History of the United States
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The history of the United States extends from the time of the initial discovery of continental and overseas U.S. territories by indigenous peoples, through acquisition by European and North American states and into the present day.
- The state of slavery is of such a nature that it is incapable of being introduced on any reasons, moral or political, but only by positive law, which preserves its force long after the reasons, occasions, and time itself from whence it was created, is erased from memory. It is so odious, that nothing can be suffered to support it, but positive law. Whatever inconveniences, therefore, may follow from the decision, I cannot say this case is allowed or approved by the law of England; and therefore the black must be discharged.
- I do in Virtue of the Power and Authority to ME given, by His MAJESTY, determine to execute Martial Law, and cause the same to be executed throughout this Colony: and to the end that Peace and good Order may the sooner be [effected], I do require every Person capable of bearing Arms, to [resort] to His MAJESTY'S STANDARD, or be looked upon as Traitors to His MAJESTY'S Crown and Government, and thereby become liable to the Penalty the Law inflicts upon such Offences; such as forfeiture of Life, confiscation of Lands, &c. &c. And I do hereby further declare all indentured Servants, Negroes, or others, (appertaining to Rebels,) free that are able and willing to bear Arms, they joining His MAJESTY'S Troops as soon as may be, for the more speedily reducing this Colony to a proper Sense of their Duty, to His MAJESTY'S Leige Subjects..
- To the extent that 1776 led to the resultant U.S., which came to captain the African Slave Trade—as London moved in an opposing direction toward a revolutionary abolition of this form of property—the much-celebrated revolt of the North American settlers can fairly be said to have eventuated as a counter-revolution of slavery.
- Gerald Horne, The Counter-Revolution of 1776 (2014), p. x
- On 22 June 1772 in a London courtroom ... the presiding magistrate, Lord Mansfield, had just made a ruling that suggested that slavery, the blight that had ensnared so many, would no longer obtain, at least not in England. A few nights later, a boisterous group of Africans, numbering in the hundreds, gathered for a festive celebration. ... Others were not so elated, particularly in Virginia, where the former “property” in question in this case had been residing. “Is it in the Power of Parliament to make such a Law? Can any human law abrogate the divine? The Law[s] of Nature are the Laws of God,” wrote one querulously questioning writer. Indicating that this was not a sectional response, a correspondent in Manhattan near the same time assured that this ostensibly anti-slavery ruling “will occasion a greater ferment in America (particularly in the islands) than the Stamp Act itself,” a reference to another London edict that was then stirring controversy in the colonies. The radical South Carolinian William Drayton—whose colony barely contained an unruly African majority—was apoplectic about this London decision, asserting that it would “complete the ruin of many American provinces.”
- Gerald Horne, The Counter-Revolution of 1776 (2014), p. 1
- Ironically, the founders of the republic have been hailed and lionized by left, right, and center for—in effect—creating the first apartheid state.
- Gerald Horne, The Counter-Revolution of 1776 (2014), p. 4
- What happened to the Negro in this country is not simply a matter of my memory or my history; it's a matter of American history and American memory. As a Negro, I cannot afford to deny or overlook it, but the white American necessity is precisely to deny, ignore and overlook it.
- James Baldwin, in "Liberalism and the Negro: A Round-Table Discussion," Commentary, vol. 37, no. 3 (March 1964), p. 41.
- The object of this new American industrial empire, so far as that object was conscious and normative, was not national well-being, but the individual gain of the associated and corporate monarchs through the power of vast profit on enormous capital investment; through the efficiency of an industrial machine that bought the highest managerial and engineering talent and used the latest and most effective methods and machines in a field of unequaled raw material and endless market demand. That this machine might use the profit for the general weal was possible and in cases true. But the uplift and well-being of the mass of men, of the cohorts of common labor, was not its ideal or excuse. Profit, income, uncontrolled power in My Business for My Property and for Me—this was the aim and method of the new monarchial dictatorship that displaced democracy in the United States in 1876.
- The treatment of the period of Reconstruction reflects small credit upon American historians as scientists. We have too often a deliberate attempt so to change the facts of history that the story will make pleasant reading for Americans.
- The difference of development, North and South, is explained as a sort of working out of cosmic social and economic law. ... In this sweeping mechanistic interpretation, there is no room for the real plot of the story, for the clear mistake and guilt of building a new slavery of the working class in the midst of a fateful experiment in democracy.
- These early diaries and letters, which are plentiful, and the fact that most important documents about the early American colonies have been preserved, mean that the United States is the first nation in human history whose most distant origins are fully recorded.
- In the year 1877, the signals were given for the rest of the century: the blacks would be put back; the strikes of white workers would not be tolerated; the industrial and political elites of North and South would take hold of the country and organize the greatest march of economic growth in human history. They would do it with the aid of, and at the expense of, black labor, white labor, Chinese labor, European immigrant labor, female labor, rewarding them differently by race, sex, national origin, and social class, in such a way as to create separate levels of oppression—a skillful terracing to stabilize the pyramid of wealth.
Twenty first century
- Too often, U.S. History is reduced down to, there was slavery, uh, then there was a Civil War, then there wasn't slavery anymore, then there was the Civil Rights movement, then there wasn't racism anymore. Just a smooth, steady upward arc. But the moment on either side of those landmark eras complicate the hell out of that arc. Because they were filled with white hostility, and ugly backsliding.
- [I]gnoring the history you don't like is not a victimless act, and a history of America that ignores white supremacy is a white supremacist history of America.
- John Oliver, “U.S. History”, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, (Aug 3, 2020)
- Barred from Twitter, Trump issued a proclamation on the federal holiday earlier Monday encouraging "all Americans to recommit themselves to Dr. King’s dream by engaging in acts of service to others, to their community, and to our Nation."
Later, his White House issued a a 45-page document dubbed the “The 1776 Report", which claimed that “identity politics makes it less likely that racial reconciliation and healing can be attained by pursuing Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream.”
The report seems to be a response to The New York Times’ “1619 Project,” which traced the story of slavery through American history and became a lightning rod for Trump and conservatives, who saw it as an attack on their view of American history.
- Alex Seitz-Wald, “On MLK Day, Biden volunteers, Trump issues divisive report on slavery and civil rights”, NBC, (Jan. 18, 2021)