beginning of genesis. even though not genesis begins. anyone here know? speared hovered over the boyd? god said let there be light.
there is a sense in which there is a void or a vacant land, an emptiness that is just waiting for order, waiting for something to arrive. that is a lot of these 19th century histories of america are written. you have an introductory map in a kind of chaos. turbulent waters in a certain sense of all of these native american tribes moving all over the place. there's no sense that any of these native american tribes owns that part of the land. or possesses that part of the ladder that you would even be evicting them or taking over, because this is just void and movement. so this is an important map for thinking about how these histories and corporate native americans as a kind of sitting back trump. so that the first minute begins here. this is gill burns padding. it begins with a written text. this is the and set on the map. this is where you get the coming of the pilgrims. the second.
you get the mayflower compact of their. the arrival. and you get gradually more and more settlement on the east coast. so you get the pilgrims landed plymouth. notice here, between the maps. we see how she erases jamestown from this history. more or less. she talks about it but only in a sense in which they're not -- it also means you're not going to appear on any map. because 15 78, or not there yet. they cannot be on that map. 16 20 they're already there. but what did she say? and this ship arrived in 60 19, close enough. she paints on the mount a dutch ship with negros from africa purchased by the colony of jamestown. in so far as jamestown appears in any amount of history, it appears as associated with slavery, which is why she doesn't want it to be a turning point in american history. if it's the turning point in
american history it can't not talk about slavery. but if you say that the pilgrims came here for freedom, then you could first of all ignore the fact that pilgrims had slaves, which they did and second of all, you could say that that whole slavery business was not part of the essentially tentative america. that happened down south. the real origin is up here with this morley elevated crew of people. so these histories are creating a kind of national story that is doing important kind of cultural work in creating that sense of national identity. incidentally i was just listening to lectures about the american revolution, which i do when i run sometimes. sorry, i'm nerdy that way. they were talking about jefferson's drive, the declaration of independence versus would eventually happens. a very famous elimination. he charges the king with having forced him into slave trade and
so. there's people in congress who feel a little tender about that. especially folks from georgia. they don't really want that in the declaration of independence. so they take that stuff out. but what jefferson says about this is that it was not just southerners who wanted that removed. northerners as well. why? they are the c merchants who are making so many on the slave trade. so when we think about slavery as the southern institution we are forgetting the fact that it was very much a northern institution as well, in particular through these merchants and see vessels. but also in the fact that it existed. in puritan new england. so these maps go on and off and they get to this point. and you could see -- let me give you the sense. i just want to give you the sense of the gradual order. if you think about going back to genesis. you have a void, and by the end of creation order should, now
look at these maps. the introductory map. then the first month, the second map. then a series of other maps. and then this. you have this gradual sort of development of order out of chaos in a sense of the history. this is 1789, a constitution. of course one of the notable features of this map is, where is the western boundary? whoops. so, we get the sense of a map that is not yet done being written. had you also got the sense built into these puritan roots, it's a maturation that needs to continue. it needs to continue to expand. that expansion is sort of natural to want it is. that when you come with a kind of morally elevated purpose of freedom, liberties, etc, etc,
that the natural thing for it to do is expend. you see that built into webster's speech. you see that here. what's so interesting is that in a certain way the rhetoric takes over the speaker. because the wigs were not necessarily expansionist's. the democrats were but not necessarily the whigs. in fact the annexation of texas, there were a lot of new england are's really opposed to it because they thought it would give too much power to the slave powers expansionism was not just given in this culture. a lot of people were opposed to questioning the idea of american expansion. and yet when they turn to this rhetoric of puritan origins, why they came. this morley elevated rhetoric. they can't help themselves but see it spreading to the pacific because why would you not want that thing that is so good to spread, right? that's what it has to do. that is the natural trajectory.
all right. so then that brings us to this guy, george bancroft. the big prize of american history, it's called the bancroft project. after the sky george bancroft wrote ten volumes of u.s. history over the course of 40 years. it was sort of the major authority on american history. and his account of the pilgrims, which is very much like willard's, gives you a sense of what is happening to this narrative is being developed. so this is a bancroft quote. as the pilgrims landed their institutions were already perfected. democratic liberty and independent christian worship at once existed in america. think about that as a sort of incredible origin story. would that sort of ignorance is the fact that pilgrims and especially puritans are working
out church state relations over the course of many years. there's nothing automatically formed when they land. they have to work it out. but working through all the sort of messy developments overtime does not offer you a clean break. last week you guys were reading rogers, about exceptionalism. and one of the versions of that was a clean break. the past is the past. this is something totally new. here you get the sense of a clean break. the sense in which the moment they stepped ashore everything was set in place. and all that could be done then was for it to grow. right? for it to mature or spread. so you've got this -- through seems of glue and misery the pilgrims shove the way to an asylum who would go to the wilderness for the purity of religion or the liberty of conscience. think about it. how many echoes of reagan's address already built into this
language? this is 1834. in the history of the world, many pages are devoted to commemorate the heroes who have besieged cities, subdue provinces or overthrown empires. in the eye of reason and truth, a colony is better off than victory. the citizens of the united states should rather cherish the memory of those who founded a state on the basis of democratic liberty. the fathers of the country, the man who has a first trot the soil of the new world scattered the seminal principles of republican freedom and national independence. notice that by the time of get bancroft, this is with the pilgrims are. republican freedom and national independence. they are the origins of that. so this is the way in which the pilgrims begin to become nationalized at this moment into a story. we are going to talk into weeks. we will arraigned a sullivan -- other documents to think about, the other aspect of willard's map. how do we get from that story to the spread of that story? it is the relationship between
american exceptionalism and manifest destiny and ideas such as that? let me leave it there for just a second and ask if there's any questions about any of this that you guys want to talk about. >> just a review on some of these important points. it takes means, cultural means, to build a history. a history doesn't just happen. it has to be written by somebody. it has to be spread and some kind of means. it could be speeches, memorials, textbooks, and a number of things. but it does not just happen. there has to be these cultural areas. if the cultural media areas are from a certain section, highlighting the importance of that section to the nation, becomes one of the sort of crucial features of that. so if all historians were from jamestown, which would our american history look like now?
but most of the historians were from new england. so this idea of the importance of the mayflower becomes sort of crucial to the whole thing. any questions? any thoughts? any comments about all of this history business? textbook business? >> do you think the domination of the pilgrim puritan narrative over jamestown was like a conscious effort or do you think it just kind of have been naturally? >> one, this idea of the kind of -- one of the things you see happening is new england's not only losing out of population but they're losing out on political significance. for under the first five presidents are from the south. from virginia. so they are not getting the political significance they feel they deserve, right? so in a certain sense they could get themselves the national significance of the history, right?
yes, the presidents come from down there, but the nation comes from up here. would it really stands for comes from up here. so you see the sort of -- there's a kind of compensation. -- the virginians, you see a section called bad settlers. that's about virginia. right? so there is something conscious that she doesn't like what they did down there, and if america stands for that and that is not really a nation you want to stand for yourself, so if you could kind of talk about it in a way to move on from it and ignored and say that happened, but that is not the crucial thing that happened. the origin is really up here. >> if the textbooks had been written by southerners -- of slavery, do you think they would have consciously left out that area because it would seem pretty radical? >> who knows, right? these counterfactual's of
thinking about what if the south at this writing culture of history and the north didn't? what would have changed or how would it have looked different? it's hard to know exactly. but the fact is one of the reasons why the puritans became such, in my mind, a fascinating culture, it's partly because they wrote everything down. they were incessant about writing. including their own history. but church records, everything! and within a decade of the puritans coming they've got a printing press, because this is crucial to them. they have got a printing press and a college within a decade of getting here. a decade! that's like crazy! right? this does not happen in the south, right? and so one of the reasons, it's just so much more written, and if you're looking for the sources, perry miller says i started with the articulate beginning and it was articulate
because it was written down basically. he's heard of conscious about what he is doing and what he says. virginia doesn't matter, the puritans matter, why, because they wrote it down. but that's total logical in the sense that he thinks about them because they wrote. any last questions or comments for today? okay. i want to leave a little bit of time to hand back your papers and we will wrap it up. we will be fareed douglas for thursday and then we will get to tocqueville next week.